Many home and business owners have begun implementing natural stone in their design due to its true beauty and value. But what is natural stone exactly? Natural stone is a material that is quarried out of the Earth and used for a variety of purposes, including kitchen and bathroom countertops! The process of getting natural stone from the Earth’s surface and into your kitchen is much more extensive than you might think. From cutting, polishing and transporting natural stone, this process can take some time.
At Firenze International, we are one of the leading natural stone distributors in the Midwest. Our team has many years of experience and can tell you exactly what is natural stone. Below, we detail the process of how natural stone gets quarried from the earth and transported into your kitchen!
Over 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians discovered the Aswan quarries, which are known for their red and black granite as well as limestone. This was primarily used for structures that became historic pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
The ancient Greeks took notes from the Egyptians and built the Temple of Artemis. This temple had over 100 marble columns and steps. As a result, the Greeks are known to be the first to use marble in residential areas.
During the Renaissance Period, Michelangelo started the idea of adding design to marble. People were fascinated by the way it looked and began to use marble for table surfaces, thrones, public bathrooms and gardens.
Today you can find natural stone countertops, tiles, fireplaces, walls and more! It comes out of quarries from around the world and is transformed into beautiful art-like pieces for your home!
There are two types of quarries, open-pit and underground. Today the methods have advanced tremendously! They require less manpower and are not as dangerous as they once were. The techniques are known as; blasting, jet-burner channeling, diamond-wire saw, wedges and feathers. It’s common to use more than one method to remove a block.
Quarries can be found all over the world, from Italy, China, Spain, India, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Once the blocks of stone are cut out they are moved to a processing plant where they will get cut into slabs. Once the slabs have been cut, the stone is sent through a polishing machine and it can have a variety of finishes from rough to smooth textures.
A stone's size can vary, but if one is being used for countertops the most common size is seven feet high by seven feet wide and that would total 90 square feet. To put that in perspective, it would weigh about half a ton! Yeah, that’s heavy!
To transport the blocks, holes will be put into the end of each block and a boom is used to move the block onto a truck. Then the next step is to transform it for your home.
If you have been looking for natural stone countertops, there are three different types of finishes you should consider. The finishes are: polished, honed and brushed. Polished in the most common and makes natural stone shine, honed is perfect if you want a matte look and brushed is great if you want your natural stone to look “natural.”
The process of taking natural stone from the Earth and getting it into your kitchen is much more extensive than one might think! Hopefully, this information helps answer the question, “what is natural stone”!
At Firenze International, we offer a variety of services with our natural stone slabs, including delivery, finishing and different payment options! If you are in need of natural stone slabs, contact us today! We are more than happy to help you with your next home project!