How is Stone Flooring Made?

It may take up to 300 million years for molten rock to cool and harden into a product that can be dug up, cut, and served to a consumer but no matter how long it takes it is always a hit in a home. To get from a rock in the ground to an elegant flooring option in your home takes work and skill. Once a large deposit of a certain type of rock is found, excavation can begin.

In modern quarries, workers use high-speed tools and controlled explosives to mine the rock into squares to be shipped. This method keeps the price of stone lower. Often, giant stones are cut from the earth with diamond studded, high-speed wire saws. Diamond wire has revolutionized cutting stone by hand. In the past, workers would use hand tools and even today some artisans still use those tools.
The blocks of stone are then taken to a processing plant to be cut into slabs. Once again, modern technology makes this process easier and faster! High-speed gang saws cut the block of stone using 12-15 foot blades. This process takes 2 days to fully cut a single block. You can of course do this by hand, it just takes a few years longer.

In order to be presentable for customers the stone must then be polished. The polishing machine uses spindles that rotate polishing pads at high speeds over the top of the stone. Most machines can produce an assortment of finishes, from a rough, rustic texture to a mirror-like surface. While it is being polished the machine also calibrates the slab. Calibration is a process of machine honing the back of the piece to either a smooth or ribbed finish. Calibration insures the same thickness for the whole slab.
A block of Granite being cut into slabs.
Next the slab is ready for fabrication. Fabrication is the process where the slab is shaped into specific shapes to be sold. Edges of the slab shaped and polished with a series of small diamond-studded and water-cooled saws or router bits. If the slab is to become tiles then it is cut down into smaller squares. Once fabrication is done then the pieces are sent to be polished again before they are ready for the consumer!

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