Are you considering natural stone countertops for your Howard County home? Have you ever wondered exactly how your countertops go from the quarry to your kitchen? There’s a lot of hard work and precision involved in the making of your natural stone countertops. Knowing the story behind your countertops is a great way to appreciate them even more! When your kitchen is personalized to your specific tastes, it will feel even more personal when you know about the life of your countertops.
Natural Granite Countertops
Granite is one of the strongest stones on earth and has been trusted for centuries for its durability. Because of this durability, granite works well in kitchens, bathrooms, and even outdoor kitchens! This incredible strength comes from the various minerals in the stone which interlock with each other to create a very strong and durable material.
This beautiful natural stone begins its life deep thousands of miles below the earth’s surface as magma. The magma builds pressure and rises to the earth’s surface. As it rises, it cools and becomes granite.
These collections of granite are mined in quarries. The miners detach the desired section of stone by using explosives. These dislodged sections are extremely heavy, with a 10’x5’x5’ section weighing in at nearly 45,000 pounds! Diamond saws are used to obtain a precise, accurate cut. They cut a foot per hour, so there is a lot of time that goes into obtaining the perfect cut of granite! The cut slabs are then polished to a shiny finished and customized to fit your kitchen.
Natural Marble Countertops
When limestone is subjected to an excessive amount of heat and pressure it changes into a new kind of rock: marble. After undergoing its initial change, marble is composed of mostly calcite along with a collection of other minerals that have recrystallized into interlocking calcite crystals. This is what gives marble its signature color streaks.
Deposits of marble are usually hundreds of feet thick. Since marble is softer than granite it is easy to carve, which is why it is often used in sculptures and monuments. This also makes marble well-suited to customized and unique countertop designs. Marble with high levels of limestone will appear pure white, while impurities like clay minerals or iron oxides within marble will create attractive blue, pink, grey, yellow, or black colorations.
After being mined, marble is sanded with progressively finer abrasives to achieve a high luster. The attractiveness of polished marble is what has made it so attractive for both art and interior design for centuries.