Where Does Granite Come From?
Granite comes from deep within the earth. At once point, granite was magma, or melted rock. It took millions of years for it to cool, harden, then work its way up to the surface of the earth. Often, upheavals such as earthquakes or tectonic shifts heave the granite up. Many of these granites are found in pits, or quarries where they are available to be retrieved and put to use.
What Granite Is Used For
Because granite is a hard, massive, tough and durable stone, it has been used for building since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. It is also used for monuments because its toughness comes with the ability to be highly polished. Granite, even that exposed to the weather, can endure for hundreds of years without much damage or maintenance. At a smaller scale, granite is used for flooring, backsplashes and countertops in residences and office buildings.
Where It's Found
States that are famous for granite used for monuments include Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Other states where granite is plentiful are California and Georgia. Countries that export granite include Sweden, Germany, Brazil, China and Italy.
Unlike other stone, granite is not blasted out of the ground, because that would shatter it. It is removed by jet piercing or drilling. In the former, a very hot, high speed flame is used to cut a channel into the granite, and the stone is split along its grain like a piece of wood. In drilling, holes are bored into the stone. The granite between them is removed and then drilled again. After the blocks are removed, they are cut into slabs by circular saws with diamond tipped blades, then polished by machine. Some quarries add resin to the granite to fill in tiny cracks that might compromise the stone. The slab is then polished again to take away any excess resin. Then, the slab is inspected, carefully packaged and sent on its way to a retailer.