JOURNEY FROM QUARRY TO YOUR KITCHEN
If you are looking for natural stone – you’ve probably seen endless photos of beautiful installations and rows of pristine slabs at suppliers. But have you ever wondered how natural stone goes from untouched rock sitting beneath the earth’s surface to a polished countertop shaped specifically for your kitchen?
The blasting engineers must be very careful to direct the falling block onto a bed of soft sand so that it doesn’t crack or split at a bad angle. Earthmoving equipment is used to get these huge raw blocks of natural stone to load into heavy-duty trucks, to be transported to slab fabrication facilities.
Many blocks of natural stone travel by ship from Brazil or wherever they are quarried to countries like Italy, India, and China. These countries have large facilities with advanced machinery for cutting them into slabs.
Once a block arrives at a stone cutting (fabrication) facility, it is cut into slabs. To cut the block into even 2 cm or 3 cm thick slabs, it is run through giant saws that make many slices into the stone at once. These can simply have many large round blades side by side or diamond wire blades that cut through the slab-like a bread slicer. It can take up to an hour for these blades to go through one foot of stone, so you can imagine how long it takes for an entire 10′ x 5′ x 10′ block, for example, to be cut into slabs.
The recent introduction of diamond wire cutting saws and other advanced technology to the industry have increased the speed and accuracy of this process, leading to more granite on the market and a less expensive finish products for homeowners.
That’s why you may not see as much granite in older homes; it used to be much more expensive, but now is within reach of the average middle-class homeowner.
After all process steps, they’re packing bundles of 6-7 slabs, almost always in the order, they were cut from the block into a container then ship to the USA by boat. Usually, it takes 5 – 12 weeks to wait for your dream natural stone made from nature just for you.