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Granite vs. Slate: Which Hearth is Best for Your Home?

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Fireplaces have always been one of the most popular features of any home. They add class and coziness to any room, increasing the enjoyment you get out of your home. If you think you may want to sell your house one day, an upgraded or renovated fireplace is an easy way to attract a buyer and raise the overall value of your home.

To get the most out of any fireplace you install or upgrade, you need be very careful about the material you choose for the hearth. Without an attractive hearth, your fireplace turns into a giant eyesore, detracting from the beauty of your room. There are many materials that are popular for hearths, two of which include granite and slate. There are numerous benefits and drawbacks to each, but once you learn more about the materials, you can see a clear advantage to selecting granite.


When choosing a material for your hearth, you should consider the amount of work it takes to keep it in good condition. A dirty hearth definitely ruins the beauty and coziness your fireplace could bring to the room. This makes it important to select a material you can easily keep clean without much effort.

Both slate and granite are natural stones, making them slightly easier to clean than other man-made materials. However, granite is scratch resistant, and slate is not. In fact, scratches are visible on slate the moment they occur, and are incredibly hard to treat or remove. Depending on the depth of the scratch, it might be there until you replace your hearth. Slate scratches very easily as well. Some homeowners find that they scratch their hearths simply trying to clean away built-up soot.

Granite is heat and scratch resistant, making it an ideal choice for homeowners from all walks of life. Pets and children cannot ruin it by sitting and playing nearby, nor can you accidentally cause scratches by overzealous cleaning. It is also less important to clean as frequently. With slate, you must clean often so bits of dust, dirt, soot, and debris do not accumulate and causes scratches. Since granite is so scratch resistant, you can go a few days between cleaning without risking your hearth.


It is also important to select a hearth that goes well with your home. If you pick something that stands out too much, it can detract from the intended aesthetic of your fireplace. Choosing a hearth that clashes too much with the surrounding décor can be distracting, ruining the cozy aesthetic a fireplace otherwise provides.

Slate is a very rustic material, with a dull, matte look. In small doses, slate fits in well with the décor of most homes. However, when homeowners use slate in their fireplaces, it can quickly become overwhelming. The dark, matte material can seem very out of place in rooms with modern touches. It can also clash with the rest of your décor, the material chosen for your mantle, and even your gate and other accessories. Homes that include slate in their hearths successfully tend to do so in rooms that feature an old-fashioned appearance, such as rustic bed and breakfasts.

Granite is much shinier, available in multiple shades, and works well with any décor. It is much better suited than slate as the material you use for your heart. You can select the style, color, and texture to suit the room. Homeowners can also select granite hearths knowing that they are versatile enough to work well even if you change the rest of the room’s décor.

There are a few elements that come together to create a beautiful fireplace. The mantle, the fireplace itself, and the material chosen for its hearth. When you install or upgrade your fireplace, be sure to spend time on each of these elements, selecting the right material and look carefully. Picking the right combination of materials, including a granite hearth, can add warmth, beauty, and value to any room.