But all of this may leave you wondering — how are granite countertops made? Let’s explore more about what granite is, where it comes from, and how it’s transformed into the beautiful countertops in your home.
What Is Granite?
Granite is a coarse to medium-grained intrusive igneous rock that is rich in quartz and feldspar. There’s a lot thrown into that definition, so let’s break down some of the key terms:
- Coarse to medium-grained: the individual rock grains are all visible to the naked eye
- Intrusive: the rock is formed by magma that cools and crystallizes beneath Earth’s surface
- Igneous: the rock is formed when liquid, molten rock cools to a solid state
- Quartz: the most common mineral on Earth
- Feldspar: a group of minerals that make up almost 60% of Earth’s crust
Beside quartz and feldspar, granite also contains varying amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. This unique mineral composition is what causes granite’s various colors. You can commonly find granite in colors like red, pink, gray, and white — all with dark mineral grains also visible throughout.
Not only is granite beautiful, but it’s also a very durable stone. It’s heat resistant, holds a great polished finish, and can resist multiple forms of abrasion, from scratching to chipping — making it the ultimate material for an elegant home addition.
Where Does Granite Come From?
Granite comes from deep within the earth. After cooling and hardening over millions of years, it rises up to the surface through upheavals like tectonic shifts. Then, the granite is found in pits, called deposits, where it’s able to be claimed and used for various applications.
Although there are granite deposits in many regions of the world, most granite comes from Brazil, India, China, and Canada. Each of these deposits has its own unique effects on the patterns and colors of the granite. For example, Brazil is home to one of the world’s rarest granites, Van Gogh, which has a beautiful blue color.
In the United States specifically, there are a few states that have the most deposits, including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
How Are Granite Countertops Made?
So how is this natural granite stone turned into stunning countertop pieces? Here’s an outline of what the process consists of before you can enjoy your new granite countertop:
- Large chunks of granite are drilled, chiseled, and/or blasted out of deposits.
- Milling machines cut it down into workable slabs, which are usually 4-5 feet wide, 7-9 feet long, and 3/4 – 1 1/4 inches thick.
- Other machinery with diamond polishing pads polishes the granite slabs to smooth them, reveal their natural colors, and enhance their shine.
- Slabs are packaged and sent in bundles to suppliers.
- Homeowners, builders, designers, and renovators make precise measurements for the size of countertop they’ll need.
- Computer aided design (CAD) plans the best way to cut each slab to fit size requirements and make the most of its pattern.
- Cut and polished countertop slabs are installed in the kitchen.
And just like that — your granite countertop is finished! You’re ready to eat, gather, and entertain with a new, elegant centerpiece in your kitchen.
If you’re looking for granite countertops, Kowalski can help. We offer a massive selection of granite countertop materials, and we’d love to help you find the perfect option for your upcoming renovation or building project. Contact our team online to learn more.
Kowalski Granite & Quartz
17169 Hayes Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
P (616) 842-1951
8:00am – 5:00pm
8:00am – 3:00pm
11:00am – 1:00pm
Our Facility is open to the public.
We encourage you to visit us.