Homeowner FAQ

Do you sell directly to homeowners?

Yes!  We work directly with homeowners all the time: helping them specify, detail and order exactly the right slate for their needs.

How do we get the slate?

Smaller orders of tiles can be shipped via UPS, everything else gets shipped commercially via LTL on pallets.  A forklift will be needed to unload.  Often the installer will arrange for this to be on site at time of delivery (we will arrange the tucking and work closely with you regarding delivery).

Is your slate better than the Brazilian and Chinese slates we see at Home Depot and most tile retailers?

Most definitely yes!  Many of these are not even geologically slate.  They are what is termed as a mud stone, meaning they are not technically metamorphic.  This has a big impact on how they perform:  most are quite porous and many delaminate with time.  Our Vermont and Virginia slates are among the best in the world.  One way to decipher a good slate is:  Is the slate used for roofing?  Is it ASTM Grade A?  Roofing slates are tested for absorption, strength, hardness etc.  Only the best slates are Grade ASTM A.

Why is slate relatively more expensive than other stones?

There are two reasons for this:

  • Slate has a very high waste factor in production.  Unlike marble and granite, slate is not sawn out of the quarry in cubic blocks.  It comes out of the quarry in more rough large oval shapes blocks and then is worked down by splitting or sawing into slabs both of which produce quite a bit of waste due to the shape of the raw material and the splitting process.  Our stringent quality control process during production is also responsible for alot of waste.
  • The best slates are not quarried in low wage countries such a Brazil and China, the best slates are from Vermont, Virginia, Canada and Wales.

Why is it better to work with Vermont Structural Slate?

We feel there are many reasons:

  • First and foremost is our attitude of quality, throughout the organization, our integrity and our 100% committment to our customers satisfaction.  We work time and again with many of the top architects in the world, this is ingrained in our process.
  • Our top quality slates, which are some of the best in the world.
  • Our experience of over 150 years in business and capabilities.  Across our quarries, various mills and our office we work as a collaborative team with many 2nd and 3rd generation slatesman and women.
  • Because we are a quarry ourselves we can control production at every stage and have the experience and mindset to detail and produce the best product possible.