Granite was created deep within the earth millions of years ago. Over the years, the granite was pushed upward near the Earth's surface. Today, granite is mined out of the earth from shallow quarries. Removing granite from the quarry is extremely technical.
Because granite is a rock, it must be cut out of the earth. This is performed by drilling small holes around the outer edges of the desired block of granite. Then, explosives are placed inside the holes to help separate the granite block from the bedrock.
Then, the engineers used for blasting the rock loose must take care to ensure the granite block doesn't split or crack during the explosion. In addition to this, a bed of soft sand is placed under the rock so the granite can land without breaking.
Once the blocks of granite have been cut from the earth, they are loaded onto trucks using earth-moving equipment. The granite blocks are then sent to fabrication facilities to be cut into slabs.
Once the block of granite arrives at the fabrication facility, large saws are used to cut the block into thick slices. Typically, the cuts create 2 centimeters or 3 centimeters thick slices. Once the block has been cut into individual slabs, the slabs are sent to polishing machines.
The slabs of granite are then run through polishing machines that smooth out the surface and bring out the natural colors in the granite. The polishing machines use diamond polishing pads that slowly buff away imperfections and shine.
Throughout the polishing process, progressively finer polishing pads are used to polish the slab into the finish that you are accustomed to seeing in kitchens and bathrooms. The polishing process only polishes the surface of the granite. The slabs still have rough edges.
Once the granite slabs have been polished, they are bundled together. On average each bundle will have 6 to 7 slabs of granite. To ensure a consistent pattern and color, the slabs are packaged in the order they were originally cut from the large block of granite. Then, the slabs of granite are transported to a granite countertops fabricator, also known as a countertop installer.
Once the granite arrives at a countertop fabricator, the slabs are displayed so homeowners can choose the granite that they want for their kitchen and bathroom countertops. Once you have chosen the granite you want for your kitchen and bathroom, a trained technician will need to come to your home to get your countertop measurements.
Once you have picked your granite, the countertop installer will send out a technician who will get an exact measurement of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. A layout of your cabinet arrangement will be completed.
Then, the technician will determine the best place for the various cuts that will be needed for your countertops. The technician will show the homeowner the countertop layout prior to the granite slabs being cut. Once the homeowner approves the layout the granite is cut.
The granite slabs are cut using a saw with a diamond blade. The stone is wet during the cutting process to help ensure a perfect cut. The countertop fabricator can make intricate shapes, which means less waste.
After the granite countertops have been cut, the fabricator will use a CNC router to cut and polish the edges of your granite. During the final routing, the edge profile you chose will be created.
After the countertop has been polished, a countertop technician will visually inspect each piece of the countertop. Any hand polishing or details that could not be crafted by the machine will be completed during this process. Once all hand polishing is completed, a final inspection will be done before each piece of the countertop is loaded into the truck for transportation.
The granite countertops are extremely heavy. Several installers will carefully carry the granite countertops into your house and place them atop your cabinetry. The installers will ensure that all cutouts are perfectly aligned. The installers will drill any needed faucet holes.
On average, the installation process will take 3 to 6 hours. During the installation process, any cutouts for your sink and cooktop will be made once the countertops have been placed atop your cabinets. At the end of the installation process, the countertop installers will wipe down the countertops and sweep up any debris that occurred during the installation process. However, you will still need to do a thorough cleaning after the installation has been completed.
Finally, a walkthrough will be done with you. During this walkthrough, the fit of your sink, faucet, cooktop, etc. will be verified and approved. Once you have approved the installation process, you will be asked to sign off on the job.
Once the installation has been completed, it is time to begin enjoying your beautiful granite countertops. If you have any questions concerning your granite countertops, you can check out our blog that offers tips on how to properly clean and maintain your countertops. In addition to this, you are welcome to contact our office with any questions or concerns about your new granite countertops.