Del Carmen: the slate that started it all

Del Carmen is the sensational natural slate that started it all. It was when our founder, Ahmed El-Helw, first found Del Carmen that the SSQ journey really began.

One of the finest quarries in the most renowned slate-producing region of North-West Spain, Del Carmen produces outstanding Spanish slate with a deep blue-black colour that will not fade in sunlight, characteristic longitudinal grain, and highly distinctive, faintly-rippled texture.

That’s why when architects, contractors and homeowners want to crown a property in style, they choose Del Carmen.

discuss your project

Sensational slate, all from the same source

Some quarries mix and match slate from different seams of rock, and even different quarries, then sell it under the same brand name. At SSQ, that goes against everything we stand for. When you buy slate from us, you’re guaranteed the very finest quality – and we can point to the exact seam it came from.

Find out more about the Del Carmen quarry
Del Carmen

Slate roofs that could outlive the building

At SSQ, we’re so confident in the quality and longevity of our Del Carmen roof that we’re willing to guarantee it for a century – which, given the average building has a lifespan much less than that, mean a Del Carmen roof may well outlive the property it’s installed on.

Download our brochure

The slate that’s never failed

Del Carmen has consistently excelled in its testing. Whether it’s the arduous Norm Francais (NF 228), the equally demanding ASTM American standard or the current European Standard (BS EN 12326), we have test results to show its remarkable consistency over the years. As Del Carmen has the much sought after NF 228 status, it has barcode traceability so you can be 100% confident that you’re getting consistent, top quality slate every time. In all the years Del Carmen has been installed in the UK, there’s not been a single registered failure of a Del Carmen roof.

Request a free quote
Del Carmen quarry

Frequently asked questions

What is slate made from?

Slate is a metamorphic rock that splits easily into thin, strong slabs. It is formed from a fine clay or sedimentary rock, sometimes with sand or volcanic dust, and created under low-grade metamorphic conditions.

True slate splits along planes of cleavage, not along the bedding plane, and this cleavage direction depends on the stress applied during metamorphism. Slates are available in various colours like black, blue, purple, red, green, or gray, and the presence of minerals like hematite and chlorite gives them their colours.

Does slate break easily?

Slate does not break easily because it is a durable material that resists cracks, scratches, breaks, and chips. This makes it an excellent choice for roofing and flooring applications. It is known to last for over a hundred years when used as a roofing material and it is one of the strongest natural stone options when used as a flooring material.

Contact us


With so many ‘interested parties’ the local planners set their minds on a natural slate roof at a very early stage of the project and, from this starting point, we needed something that would satisfy a number of technical and aesthetic requirements – SSQ Domiz blue-grey, was the one chosen for use to compliment the local ‘Shere Green’ colour.

Ben Hunt, Total Project Integration


Being both high quality and cost-effective, Matacouta slate from SSQ is proving very popular with specifiers and contractors alike for refurbishment as well as for new build projects.

Mr Roy Clark, Baxter Clark and Paul


It is a very attractive development and we needed something equally attractive and of equally high quality for the roofing material. SSQ Del Carmen slate is top quality, and we liked the colour and texture. What’s more, it is very good value. I’d have no hesitation choosing it again.

Mr Keith Wills, Clancy's Building Manager


SSQ Ultra Del Carmen slates come with a 75-year guarantee and that was important. Not only that, the on-site services promised – and delivered – by SSQ enabled a smooth and easy workflow.

Stuart Howes, Architect


We put forward Riverstone as a cost-effective, yet high quality alternative to Welsh Slate, and it was accepted on that basis. The refurbishment work has now been completed and both the owners and ourselves are very happy with the result.

Keith Hicks Architect at Pave Hall


SSQ Rocaber Blue-grey slate was actually chosen at the initial design-concept stage. A natural slate roof was in keeping with the traditional local architecture.

Tom Ewan, Architect at Model Developments


It was an absolute pleasure to meet you today, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time and a wonderfully informative CPD.

The whole team really enjoyed it, and you definitely conveyed your passion and knowledge of your products!

I would say I will keep SSQ in mind for future projects, but they always have been. However, I have definitely left with a need to utilise more slate in my design work!

Michael Clifton BSc ACIAT - Oakbridge Bespoke Homes Ltd


Everyone liked Sarria: the client was delighted with its appearance and its consistency made it easy to cut and lay.

Gary Lambert, Complete Roofing Contractors


The choice of SSQ Del Carmen was made easier after confirmation that it had gained approval for use in the Welsh National Parks as an alternative to indigenous materials. We were also pleased with the level of technical, design and on-site support we received from SSQ.

The Hafod Renewal Office


With the roofs being such a visible feature, the choice of roofing slate was a significant decision. We involved the roofing contractor at an early stage in the selection process and they recommended SSQ’s Del Carmen Blue-black slates. Although it’s not an indigenous slate, it is an excellent match for the originals and, having used Spanish slate on other projects, we know the quality is there.

Richard Thorpe, Ridge and Partners LLP


The quality and strength were there, the colour was similar to indigenous Welsh slate and its ‘traditional’ look was in keeping with the surrounding community. In fact, as I had used it on my own Edwardian house, I knew it was a good slate!

Julian Bohling, OSP Architecture


We specified SSQ First Domiz Blue-grey roofing slate for both technical and aesthetic reasons:its strength and quality gives the performance needed and its cold, hard, colour provides a dramatic foil to the rich warmth of the western red cedar walls.

Mark Webber, Architect, Nichols Brown Webber

Case Study

Millbridge Primary School

Read more View all case studies

Case Study

Christ’s College

Read more View all case studies

Case Study

Kresen Kernow

Read more View all case studies

Case Study

Broad Meadow

Read more View all case studies

Case Study

The Cowyards

Read more View all case studies
  • Resources
  • Booking a CPD
  • Resources

    SSQ Professional Resource Centre

    When you work with SSQ, you get so much more than world-class slate and architectural stone.

    Over the last forty years, we’ve built up a huge amount of expertise covering natural slate, roofing, geology, specifications and so much more – and you can benefit from that, along with case studies, CAD drawings, technical PDFS and a wealth of other support, on our Professional Resources centre.

    Get free access

    Booking a CPD

    Book a CPD

    At SSQ, we love sharing our decades of natural slate expertise with architects, and our CPDs are always extremely popular.

    On our RIBA-approved Why Specify Slate CPD, you’ll learn about:

    • How to guarantee a perfect slate roof
    • The secret to specifying
    • Unusual roof designs
    • How to avoid specifying defective slate
    • The difference between CE tested and true quality slate
    • The legal requirements when it comes to specifying slate
    • How to specify random coursed roofing slates
    • The difference between hook and nail fixing
    • The environmental benefits of natural slate
    • Specifying heritage roofing slates

    … and a whole lot more.

    If you’re interested in booking a place on our next CPD, simply fill in this form.

    Why choose SSQ?

    Millions of SSQ slates have been installed by customers all over the world – and with a team of dedicated quality controllers based at our Spanish and Argentinian sites, our company’s uncompromising commitment to supplying only the best ensures our Del Carmen slate meets the most exacting international standards.

    Outstanding natural slate and stone, forty years of expertise, and a series unbeatable guarantees make SSQ one of the best suppliers on Earth.

    Enquire Today

    Sign up to our newsletter

    Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news and offers.