From quarry to kitchen, the story of the granite countertop is fascinating, and the process is as painstaking as it sounds.

The story starts in the quarry where granite formations equivalent to thousands of countertops are found. Granite being a tough rock, miners don't come to the site with pickaxes and shovels on hand. Instead, they use heavy machinery like jackhammers and belt-driven cutters to prepare for the next step: the big boom.

That's right--the drilling and cutting only soften the granite chunk enough to be blasted off. Keep in mind that the quarry has to perform a controlled explosion for the chunks to slide to the ground safely. The wrong explosion may trigger a dangerous chain reaction that can render the quarry useless.

From the quarry, the granite blocks are shipped to a manufacturing facility. The blocks are rinsed with water while being cut into huge slabs, the water making it easy for the cutting tool to do its job and ensure a smooth cut. In the countertop industry, these slabs are called "rough plates," and will then be coated with resin and baked for a set time.

After polishing and quality control, the huge slabs are trimmed down to retail sizes. The rough edges are smoothened and the slabs cut to spec for shipping to countertop retailers around the world. The resources and the amount of work needed to make the countertop tiles justify its price.

One of the most popular and widely used materials for countertops is granite. Harder than marble, and with a wide variation in its patterns, this sturdy rock is one of the most suitable options for kitchen and bathroom use.

How is granite formed?

The term “granite”, when used commercially, refers to any type of crystalline rock formed from mineral grains that were compressed and subjected together to high temperatures. Because of the way they were created, these rocks are much harder and tougher than sedimentary rocks. The latter are formed by the compression of sediments under less extreme conditions, and include such varieties as limestone and sandstone.

The nature of its formation makes granite an igneous or metamorphic rock. Marble also falls under the same category, but is not as hard as granite. While granite and marble have very similar qualities, one property that officially sets them apart is hardness.

True Granite

To a geologist, however, true granite is not one that was formed from other rock particles, but from different minerals in liquid form, cooling to become rocks under the earth’s surface. Its mineral components include quartz and feldspar.

Other stones, such as gabbro, pyroxenite, and schist, are stone varieties different from granite, but are sold commercially under the general category of “granite”. Regardless of the variety, commercial granite can be expected to provide the same qualities of sturdiness and beauty that has made it a much sought after material for the home.

Without a doubt, granite countertops are some of the best additions you can have in your kitchen. After all, granite is durable, heat-resistant, beautiful, and doesn’t lose its value over time. However, you can’t just grab a granite slab and install it on your counter top on a whim, as granite is also one of the most difficult materials to work with.
For starters, granite is incredibly heavy and there’s a good chance that run-of-the-mill counters will not be strong enough to handle the weight. This is one of the reasons why many of those who wish to install granite countertops take things to the next level--they renovate their entire kitchen with better quality furniture and appliances. Granite is also unpaintable, which means that you have to ensure the slabs you get goes well with your kitchen’s color scheme.
If possible, you should also test for the authenticity of granite slabs before buying them. Other types of rock, like limestone, can mimic granite’s appearance but not its other strengths, like durability and heat resistance. One easy way to test for granite is to pour vinegar on the surface of the slab. Genuine granite can resist this acidic liquid, whereas other rocks lose their luster to it.

Furnishings like chairs, tables, and kitchen counters are all highly modifiable. For the counters, stone tops are still steadily holding their own. Writing for the Zillow Blog, author Alexa Fiander reiterates some tips for incorporating shades of black in your kitchen counters.

Trying a different color finish for the countertop is recommended by most interior designers. One way is by experimenting with black stone that has a leather-like finish to achieve a wood grain effect. However, since full stone slabs can be expensive, quality granite slabs are a great alternative. Fortunately, there are a lot of reputable dealers offering granite countertops in St. Louis, as well as other areas in the US.

Looking to give your kitchen a new style and feel? You might want to start with the countertops because they’re one of the things that most people notice when they visit a home. If you’re having a hard time finding a suitable material for your countertops, remember that you can’t go wrong with granite slabs.
Granite is an igneous rock and is one of the most widely-used construction materials in the world. It’s an excellent choice for kitchen countertops because it can withstand the significant heat and action that kitchens are normally subjected to. Granite is also easy to clean because it does not have pores where dirt, grime, and spilt liquids can lodge into. Finally, it is very beautiful to look at and hardly depreciates over time, making it a worthwhile and solid investment as far as home improvements go.
However, granite is also not perfect. Despite, or perhaps because of, its traits, granite is fairly heavy and can cause weaker kitchen counters and tables to buckle under the weight. Granite may also get damaged and leave permanent marks when scratched with a sharp object. To avoid these, make sure to consult with experienced contractors, and entrust the installation only with these pros.

As part of any home upgrade project, granite is definitely worth every extra penny. Despite busy chores done on its surface, the low-maintenance material exhibits strength and resistance to stains and damage. Its versatility also makes it possible to mix and match it with cabinets, wall paint, and other fixtures to either yield a timeless rustic appeal or a more contemporary interior.

Due to the nature of the stone, only professionals with enough experience in granite handling can guarantee satisfactory results when it comes to installation. Established companies like Granite Busters offers a wide variety of St. Louis granite slabs in their inventory. Maximize the potential of this popular countertop material by purchasing from industry leaders and entrusting its installation only to experts.