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About Our Natural Slate Roofing Shingles

Whether you have a project on the go, or simply want general information, we hope you’ll find everything you’re looking for here.

Pages include complete descriptions of the various North Country slates available. Our Slate Roof Specification will help you take advantage of the opportunities and avoid some of the pitfalls of slate specification and installation. The Architects Guide addresses design issues surrounding choices of slate roof shingles for new or restoration projects.

Natural roofing slate has been sheltering man from the elements for more than a thousand years, and continues to be the roof of choice for the world’s most prestigious and treasured buildings.

When it comes to roofing, nothing approaches the magnificence of natural slate shingles. Created by the forces of nature over 500 million years ago, slate exudes tradition, majesty, and character. Perhaps that’s why natural slate is at the top of the list of leading architects around the world.

For years, industry professionals have relied on North Country Slate as one of North America’s most highly respected slate providers. All North Country products meet or exceed the world’s most stringent international standards for roofing slate. Our experienced staff provide you with the knowledge, expertise and support that has earned the respect of architects, building owners and restoration professionals worldwide. North Country Slate has the product, the reliability and the expertise to give you the resources necessary to make it happen.


Profile of One of our Sources

Glendyne Quarry MillNorth Country Unfading Black Slate, produced in Canada, is quarried from the purest deposits of the Ordovician geological era by Glendyne Quarries Inc. Its composition and smooth surface is exceptionally durable and its unrivalled quality makes it sought after internationally. Glendyne slate has achieved the highest standards of testing throughout North America; ASTM C406/C406M-10 and Europe; CE (Conformity European) BS EN 123261: 2004 (British Standard European Norm) Classification A1, T1, S1. The rigorous NF (Norm Francais) NF 228 and ATG (Belgium Standard) STS 34.03.6. This premium quality roofing slate is recognized worldwide.



How Slate was Formed

Natural Slate FormationsThe origins of slate go back approximately half a billion years to sediments formed at the bottom of the sea. These mixtures of clay and mud hardened into shale over hundreds of millions of years until tectonic pressures folded the layers into mountains. Shearing forces caused the sedimentary rock to be mixed with calcite, mica, quartz, volcanic ash, and other minerals under enormous heat and pressure, which melted and recrystallized the mixture into slate. The various colors of slate depend on the presence and amounts of graphite and metallic oxides such as iron and titanium.

A Brief History of Slate Quarrying in North America

UF Black Murphy's WindmillSlate roofing is known to have been used as far back as the mid-seventeenth century in the colonial United States. Building ordinances of the era in New York and Boston recommended slate and tile roofing as a means of fireproofing. Originally, the slate had to be imported from Wales, but North American slate quarries opened increasingly after the American Civil War, until by the close of the nineteenth century over 200 slate quarries were in production in the United States alone.