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All About Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a beautiful and durable choice for kitchen countertops for most discriminiating homeowners. These amazing slabs of stone could withstand acid rain, however using these as countertops requires a bit of work first. The life of granite countertops begins at the quarry. Giant blocks of granite get chipped off of a mountain to be sent to the factory.

Granite pieces are first measured and then experts drill holes so explosive cables can be inserted and set off to separate the pre-measured sections from the mountain. The massive blocks are then cut into a bit more manageable sizes (about ten feet long, five feet wide, and five feet high). Even these smaller blocks weigh well over 45,000 pounds each. The blocks are then sent to factories that create many different granite products including  marble countertops  granite countertops.

The factory begins the job with a process called ‘slabbing’. Using a gang-saw, which can cut the bocks into pieces less than two inches thin, the granite blocks are cut into slabs. Water is continuously sprayed while cutting the blocks into slabs, so that the blades won’t over-heat. It can take up to 3 days to create slabs out of a large block of granite. Afterwards the slabs are polished. Twenty polishing heads are incorporated to polish the granite slabs – each head finer than the previous one.

High gloss granite countertops must pass through all twenty polishing heads while medium gloss countertops only pass through the first ten polishing heads. There are some slabs that do not undergo polishing, most notably those used for non-slip flooring. These slabs undergo flaming. A propane flame with a temperature of nearly 2000 degrees Fahrenheit is passed over the slab of granite. Water is constantly sprayed on the slab to keep it from cracking.

The propane flame makes the quarks in the granite explode, thus creating an amazing rough finish.

After being polished, the slabs are then cut to fit into your kitchen counter and are carefully installed. Fixture settings are added to suit your kitchen’s unique needs – like the sink hole and faucet holes. Contrary to what many people believe granite is not at all porous and therefore will not absorb water. Not only that, but granite countertops are resistant to stains. Because of all this, these countertops do not require a lot of maintenance. Regular routine cleanings using a mild soap and water is all it needs besides a re-application of sealants every few years

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