Mike McLaud has a history in stone. McLaud began his career in Seattle as a manager in a stone yard, then moved into the slate valley of Vermont. There he became a salesman at Vermont Structural Slate Co., a well known and respected slate producer in Fair Haven, where McLaud learned the ins and outs of roofing slate. His most recent interests include quartzite and phyllite roofing, leading to the founding of the Natural Slate and Quartzite Co., LLC, of Meadville, PA.
Few people realize that Norway is a producer of roofing slate and roofing stone. Nor do they realize that Norwegian stone roofing can be imported into the U.S. today via Mike’s company. Mike has toured all the quarries in Norway as recently as this year. He’s also been to Spain numerous times visiting slate quarries.
Norway has three principal towns which produce a natural stone roofing material: Otta, Oppdal and Alta, all visited by McLaud in recent years. Otta is a small town of about 2,750 inhabitants in central Norway nestled in a mountain valley at the confluence of two rivers. Its stone is a semi-weathering phyllite material called “Otta Stone” (below). The Norwegians have commercially produced phyllite stone for a century, according to McLaud, where it is used for exterior panels, paving, interior flooring, and architectural products. It’s also a common roofing material in that area. Phyllite roofs 100 years old or older are still in excellent condition, weathering to rusty, golden, copper or brown colors over time.
Both Oppdal and Alta stone, also named after the towns where they’re quarried, are unfading quartzites, known for exceptional longevity, or, as McLaud says, “ I've seen it on buildings over 300 years old.” Alta stone, commonly formed into “beaver tail” shapes (below), is quarried in the arctic circle near the Alta River, one of Norway’s premier salmon rivers.
Oppdal stone roofing is characterized by untrimmed shingles (below). Both quartzite and phyllite are unlike slate in that they cannot be split on a grain, but have to be split along existing fissures.
Norwegian quartzite roofing comes pre-slotted for nailing and is typically shaped in “beaver tails,” or as square shingles, 13 inches by 13 inches, 15 inches by 15 inches,18 inches by 18 inches, and 21 inches by 21 inches. Natural Slate and Quartzite Co. can import Norwegian roofing for customers who can order in container quantities. The roofing slabs will ship in three thicknesses: 25% Thins (8-12mm); 50% Medium (12-16mm) and 25% Heavy (16-20mm).
They can also import Verde Lugo Spanish green slate in container lots for interested customers. McLaud also sells soapstone for counters, Spanish sandstone for walkways, Vermont slates for any purpose, Pennsylvania slate, wall stones, and Norwegian stone roofing.
Contact: Natural Slate and Quartzite Co., LLC, Michael McLaud, PO Box 721, 548 Beers Avenue, Meadville, PA 16335; Ph: 814-547-5740; Cell: 814-853-7832; Fax: 814-807-0273.
Photos and logo for this article were provided by Mike McLaud and used with permission.