What is Quarried Granite? How Your Countertops Are Made

Written by Kyle Murray on November 08, 2019 REVIEWED BY Samantha Peterson

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Last updated on October 07, 2021

Granite countertops can be found in many of today’s homes. This beautiful natural stone is very durable and easy to care for – qualities that can attract any homeowner. But granite countertops do not magically appear; they are made by a process that often sees the stone travel across the globe before it gets to your home. Beyond just countertops, granite is one of the world’s most common building materials. This guide will teach you what quarried granite is and how it becomes your new countertop or other home surface. 

What is a Quarry? 

As the term implies, quarried granite comes from a granite quarry. Quarries are places where natural stone is extracted from the earth.  


How is Granite Quarried? 

In this particular case, granite is an igneous rock that is extracted from below the earth’s surface. Once it is cut out of the earth, it is shaped as a granite block. To separate the granite from the bedrock, carefully placed explosives blast it away. After it is extracted, the blocks will later be cut into slabs using machinery. Granite is an example of dimension stone – stone that has been quarried to obtain blocks or slabs that meet specifications for size and shape. 

Granite’s Journey: From the Quarry to Your Home
Step 1 Granite is extracted from the earth using carefully placed explosives
Step 2 Granite blocks are shaped into slabs
Step 3 Granite slabs are shipped to fabricators
Step 4 Fabricators shape the stone according to your needs
Step 5 Your granite is delivered and installed

Where is Granite Quarried? 

Granite is quarried in locations all over the world, from Brazil to India to China and even the United States. Many active quarries in the United States can be found in Vermont and New Hampshire. 

What Happens After Quarrying? 

Once granite is shipped to a fabricator, the slabs will be cut to accommodate the specific needs of your countertop or other surface. Slabs are typically 2- or 3-centimeters thick. The fabricator will shape the stone for any angles, cutouts and edges you will have on your countertop. 

What Can Granite Be Used For? 

As mentioned above, granite is one of the most popular building materials in the world. The stone can be used to build anything from countertops in your home to some of the world’s most famous monuments. 

Are All Granite Slabs the Same? 

No, all granite slabs are not the same. In fact, one of the major appeals to granite is that each slab is unique – even ones that come from the same quarry. Slabs cut from the same block will be put into bundles, which ensures that similar looking granite stays together. Because your countertop typically requires more than one slab, this will prevent you from having part of your countertop look totally different than the rest. 

While they hold their own appeal, engineered stone surfaces such as quartz can have multiple slabs that are produced to look identical. When you choose granite for your new countertop, vanity top, backsplash or other home surface, you can know that you are getting a material that is truly one-of-a-kind. 


What Are Granite Remnants? 

Once slabs are cut into countertops, there is often leftover pieces of granite. These pieces are called remnants. Remnants can often be suitable for smaller home installations, such as shelves. For more information on popular uses of granite, check out this article

How Are Granite Countertops Installed? 

Once the surfaces are cut to the specific needs of your countertop, they will be delivered to your home and installed. Adhesive is used to bond the countertops to the edge of your base cabinets. 

Can You Install Granite Countertops on Your Own? 

You will need to have a professional install your granite countertops. Granite is very heavy and is not recommended to be handled by even the most skilled homeowners. Hiring a professional will let the job be done correctly and prevent you from sustaining any injuries. 

Granite quarrying makes some of the world’s most beautiful stone, and one of the most popular building materials, accessible. Without granite quarrying, there would be no granite countertops, backsplashes or other surfaces. This guide can help you know what quarried granite is and how it is transformed into a beautiful surface for your home.

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