How Stone Worktops & Flooring Are Made
Stonewright UK's journey begins with molten earth. Allowed to cool and then harden for 300 million years. Once uncovered all these years later, the stone is sliced and polished. But as with any good formula, the unique technique is paramount.
The word “quarry” originates from the Latin word for “squared.” Back in ancient times, quarrymen would cut building blocks from the quarry. In some places the methods for cutting the stones remain the same, with some artisans cutting by hand with only very simple hand tools.
However, these artisanal quarryman must compete with modern day high-speed tools and controlled explosives can extract stones with speed and efficiency, which is what, allows a stone floor to be affordable to the every-man.
Once removed from the earth, blocks of stone are taken to a processing plant where they are cut into slabs. High-speed gang saws fitted with several blades, make simultaneous parallel cuts. This part of the process takes about two days to completely cut a 20-ton block of stone. Doing this by hand is possible; however it can take years longer.
Spit and Polish
A polishing machine will use spindles which rotate polishing pads at high speeds over the stone. The machines generally allow a variety of finishes, from a rough, rustic texture to a mirror-like surface.
During the polishing process, the slab is also calibrated. Calibration is a process of machine honing the back of the piece to either a smooth or ribbed finish. This also ensures the same thickness for the whole slab.
The Stone Fabricator
This stage of the process is the customisation for specific installations. Fabricators take large slabs and sharpen the edges and polish them up with a series of small diamond-studded and water-cooled saws or router bits.
For example: If the slab is destined to become tiles, it is cut down into smaller squares in a range of sizes. Then each tile is sent through for a final polish.
So now you know the how and where the only question which remains is; where will you use it in your home?