The production of natural stone is part art and part science. It is the convergence of transition and technology. It is a combination of the inspirational and the industrial.
For millions of years, a combination of heat and pressure created blocks of natural stone, including granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate. As the Earth’s crust began to grow and erode, it pushed minerals up from its core, forming massive rock deposits, which we refer to as quarries. Quarries are found in many counties throughout the world. People who have been quarrying stone for generations, work with precision and passion, with expert selection skills, and a devotion to their craft that is second to none.
At the quarry, giant blocks of stone are cut from the earth with diamond-studded, high-speed equipment.
This diamond wire cutting system has revolutionized the extraction process. The blocks of stone are then moved to a processing plant where they are cut into slabs.
The slabs are then sent through a polishing machine that puts the desired finish on the piece. A polishing machine operates using spindles that rotate polishing pads at high speeds over the top of the stone. Most of these polishing machines can produce several different finishes, from a rough, rustic texture to mirrored polish.
During this stage, the slab is also calibrated, meaning its surface is worked down to a relatively uniform thickness across the length of the material.
At the fabricator’s facility, the slab is customized for specific installations. Edges are shaped and polished. This is done with a series of small saws or router bits, which again, are diamond-studded and water cooled. They rotate at high speeds and pass along the edges of the slab to shape the sides into the desired edge detail.
Manufactured stone, also known as agglomerate stone, is a synthetic stone made from natural stone chips suspended in a binder such as cement, epoxy, resin, or polyester. Some of the most popular types of manufactured stone products are those made mostly of quartz. The natural quartz gives the product depth and radiance, while at the same time strength and consistency. It offers you the look of natural stone, but also can be a more cost-effective option.