Granite is quarried in different locations throughout the world. Hundreds of colors and patterns are available the most popular areas for granite is Brazil and India. Typically blocks are extracted from granite quarries that are located high in the mountains or underground. These blocks are then transported to the factories for processing. The blocks, average 9 by 5 feet and 5 feet deep. We only purchase our slabs from factories that are equipped with the latest Italian equipment - as we believe that this give us the best in finished products! The blocks are cut to the desired thickness which here in the New York area is 1 3/4" (3cm). After the slabs are cut they are sent through a large multi-head polishing machine, which puts a natural shine on the face of the slab using diamond polishing discs. Several other finishes can be applied to the slabs at this time such as honed finish, flamed finish, sandblasted & brushed, honed & brushed(Leather finish), and water jet finish.
Granites are available in a wide range of colors and veining.There are beige, green tones, red, blacks, violets, golds, and browns. The color of the stone is dependent upon the region of the world that the stone comes from. The size of the quarry, its location, accessibility and demand for the materials will effect the pricing. Labor costs in various countries also effect material costs.
Variations in color and veining should be expected in certain types of granites and is very acceptable. No two pieces are the same, making natural stone unique. In our slab yard we keep all of our slabs in "bundles" on each A-Frame which means that the slabs comes from the same block and quarry. These slabs should be pretty consistant in color veining and overall movement. The beauty of natural stone is in part due to the wide range of color variation and crystallization found in each slab. These variations is what makes natural stone so beautiful, and each slab a piece of art.
Due to the high density, and resistance, low absorrption rate, and scratch resistance, granite can be used for a wide range of applications your imagination is your only limitation!
Is the shine and surface appearance of all granite the same?
Not all granite finishes are the same, this is due to the different minerals in the granite that will polish out differently. All of our slabs are inspected visual and also with a glossometer to check the polishing quality. We have minimum standards for all these things, and for each color. For example, our blacks typically need to be a glossometer of 100 or higher or the material is rejected by our inspectors. Some granites have "fisures" or small surface cracks which may be filled with a resin at the granite factory. These "fisures" are in no way a defect and will not effect the quality or longevity of the stone. If this is a concern, please direct questions to the sales representative or your Fabricator, Designer, or Architect prior to fabrication or installation.
The first step is to make sure that your granite is sealed using a good grade, silicone-based, impregnating sealer. Followed by stone soap/granite cleaners or granite polishes for your regular maintainance. There are now many products made for cleaning and also available are food friendly products so that food can be directly prepared on your granite countertop. Just be careful when cutting anything on your granite surface (you won't scratch it) but you will dull your knife. For basic every day cleaning any mild soap and water will do the trick. It is recommended to reseal your natural stone every two years depending on overall use.
Consult your professional fabricator for further details and reccomendations to proper care and re-sealing your stone