Granite countertops have been on ongrowing demand. Slowly being detached from their expensive roots, these natural stones are now finding their way into people’s houses more than ever, with a vast selection of palettes and styles justifying a great cost-benefit further down the road. Still, many interior designers and homeowners stay curious as to where they come from: how are granite countertops made, after all? How do these products arrive? Is the price really in pair with production costs?
To find out the answers to these questions, keep reading this brief article. If you’d like to get a complete outlook on granite countertops and all their benefits, check out our definitive guide here.
What is granite?
Granite is a gorgeous, porous and (quite) rare natural stone found in the continental plates of the Earth’s crust. Formed in tors or in outcrops, many countries around the world have been exporting this material since the last century – the biggest exporters being Brazil, China, Germany, India and Italy.
Although way less accessible back in the day, commercial practices led granite to become a popular piece of decoration among American households. This is due to two things: durability against scratches and high resistance to drastic temperatures, desirable attributes to kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities especially. Add creative versatility and minimal maintenance on top of that, and you have yourself the perfect candidate for a long-term investment.
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How are granite countertops made?
So, knowing all that, how are granite countertops made in the first place? You see, the stone is made of interlocking crystals that are complemented by an array of minerals, which gives each piece a very distinct look.
The first step – a mining process that hasn’t changed in centuries – is to drill the worksite area, chisel the stone and blast it out of quarries in huge, large blocks up to 11 feet (3.5 meters) long, 6 feet (2 meters) wide and 8 feet (2.5 meters) thick. These blocks are then either moved to a nearby facility or cut into workable slabs by milling machines right there.
The stone is so hard, though, that this massive cutting process is only possible with a diamond-edged saw. On pads, this blade also polishes up the granite into uniform thickness, usually about three quarters of an inch to 1 ¼ inches (2-3 centimeters), a marvel of engineering. After everything is said and done, transportation depends entirely on the provider itself, requiring meticulous care to avoid any cracks and fissures in the stone.
Once there, raw granite is transformed into proper countertop surfaces by special tools, which shape their edges (waterfall, bullnose, and dupont to name a few) and drill holes to make for sinks, water pipes and cooktops. The various pieces (called slabs) are then glued down on the designated counter.
Of course, custom granite countertops will be influenced by the client’s preferences and molded accordingly, but the whole manufacturing follows these same rules. Additionally, sealing them will most likely be the final step in any installation, given that experts always recommend an extra layer of protection for porous stones like granite – which tends to absorb and retain liquids.
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Our professional team at Eagle Stones have been providing the city of Sarasota with the best international selection of natural stones you could ask for. Dating back to our roots in Brazil, our goal is to fulfill your dream project as soon as possible.
If you’d like to buy the ideal granite countertop for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us – we can even get you a free estimate on whatever you need, from installation to maintenance services!
We’ll be waiting for you. In case you’re also interested in paver stones, pay a quick visit to our branch at Eagle Pavers.