Have you ever wondered where in the world does that granite in your kitchen countertop and island come from? Or what it is made of and how was it made? Finding out what mind-boggling forces were involved in creating that unique piece in your kitchen is a great way for its better appreciation. And here is how the story goes…
Extraction from the Quarry
Million years ago, rested within our Mother Earth’s mantle and crust are the magma that comes hundreds of feet below its surface. When the intermixing of the minerals and rocks from it cools down, the magma hardens and a formation of rocks with unique color combination and striation is the end product of this process.
Then eventually this material is quarried out of the ground in huge blocks. The geological structure of each rock will determine the proper methods and equipment to extract the rock and the form from the quarry. Before cutting, the flow or the pattern of the rock is considered in order to assure that the final product will have a unique and one of a kind appearance or design.
Granite is not quarried by blasting because it would break or shatter the rock. They use two methods; drilling and jet piercing. In drilling, holes are drilled about one inch apart vertically with the depth up to 20 feet, then the gap between the holes is removed by secondary drill.
While in jet piercing, a high velocity flame is pointed at the granite to be detached, causing an unceasing flaking action. As the flame is moved back and forth, a deep canal is created in the granite which can later be split or cut.
Granite is a type of igneous rock that is granular in texture, derived its name from the Latin word granum which means grain. Granites are hard and tough that is why it has gained variety of uses mainly as construction stone. It is heat resistant and it doesn’t blister, it is also unlikely to scrape o marks that it why is best used in our kitchen countertops. Its luminous, dimensional quality makes our kitchen experience classier.
Transport of the Blocks
From the quarry, granite is drilled, notched and blasted out in large blocks. Blocks of this granite will be gathered and shipped or transported into production. It takes a total of more or less 30 days for the block of rock to go from where it has been million years ago to the doorstep of the producer.
Cutting the Blocks
While it takes about 24-48 hours to cut one block into slabs using gang saws and special milling machines. Considering the fact that granite is a really heavy rock, there are needs for huge equipment such as cranes to transport it from its source into the next stage. Typically, a slab is around 4-5 feet wide and 7 to 9 feet long.
It then takes about 2 more days to fill on the resin and put it in the oven for curing. Later it will be polished by special machines that uses grainy bricks made from silicon carbide or large metal disc. The polishing process produces a glittering brightness and gloss with a finish as smooth as glass.
After polishing, it can now be installed at your home for your kitchen. Yet if you want more sophistication, beautiful designs can also be drilled on the granite to sand blasting, carving and etching. Granite can be made custom and installed professionally, but it is also offered in pre-cut and edged countertops. Silicone is applied between the two slabs of granite for shrinkage and expansion and a special glue secures the granite in place. Now, what can be the benefit of installing granite in the kitchen?
To the Kitchen
Granite has the luminous look that adds value to your home, making it look more elegant or sophisticated. Apart from that, it is heat resistant so it could take the heat of a pan or pots, even fryer or toasters. Its flat surface gives you additional help for your carefree cooking.
It doesn't harbor germs and is a sanitary top, it is also easy to clean, special on those messy days that you have to cook for special occasions. Lastly, granite might be expensive but its toughness and durability could last forever.
Turning raw granite into countertops requires a long, complex process. But it will be worthy to have it on your kitchen countertops and island for you to have a happy kitchen. .