Granite has become the go-to surface for bathroom and kitchen countertops, as well as fireplaces, outdoor stoves and any number of decorative and functional items found in homes and buildings today. Granite surfaces add an air of elegance and increase the value of any home. They also have the durability to last for the life of the home with minimal maintenance.
How Granite Cutting has Evolved
One of the most important elements of granite countertops and other surfaces is a perfect fit. The technology for cutting granite has improved significantly over the years to ensure that. This is a look at how the top granite retailers are able to provide perfectly cut stone.
Granite used to be manually cut. However, that method left dimples and ripples in the stone. With manual cutting, it was nearly impossible to get a precise countertop fit with no gaps. However, most fabricators (the people who actually craft the stone into countertops or other surfaces) now use machines to ensure that the stone matches the space where it will be installed perfectly, and is the precise shape and design that is desired. The most advanced tool is called the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine. The CNC machine does more than cut. It also saws, routes, etches and finishes the stone.
As the name says, the machine uses computer-generated technology that allows manufacturers to get accurate measurements that are not possible with manual processes. It provides a perfectly straight cut. A CNC machine also can cut stone into shapes that allow the granite to be used for sinks, fireplaces, round tabletops and even carved statues.
How CNC Machines Work
After a design is made on paper, the fabricator translates it into a computer-aided design (CAD) program that will be interpreted by the computer, which directs the cutting of the material. In addition to granite, CNC machines can also be used for wood, plastics and aluminum.
Patterns can be programmed into a CNC machine to make the same item multiple times, which saves time and frees up fabricators to focus on the finishing. Unlike human beings, the machines can run 24-7.
When you go to a granite retailer, ask how their fabricators cut their granite. If the salesperson doesn’t know, find someone who does. How the granite is cut is essential to how it will look and fit. Granite countertops and other surfaces are not inexpensive, and you want to ensure that what is installed in your home will be just as beautiful as what you see in the showroom.