Did you ever wonder where granite comes from? We mean really think about it?
Granite is Mother Nature at her finest. A natural part of the Earth’s landscape, this prehistoric rock provides some of the most spectacular natural land formations right here in the U.S.A. – think Mt. Rushmore and Yosemite National Park. Granite is also widely associated with countertops. But before it ends up in your home, it makes an incredible journey from a quarry to your kitchen or bath.
If you’re shopping around for a granite countertop, or you already own one, Lexmar USA has a little history lesson behind how this little piece of earth came about.
Granite is formed from hot lava, or magma, that cooled millions of years ago. If you’re from Pittsburgh and you ever made the trek to the Carolina coastline, you may be shocked to find you drove right through an area well-known for its massive granite quarry. Mt. Airy, North Carolina – or as it known in the granite industry, “Granite City” – is home to some of the finest granite in the world. And while it boasts the largest open face quarry across the globe, U.S. fabricators also receive pieces of this unique rock from other countries like Italy, Brazil and Finland.
If you have a chance, stop what you’re doing right now, and watch a video on how granite is mined. We think it’s an extraordinary sight. Mining granite is a carefully planned process that involves precise drilling and explosives. A large piece of granite, is essentially, sliced off from a natural rock formation, falls into a massive bed of sand to cushion the fall, and further gets transported to places around the world.
These huge slabs are placed on massive, hydraulic wheel-loaders built specifically for hauling loads up to 35 tons, or 70,000 pounds. Depending on where the quarry is located, say Spain, China or Brazil, the huge slabs may travel across seas for U.S. fabrication. Once they arrive in the U.S., advanced cutting machinery is used to cut them into more manageable slabs, where they are further cut down to size.
It takes nearly an hour to cut through just one foot of granite. Many facilities are turning to diamond blade wire cutting to speed up the fabrication process. And, while advancements in machine technology are more expensive, the speedier process has recently driven the overall price of granite down. The smaller, raw granite slabs are then cleaned and polished with more machinery and sent off to a local fabricator, like Lexmar USA.
Once we receive our granite shipments, we store it onsite so customers can handpick their own piece of nature’s creation. Once you’ve decided, we proceed with definitive measurements, templates, further fabrication, installation and maintenance education.
Lexmar USA is a Pittsburgh’s favorite for granite and quartz countertops. Located in Historic McKeesport, we offer unique natural rock countertops at competitive prices. Stop in or call us for a FREE QUOTE today – 412-896-9266