The forces of nature that create the unique color combinations found in granite are amazing. Plates of Earth press together to mix minerals with rock to create some of the most stunning and beautiful natural works of art available. But, have you ever wondered, “Where does granite come from?”
Approximately 90 percent of the granite imported into the United States comes from Brazil while Italy, Spain, China and India also have a large granite trade. Marble, however, is mostly imported from Italy, although some does originate in Spain and China. In fact, China exports brown marble that has become popular in the United States.
How Granite is Mined
Granite is found in huge deposits in the ground. Because blasting would shatter the granite, blocks are removed using drilling or jet piercing methods. In drilling, vertical holes are drilled about one-inch apart with the granite removed by secondary drilling.
In jet piercing, a flame of up to 4,000 degrees is directed at the granite at high velocity which causes a flaking action. As the flame moves back and forth, channels are created in the granite. Granite is very similar to wood as it has grains that allow it to be split in one direction while other directions require cutting.
It takes approximately 30 days for granite to go from the quarry to the wholesaler. The first step is to extract the granite from the landscape and then ship the blocks for production.
Once the granite arrives at the manufacturer, it takes between 24 and 48 hours to slice the block into individual slabs using a tool known as a gang saw. For the next two days, resin is applied to protect the surface and it is cured in an oven. Each piece is photographed before being shipped to retailers. In order to protect the granite, it is often wrapped in adhesive covering, especially those with high-gloss finishes, like onyx.
The question “where does granite come from” is a common one among homeowners. Many wonder how the huge rocks removed from a quarry can result in such stunning, sophisticated countertops and floors.
If you want to know more about granite and the products available for your new home or remodeling project, contact us today by phone or online. Our friendly customer service staff can answer your question and guide you to the perfect products for your project.