One of the 7 wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis built in 550 BCE used marble for its construction. It featured 127 marble columns that were each 5 stories high. It would still be standing now but conquerors destroyed it on purpose.
Marble is a popular and beautiful, natural stone. Buildings and decorative elements have featured marble for thousands of years.
The process has changed since workers had to hand-cut and finish the stone. If you’ve ever wondered how is marble made, read on?
How Is Marble Made?
Before cutting marble countertops begins, the process begins by measuring the existing countertop. Technicians cut a template so that the new marble countertops are the right fit.
Once the template is ready, it goes to the shop. There the template is set on a digitizing table. The right dimensions are input into a computer program.
Designers add holes for the sink, cooktops, and faucets to the digital copy. They also set the edge details.
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Transport of Raw Materials
The next step involves moving the marble in preparation for cutting.
The steps on how to make stone slabs are not as simple as you might think. Moving large chunks of marble stone requires care to ensure that it is not damaged during the drive.
Big containers are often packed with raw rocks. Rubber foam placed on the sides Both of these hold the marble slabs in place. It also ensures that the marble slabs don’t smash each other during the bumpy drive.
At the shop, the rocks are painstakingly removed with great care. As marble is expensive, it is important that none of the raw material goes to waste. Special cranes and winches help remove the big slabs from the trailer.
Cutting and Water-Blasting
The next step is to turn the large slabs of marble into usable sizes. A crane lifts a huge stone block onto a block the block or gang saw. The computer-inputted dimension dictates how thick to cut the slab.
Large computer-operated saws are needed to cut these large chunks of marble. Handheld saws are not powerful enough to do these cuts. The computer-operated saw allows for precision that makes sure the final product is exactly the right fit.
Next, computerized arms move the cut slab to the CNC machine.
The slab is cut by several bridge saws and routers. The cutting process is completely computer-generated.
Once the 1-inch thick slabs are ready, they are blasted with a strong power jet. The jets spray water at more than 200 miles per hour and at pressures more than 70 pounds per square inch. This speed and pressure are dangerous and so masons stand behind safety walls during this process.
The powerful jets of water smooth out the edges and surfaces of the marble.
Finishing and Detailing
The computer’s mechanical arms move the marble countertop to the polishing machine. Here, polishing pads grind the slab’s surface to the finish that the homeowners want for their countertop.
Different grades of sandpaper help buff the marble more than once to the right finish. The coarseness of the sandpaper gradually decreases with each sanding. Some machines have a laser that ensures the finish is even all the way over the countertop.
Next, it’s time for polishing. This process gives the marble the beautiful glassy finish that consumers love.
If desired, intricate details can be worked into the marble.
The order of steps that are required to bring marble stones from a rock quarry to a home has basically remained the same since ancient times.
Large blocks are cut into slabs and then shaped and polished ready for delivery.
It is only the technology and machinery that has evolved drastically.
In our day, 3 types of machines are used to make stone slabs. These are saws, polishers, and routers.
Making marble countertops requires the use of several types of saws.
A block saw or gang saw first cuts the massive blocks into slabs. The latest type of saws uses water jets combined with an abrasive substance that cuts smoothly and quickly.
A bridge saw then cuts the stone slab into the right shape such as for an L-shaped countertop.
During the polishing stage, polishers can turn the marble into a variety of finishes.
Polishers have rotating pads that have different levels of abrasive grits. The smaller the grits, the more polished the marble will look. The varying levels of grit make marble a very versatile stone that can be custom-made to suit any preference.
Polishers can make marble as shiny as a mirror or can use a slight polish for a soft look. It’s even possible to polish decorative elements onto the marble such as a hammered or flamed look.
Diamond covered routers use a spinning blade to make the countertop edges. Water cools down the diamonds as they shape the edges with optimal precision.
Routers make edges on marble slabs. They also cut designs into marble mantle places or fireplace hearths.
Countertops can have simple edges or very decorative ones thanks to the work of routers.
There you have it. You now know have the answer to how is marble made. You have an overview of how marble gets from the quarry into your kitchen.
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