by Jeremy Troetti / June 25, 2019
Table of Contents
Last updated on September 23, 2019
You may look at your granite countertops and wonder: How are granite countertops made? The answer: That is the role of stone and granite fabricators.
Granite does not simply appear ready made for a countertop. The journey of the natural stone is more complex than you may think. The voyage of granite from the quarry to your kitchen is broken down below.
Where Does Granite Come From?
Granite comes from quarries all around the globe. Most of the granite from the United States comes from quarries in Vermont and Virginia. Once the granite is quarried, it is transported to the fabricator.
What Exactly is Granite?
Granite is one of the most dense and durable materials you can use for a countertop. In addition, the natural stone is very attractive. It is one of the most popular countertop materials. Granite is first formed underneath the earth’s surface, when magma cools, allowing for large crystals of minerals to develop. The crystals give granite its color. Granite comes in many different colors, as well as differing patterns. Colors range from the more subdued white and black to flashier colors like green and red.
Having a granite countertop will offer you many benefits, both in terms of looks and practicality. Some of these practical benefits include heat and scratch resistance. You can set down hot pots and pans on your granite countertop, and even cut directly on it with kitchen knives. However, this is not to say you should not take proper care of the stone.
What Does the Fabricator Do?
Stone and granite fabricators do much more than just receive the material from quarries. Stone and granite fabricators help you choose the stone that will be right for your home remodeling project, based on a variety of factors. This process begins with templates and measurements to determine how much stone will be needed to complete the job. After this, other factors can be assessed, such as your preferences for color, shading, veining and more. Specifically, granite comes in many different varieties.
Stone and granite fabricators also check the stone carefully before it is used for your countertop. The stone is analyzed thoroughly to determine that it is structurally sound. Each slab of granite is unique, even if it is quarried from the same area. This makes it very important to test the structural integrity of the stone before it is used to build your countertop.
Process of Stone and Granite Fabrication
The process of stone and granite fabrication starts with a final inspection of the material. The fabricator will look for any blemishes, scratches, fissures and seams that may be present. The slab is viewed closely to determine its best appearance.
After this, the shaping process begins. First, the stone is cut to a specific thickness. Next, any support rods and drain boards that may be necessary are installed. After this, the stone is smoothed. Lastly, it is washed, dried and has the sealer base coat applied.
Helpful Information to Know
The more you know about the stone and the fabrication process, the better. While you do not need to be an expert by any means, there are some things that will be useful to know before choosing the stone you will use for your countertop.
Choosing Your Stone
It is a good idea to have some background knowledge on the stone you want. For example, if you are looking for a durable natural stone that is perfect for the kitchen, granite is a good choice. However, if you are looking for something very elaborate, marble may be suitable for you. It is recommended that you do some research on stone countertops before making your decision.
Personalizing Your Stone
Every household will have different countertop needs. Some kitchens require a large countertop and others small. Either way, it is highly recommended that you visit the fabricator. By meeting with the fabricator, you can work out factors such as the placement of seams and the length of any overhangs. Every stone will be different, so meeting with the fabricator can ensure that your countertop will look just how you want it to.
Get an idea of pricing before choosing your stone. As mentioned, each stone is different. Because of that, prices will also differ. In most cases, the more exotic the stone you choose, the higher the cost will be. Make sure to also factor in the cost of labor for the installation process. Additional elements that can impact pricing are thickness, cutouts and decorative edging profiles. To get a better idea of cost, you can use this Estimate Tool.
Before having your new countertop installed, make sure that your old countertop is clear of any items. Installers will need to remove your old countertop and put in your new one and will need enough room to work.
By reading the prior breakdown of what fabricators do, you now have a better idea of just how your countertop makes its way into your home. Without fabricators, none of this would be possible.