Natural stone is no secret to most people. In fact, if you own a home, it is likely that your home has natural stone in it, whether it is your countertops or your flooring. Many people choose natural stone for a variety of reasons. Most of the time it is because it looks beautiful! The huge draw is that no two slabs are the same. Because it is made naturally by the earth, you can guarantee you will never have the exact same stone as someone else, which is a huge selling point for a lot of people.
Though you’ve probably seen natural stone all over the place, do you really know much about it? You may be wondering, “What is natural stone?” How it is formed, collected or made into countertops? Natural stone is an amazing addition to many different spaces and we want to help make you an expert on it, too! Here are the basics.
How it’s formed
Natural stone was created by a bunch of natural gasses cooling down, compressing and then solidifying. The type of stone that is created depends on what types of minerals were combined. This process took millions of years as the earth began to settle. There are quarries all over the world that have produced many of the stones that you know and love.
How do we get it?
Natural stone is formed in what is called a quarry. This is a large pit where stone or other materials are excavated from the earth. Clearing a way to get to the stone can sometimes be difficult and require quite a bit of work to remove dirt and other debris that will be in the way. A “bench wall” or a large chunk of stone will be removed, cut up and sent for processing. After that, slabs are cut out in fairly uniform pieces so that they can be sold or begin being processed.
Once the stone pieces reach fabrication, it can begin being turned into the slabs that will make countertops. It is run through giant saws that will make many slices at a time. It can sometimes take hours to get through one slab of stone. The use of diamond wire cutting saws has begun to speed up the process in recent years.
After the slabs are cut to the correct size, they will be polished. They are run through machines with diamond polishing pads to bring out the color and natural veining.
Once the stone is polished and ready to be sold, the slabs are transported to a natural stone wholesaler like us! Then, homeowners, designers or business owners are able to come to our showroom to take a look at it and pick their favorite slab. The space will be measured and the stone will be cut to perfectly fit the space. After that, it is up to the owner to be sure that proper care is being taken of the natural stone to ensure that it lasts for years to come.
If you have ever been left wondering, “what is natural stone?” you are now more knowledgeable! Whether you are looking to add in a natural stone feature to your home or were curious about quarries, natural stone is an amazing piece of our earth that can bring a natural and luxurious feel to any space!
If you need help choosing the perfect stone for your space or you have more questions about what is natural stone, give us a call today! At Firenze International, we can answer all of your questions and help you choose the best fit for you and your space.