Marble Countertops: From Quarry to Kitchen

Marble and granite slab countertops are practically a staple in most kitchens and bathrooms. But have you ever wondered just where those flawless stone slabs come from? Turns out, it’s quite the journey!

We’re following the process of one of our go-to suppliers, Terrazzo and Marble Supply. On their blog, they chronicle several journeys as to how they mine and shape their slabs in their “The Story Behind the Stone” series.

Image via Terrazzo and Marble Supply

The journey begins in a quarry in remote areas of Italy, Brazil, and even as close to home as Vermont. Marble and granite are mined from the earth in large chunks, almost like loaves of bread. Once a chunk, called a “bundle,” is chosen, it’s most often shipped to Italy to be cut and polished.

To achieve the tight, granular patterns, the stone is sliced vertically, like one would slice a loaf of bread. For the striated patterns (otherwise known as vein-cut) and for those that have a soft flow or movement that have become more popular in the past few years, it is sliced horizontally, from top to bottom.

Though no two natural stones are alike, it’s important to be sure to purchase consecutive slabs from the same bundle. Patterns on such consecutive pieces are more likely to flow and fit together better, as opposed to slabs from two different ends, or completely different bundles.

Once the pieces are cut and treated, they’re then shipped all over the world to be sold. The next time you’re admiring your granite countertops, think of all the places it’s been before it ended up in your kitchen!