Ever wonder how your granite worktop went from the ground to your kitchen? Granite mining is a process that helps determine the quality of your granite, so it should be on your mind, whether you have recently purchased a granite worktop or are considering having one installed in the near future.
Granite can be found on almost every continent around the world and is extracted from under the ground in large slabs. It is made up of several different materials, such as feldspar, quartz, and mica, and is formed when magma cools under the earth. Because it is forced to undergo high amounts of pressure and heat while underground, it is extremely resistant to cracks and heat when it is used as worktops.
How Granite is Mined
There are three different ways that a granite worktop can be mined, and they are described below.
Blast Extraction- Blast extraction occurs when a charge is laid into a exposed rock. This is done by drilling a hole in the rock and setting the charge. The blast then follows, and allows miners to reach the granite and cut it into manageable slabs that can be moved to a different location. While this method is the least expensive way to mine granite, therefore providing a low cost product for homeowners, it can reduce the quality of the granite. This is because when the blast occurs, it can cause small cracks in the granite, which lessens the durability and strength of the slab.
Air Bag Extraction– Air bag extraction works similarly to blast extraction, except air is used instead of a charge. This means that instead of detonating the stone, the air simply increase the pressure on it. To use this extraction method, an air bag is placed in a hole that is drilled into the rock. It is then inflated. Because the method differs significantly from blast extraction, it allows minors to see where the stone will fracture and eliminates cracks in the granite.
·Stone Cut Extraction– If you want the highest quality, stone cut extraction is the type of mining method you want to be used. In this method, the stone is actually cut out, removing the danger of cracks in the granite and providing you with the highest quality slab available. However, although this method increases the quality, it can also increase the price significantly.
Once the granite is extracted via one of these three methods, the large slabs are polished and then cut into smaller sizes so they can be used in residential and commercial buildings. The slabs are typically found in darker shades, like brown, black, and green, but can also be found in other colours, depending on the composition of the minerals, like gray white, and pink.
The type of extraction method used for granite worktops can greatly affect the quality of your granite. If you are thinking of having a granite worktop installed in your home, make sure you take the time to determine how it was extracted and mined. This will let you know how durable, strong, and resistant to cracks the worktop will be and how long it will last in your home.