Many modern homes boast beautiful granite countertops. This stone is now more popular than ever. Millions of homeowners and interior designers prefer this natural stone, due to its impressive qualities. Extremely durable and very easy to maintain, granite is one of the most sought-after building materials in the world. Nevertheless, granite countertops are the result of a process of intense work that starts with the extraction of the stone from the bedrock, followed by a cutting process, and ending with finishing the granite slabs to become the countertop you love so much. This article takes a closer look into the transformation of quarried granite into a new countertop or other home finish.
What Are Quarries?
As you probably know already, quarried granite comes from granite quarries. This is where natural stone gets extracted from the earth.
How Is Granite Extracted?
Granite is an igneous rock. It is found quite close to the surface of the earth, so it can be extracted from shallow quarries. In order to shape it into transportable blocks, granite needs to be cut into manageable slabs. The first step of the process is the separation of the stone from the bedrock with the help of carefully placed explosives. Then, the stone undergoes a cutting process that shapes it into blocks of different sizes and shapes. Different mining operations use different methods and equipment to cut and polish the granite slabs.
The Journey Of A Granite Countertop From The Quarry To Your House
Stage 1 – Carefully placed explosives blast away the stone, separating it from the bedrock
Stage 2 – Mining operations use machinery to cut and shape granite into slabs
Stage 3 – The resulting granite slabs get shipped to factories
Stage 4 – Factories process the stone according to your specifications
Stage 5 – Your granite countertop is shipped to you and installed by a professional team
Where Are The Largest Granite Quarries In The World?
There are many places on earth where granite is quarried. Some the world’s largest granite quarries are in Brazil and India. In the US, Vermont and New Hampshire are home to some of the most important quarries in the country.
What Happens To Granite After Quarrying?
After quarrying, the mining operation ships the granite slabs to countertop manufacturers. Once it gets there, granite undergoes a cutting process to become the countertop you’ve just ordered. This process involves the shaping of the stone to meet your specific requirements in terms of size, angles, and cutouts.
Are All Granite Slabs Similar?
No, granite slabs are different from each other. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest selling points of granite is that each slab is unique. Even slabs that come from the same quarry look different. During the cutting process, slabs that come from the same granite block are packed together. This is how manufacturers make sure that granite slabs with similar look stay together. Large kitchens require more than one granite slab. Interior designers, architects and builders need to be able to cater to such large projects. These granite bundles ease the work of countertops manufacturers and prevent their clients from having part of their countertop look totally different than the rest.
Even though engineered stone countertops can be beautiful, they don’t have the uniqueness of granite. Quartz slabs can look identical, so if you need a materials that’s truly unique, you should consider granite as your best option.
What Are Granite Remnants?
The process of cutting granite slabs into countertops involves losing part of the stone. These leftover slabs of granite are known as remnants and they can suit smaller home improvement projects such as shelves.
How Are Granite Countertops Installed?
Once your countertop is cut into shape, the manufacturer delivers it to you and installs it on top of your kitchen cabinets. These professionals use a special adhesive to bond the countertop to the edge of the cabinets.
Can You Install Your Granite Countertop Yourself?
Installing a granite countertop is not your average DIY project to keep you entertained and active on a Sunday afternoon. This stone is very heavy, so it requires skilled workers to handle it. If you want a seamless and safe installation of your granite countertop, you should hire a professional to do it.
Thanks to granite quarrying, we can use this beautiful and durable construction material to our advantage. We can create amazingly beautiful granite countertops in Pittsburgh, backsplashes and other such surfaces. If you want to gain a better understanding of the granite quarrying process, feel free to contact us today.