Formed in nature, natural stone is a beautiful addition to any home. Unique in colour and texture, natural stone offers a limitless variety of choices. When you visit our Okanagan Tile Company showroom, you can wander through our display areas, pull out drawers filled with natural stone varieties and styles, and speak with our experienced sales team, who are there to help you with every aspect of your project.
How Natural Stone is made:
The formation of natural stone is made over time – minerals, water, even lava, is layered or transformed from temperature and extreme pressure into many different and beautiful stones. Granite is formed by the melting of magma, which is formed into stone when cooling. Marble is made from extreme temperature and pressure. Travertine and slate are created by the accumulating and layering of many different materials. From there, the man-made processes of extraction and manufacturing begin, ending in the wonderful array of natural stone products that you see in our Okanagan Tile showroom.
- Blocks of natural stone are cut out in quarries using specially made saws that are diamond coated.
- Cuts are large, making for unbroken slab surfaces.
Removal & Transport:
- Weight is an issue – some blocks weigh over 30,000 pounds.
- Heavy machinery and equipment roll the blocks to remove them from the quarry.
- After carefully loading and securing, trucks transport the stone to the manufacturing factory.
- In the factory, special equipment is used to cut the stone into the proper dimensions for all types of uses – slabs for countertops and feature walls, and tiles for flooring, wall, bathroom and kitchen backsplashes and detailing.
- Vein-Cutting is when the blocks are sliced along the layers, creating colourful and long veining.
- Cross-Cutting is when the blocks are sliced across the layers, making large sections of colour with unique variations.
- Some manufacturers offer book matched stones – where the final product has been carefully selected from one cut of stone – so that the overall look of the surface will have familiar similarities.
- Finishing created different looks – sanding creates a polished look. Less sanding creates a honed, or matte, look. Many different finishing techniques – hammering, tumbling, brushing – result in beautiful and unique textures and styles.
- Many natural stone products require filling to close the surface pores – this protects the surface from abrasion and moisture, and maintains its integrity and beauty.