Granite countertops have grown increasingly popular over the years due to their durability, bacteria resistance and beauty. However, have you ever wondered how is granite extracted and processed or even questioned what exactly granite is? Granite is an extremely hard and durable rock formed when magma is cooled underground. It is an igneous rock, created as plutonic rock when the magma cools. In the ground, granite is granular and crystalline.
Inside the Earth, below what is known as the mantle layer, is a layer of molten rock formed by radioactive elements that occur naturally as the ground breaks down and decays. The decaying material releases a significant amount of heat which melts the rocks around it.
Plates under the Earth move and the heat builds up pressure causing geological events that push the melted rocks toward the surface. The surface temperature is cooler than the magma so the molten rock is cooled as well. This forms igneous rocks, one of which is granite. Granite usually contains quartz and feldspar but has also been known to contain mica.
How Is Granite Extracted
Mining operations use different methods to extract granite which forms in large deposits, called slabs. The area where they are extracted is known as a quarry. Because granite needs to be extracted in large pieces, typical blasting methods are not possible. Instead, granite miners use high-capacity extractors, cranes, tamb rock machines and chemicals to remove the granite slabs. Teams dig around the slabs to break them free, work that is tedious and difficult.
Once they are released from the ground, they are pulled onto trucks capable of carrying the heavy stone. Slabs of granite can weigh more than 40 tons. The slabs are polished and transported to fabricators who cut them into the lengths most commonly used for residential and commercial construction. In some cases, granite may be processed on site at the quarry, depending on the mine company.
After granite is polished, fabricated and cut, it is transported to retail and commercial outlets for distribution.
If you are considering a bath or kitchen remodel and would like to learn more about granite, contact us today by phone or online to learn what options are available. Our knowledgeable customer service representatives can help you determine the best countertop for your needs and help you get the kitchen or bathroom you have always dreamed of having.