I guess this is a personal thing, what do you prefer aesthetically? but if I was designing my dream kitchen it would always feature real marble, maybe classic Carrara or my new favorite, Arabescato… either way, there’d be marble and lots of it!! Its smooth finish feels cold and expensive and oh so luxurious and although you can get pretty close, I think its beauty is unmatched and impossible to totally replicate. I guess I’m the kind of person who would choose something for its beauty and not just for its function. Oh, and if you’re into cooking and baking, a marble top is a must – the cool surface is ideal for rolling doughs and fresh batches of pasta with minimal sticking!!
There’s a piece of geologic history in every slab of natural stone. The beautiful slabs of granite, marble, and quartzite showcased at Bhandari Marble World truly offer a glimpse into the past. The movement in the stone that visually catches the eye like fine art is a real representation of the movement of the Earth over time.
Why Is Location Important?
Various locations around the world experienced different geologic pasts. Some regions were marked by dramatic earthquakes as the Earth’s tectonic plates crashed into each other, eventually forming mountains over time; other regions grew mountains more slowly with the gradual shifting and lifting of the tectonic plates. Still, other landmasses spent millions of years underwater, accumulating vast deposits of limestone and calcite that also eased its way closer to the surface of the soil as the Earth adjusted itself. From all this, very slow activity – and the pressure under which the layers of minerals and other debris melded together deep beneath the grasses and forests and mountains and volcanoes – came natural stone. Many of these same stones adorn kitchens, bathrooms, and showrooms around the globe, including Bhandari Marble World.
The History of Granite and Quartzite
Granite, for instance, is an igneous stone formed from magma. Most granites began as molten magma deep beneath the Earth. As tectonic plates shifted, the magma moved closer to the surface and slowly cooled to form the stone we all know as granite today. Different minerals present at the time the granite was formed account for the large variety of granite available around the world.
Some unique “granite” variations include the black granites, such as absolute black. Absolute black, and some other black varieties, were formed from volcanic magma that cooled rapidly, closer to the surface of the Earth. These granites are technically basalts.
Metamorphic stones, such as quartzite, were formed entirely from pressure. Quartzite is formed from grains of sand that fuse together and crystalize under pressure. Sandstone, though less durable when it comes to staining, is closely related to quartzite – the only difference is the level of pressure the mineral composition has endured. The colors present in quartzite and sandstone come from the sands and other minerals that were carried through the sand by water.
The History of Marble
Marble is another metamorphic stone, formed from the oceans. Shells and other calcium-rich debris made of calcite or dolomite formed crystals under intense heat and pressure, deep underground. Marble is found in most mountainous regions that were at some point in time underwater. The top marble producing countries are Italy, Spain, and China.
Marble has been excavated for centuries. The Carrera quarry in Carrera, Italy is among the oldest quarries on Earth that is still in production. Michelangelo’s statue of David, carved in the early 1500s was chiseled from Carrera marble, for example. Bhandari Marble World today sells exquisite marble from the exact same quarry in Carrera, Italy. Calcutta Gold is another popular marble.
Another more modern marble, called Fantasy Brown, comes from much more recently discovered quarries in the Northern India region of Rajasthan. Fantasy Brown is actually a combination of marble and quartzite. The ingredients that form the two types of stone layered over each other over time and fused together under the pressure of the Earth above, creating a lovely, neutral-colored stone that is durable and versatile. Bhandari Marble World also carries plenty of Fantasy Brown, as it is one of the most popular natural stones for kitchen and bathroom countertops today.
The raw stone used to produce slate floor tile can be found in mountains around the world, with productive quarries in Europe, Asia, and across the Americas. The region that the material is sourced from will determine the constituent chemicals present during the formation of the stone, which will, in turn, affect the look and characteristics of the slate in its finished state. Foreign materials, while unusual, are often more expensive due to the fuel costs to transport heavy tiles.
Slate is generally sliced from the earth in the form of rough, massive slabs. These slabs are then cut down into smaller, more manageable slabs and tiles. These pieces are often gauged, a process which evens out the back to make them easier to install. The surface of the slate can also be further refined or left in its natural state. Slabs are generally used as countertops, with smaller thinner tiles of varying sizes used for flooring.
While stone is a natural product, it is also very heavy, so the fuel expended to get it from a far-off location to a job site may have an impact on the environment. Irresponsible mining techniques in countries with fewer regulations can also lead to unsafe working conditions, and physical damage done to the land itself if the slate is removed in too aggressive a manner.
Gauged/ungauged: At the time it is extracted, the slate is a rough, broken material like you would expect from any rock you find on the ground. When refined into tiles, natural stone generally goes through a process where the material is gauged, which refers to flattening the back in order to help the tileset into the mortar during installation. If the back is not flattened then both sides will be rough and bumpy. Known as ungauged slate, these materials are usually reserved for outdoor applications where they can be sunk into the ground for stepping stones.
Crafted: After being sliced into tiles slate is still naturally going to be bumpy and broken. In many cases, this is desirable, as it makes the material feel more rugged and earthy. When the surface is left un-refined it is called cleft, although the term “natural” is also often used to refer to it looking more like it would in its untouched mountain born state. Crafted slate has great traction, even when wet, but if the ridges are too extreme it can be uncomfortable to walk on barefoot.
Honed: In some cases, slate tiles will be polished to the point where they have perfectly smooth surfaces. This process dulls both the dimensionality and the colors in the stone, though the material does retain the same basic hues. When you touch the face of a honed piece of slate, you will feel that it still has some traction, though less than crafted floors will. Another effect of honing is that tiles will be more likely to show stains, and will be easier to scratch.
Polished: This is a process where the tile is refined to the point that it actually glistens like marble. Very few slates have the textural temperament to achieve a polished finish, and those that do are easy to scratch and damage. However, the look can be simulated with honed tiles, through the application of multiple coats of seal and finish. Some special wax treatments can also be used to achieve the necessary glowing appearance.
Solid: These tiles are predominantly one color all the way through. The consistency of hue, and tone, across a single tile and across tile lots can vary to differing degrees in different types of slate. Floors made from solid-colored stone materials tend to be more formal and subdued. However, the unity of appearance does make it easier to see dirt, and small stains or scratches will be more visible.
Multicolour: Many slates will have multiple colors within their surface. These can be matched hues, or they can be wildly contrasting, depending on the type of material. When dealing with multi-colored stones you don’t get the uniformity of solid color pieces, but the floors tend to be more eye-catching and exciting. There are numerous multi-colored slate lines on the market, but the veins of material do tend to vary over
New Discoveries of Quarries and Technology
New quarries are always being discovered, adding to the various customers who have now grown to expect. All types of natural stone are quarried from the Earth using pit mining techniques. Prospectors will scope out a location where natural stone is expected to exist and look for a small outcropping of stone that has become exposed by wind and rain. Once a site is selected, the soil and plants above are cleared to make way for machinery to excavate the stone.
First, diamond-tipped drills are used to bore holes into the rock to extract a core sample. The sample is analyzed for the stone’s quality and characteristics. It needs to have low porosity and adequate hardness to serve as a natural stone surface. Once the quality of the stone is verified, natural cracks are located or more holes are drilled, where small explosives are precisely placed to blast apart the rock with minimal damage. It is important that the stone is removed in square blocks so that it can easily be cut into even slabs.
The whole process of finding a new quarry site and obtaining the environmental permits to proceed with the quarry operation can take several years. Despite the wait, the production of natural stone slabs is growing as technology advancements make it easier and faster to mine, as well as to cut extremely hard stones. Quartzite is among the hardest of stones and was not heavily mined until the 1990s when advancements in stone cutting technology made it easier to slice into slabs. Advancements in technology, using diamond wire cutters, instead of gang saws, also made cutting the stone more environmentally friendly by reducing waste.
The natural stone suppliers for Bhandari Marble World are located all around the world. Brazil is among the top suppliers and is one of the largest exporters of natural stone in the world. Brazil produces granite, marble, quartzite, and many exotic stones, such as blue Bahia, Patagonia, and Fusion. Bhandari Marble World also imports natural stone from Italy, India, and Africa.
The vast array of natural stone available on the market today and at Bhandari Marble World makes it nearly impossible for someone looking for a natural stone countertop to walk away from the showroom without at least a few possibilities to ponder. Even if a person stops in for a look around, chances are they will be amazed at the variety of stones. Aside from the forest itself, or a natural history museum, there are few better reminders of the diversity of nature than visiting a natural stone showroom.
Added by expert and export team of Bhandari Marble World Kishangarh Rajasthan 305801