a. Natural stones are quarried from almost every continent. Currently most of the exotic granites are imported from Brazil and India while marble and limestone are often imported from Italy, Turkey and Spain. Caayu continues to build relationships with quarry owners from all areas supplying exotic stones from the far reaches of our planet.
Slabs are sections of stone cut from blocks that were extracted from the ground. Blocks of stones that are quarried are transported to a manufacturing facility where they are cut into thin slices known as slabs. Slabs used for countertops in the US market are usually either 3cm (1 1/4”) or 2cm (¾” thick). Once cut the slabs are then face polished and sent to local distribution centers. For quality assurance, slabs are always identified by the block number in which they came from and each slab is uniquely numbered for consistency. Projects that require more than one slab should always be cut from the same block matching unique slab numbers as closely as possible.
A polished finish will be reflective and have deeper colors. Honed finishes have a matte finish and will be lighter in color. A brushed finish will resemble the honed finish with a slight orange peel texture. Generally speaking all three finishes are well-suited for kitchen countertops. Caayu recommends increasing your sealant regiment 2 times for honed and brushed finishes due to its increased porosity.
Natural stone by nature typically has veins. The veining patterns will vary in color and intensity depending on the stone you select. Natural stone blocks can be cut in such a way to control the vein pattern and direction. Slabs with obvious vertical, horizontal or diagonal veins were most likely cut using the most common vein cut method. Another option for cutting natural stone slabs is floral cut or flower cut. This method reduces the veining striations and creates a tight swirl or flower pattern. Slabs that have been cut using this method will sometimes be called “fiorito” a derivative of the word flowery. Granite blocks can be floral cut however due to granite’s natural characteristics, veins patterns are not as pronounced, limiting the effect of the alternate cutting method. Irrespective of the way natural stone blocks are cut the performance of the stone will not change.
There is a common misconception that natural stone is blasted from the ground using dynamite or other damaging explosives. Quarrying natural stone blocks are more on the lines of a surgical extraction then a demolition. Small holes are drilled into the surface of the quarry every few feet perforating the area to be extracted. Once all of the holes are drilled they are filled with expanding cement or split open using metal spikes and wedges. This newer less invasive method does less damage to the environment resulting in less “natural” fissures and has contributed to the increase in exotic materials that are now currently available.