Natural stone is formed starting miles underneath the Earth’s surface … It’s formed over time by water, minerals and lava. Some stones are created by the slow accumulation and layering of materials. Other stones are formed when rock is transformed by extreme pressure and temperature, also when rock is melted by magma and reformed into stone when cooled. Once the stone is extracted from the mountain, the blocks of stone are broken down into a more manageable size. These pieces are then cut into slabs using a high-powered gang saw.
Natural Stone Extraction
Giant blocks are cut from quarries using diamond coated saws. Large cuts are great for efficiency and making large unbroken slab surfaces. Saws are used for clean and consistent cuts, with diamonds providing the needed strength to cut through.
Natural Stone Removal
Getting the blocks out of the quarry is no trivial matter. These blocks can weigh as much as 40,000 pounds, about the same weight as 4 African elephants! Blocks are carefully rolled down with heavy machinery until they leave the quarry.
Natural Stone Transportation
Extra care is needed to load and secure these enormous blocks into trucks to be transported to the factory. Getting to the factory isn’t always easy. Some quarries are located in remote areas, far away from developed roads.
Natural Stone Cutting
Once at the factory, the blocks are cut into the dimensions of the final product.
Types of Cuts
How the stone block is cut can dramatically alter how the resulting stone looks. Stone is formed over thousands of years as layers of sediment gather and solidify. Cutting across or along these layers will result in very different patterns.
When the stones are cut into slices, the order is carefully preserved. This allows customers to buy sequential cuts from one block of stone. These cuts can be arranged side by side, creating a mirrored look with a seamless transition, a practice known as book-matching. Not all natural stone providers offer book-matched slabs, MGSI is proud to offer a large range of book-matched slabs.
Natural Stone Finish
The stone surface is finished for different effects. Commonly, the surface is finely sanded, creating a smooth polished look. If the surface is sanded slightly less, it creates a smooth matte look, known as honed. Stone can also be finished to achieve more dramatic textures, such as tumbled, hammered, brushed or flamed.
Natural Stone Care and Maintenance
Stone can last a lifetime, but it needs a little bit of help to maintain its beauty. Stone naturally contains numerous microscopic holes, also known as pores, allowing spills to seep in, staining or damaging the stone. Sealers fill in the holes, keeping liquids out.
In the pictures below, you can see how sealer can prevent water from being absorbed into the stone.
Types of Stone
Granite – BROWSE GRANITE PRODUCTS
Quartzite – BROWSE QUARTZITE PRODUCTS
Marble – BROWSE MARBLE PRODUCTS
Dolomite, Schist, Sandstone – BROWSE SPECIALTY PRODUCTS
Soapstone – BROWSE SOAPSTONE PRODUCTS
Limestone – BROWSE LIMESTONE PRODUCTS
Travertine – BROWSE TRAVERTINE PRODUCTS
Onyx – BROWSE ONYX PRODUCTS