We rarely think about where our kitchen or bathroom countertops come from, but did you realize your granite countertops actually come from nature? Yes, the great outdoors provides us with these gorgeous, durable, stylish pieces.
What is Granite?
Granite is an igneous rock which means it is formed when molten rock cools and solidifies. It’s found in mountains all over the world. It’s formed by crystallizing magma below the surface of the earth. Granite is composed of quartz and feldspar, along with bits of other organic minerals. As it cools and hardens, these different mineral densities and veins give each slab a unique look, that unique look you see in everyone’s kitchens and bathrooms. Natural granite comes in a wide variety of colors, too, which makes it perfect for any color scheme or style.
Where does Granite Come From?
More than 90% of the granite countertop slabs in the U.S. are imported from Brazil. But the U.S. also imports granite from Italy, Spain, China, and India. Each of these regions is known for producing granite with specific characteristics. For example, China supplies most of the brown granite that is popular today. Brazil, on the other hand, produces some of the world’s most unique granite. It features a beautiful blue hue. This type of granite is known as Van Gogh or Blue Fire.
To mine granite, it must be cut from quarries in large blocks. The block must be free or cracks and imperfections, to avoid any problems when the block is cut. Once the block has been removed, slabs are cut from the granite with large gang saws. It can take as many as 48 hours to cut these slabs. Once cut, the slabs must then be covered in resin and cured in an oven. This will fill any minor cracks or fissures or other imperfections. The resin seals the stone and gets it ready for a finish, such as polishing. Once this is complete, the slabs are shipped to distributors where they are inspected to make sure they are perfect for installation.
Originally, granite was only available locally, because it was hard to find. Now that technology has advanced, and transportation services have made granite more readily available, more and more homeowners have access to it for their kitchen and bathroom countertops. In recent years, the U.S. has seen the popularity of granite rise.
If you are considering granite for your kitchen countertop, contact the experts at Granite Top, Inc. We are the leading provider of granite countertops in the Seattle, Washington and Kent, Washington areas.