How Are Granite Countertops Made? (5 Steps)

Granite countertop in a home

Granite countertops are a beautiful addition to any home, and they last longer than most countertops.

Moreover, dark granite can hide the mess that kids leave in the kitchen. So, cooking can be fun again!

But have you ever wondered how these beautiful stones become part of your home?

The process of creating granite countertops is actually quite fascinating.

It’s done in multiple steps: quarrying, cutting, polishing, transporting, and installing.

Here are each of the steps in detail so you can better understand the entire process of how granite countertops are made.

STEP 1: Quarrying the Granite

Granite forms by the slow crystallization of magma beneath the earth’s surface.

Depending on its mineral composition, granite can have unique patterns and colors like blue, green, gold, black, or white with dark grains.

When it comes to creating granite countertops, the process starts by quarrying the raw granite from shallow quarries.

Small holes are drilled into the granite stones in order to break them into transportable blocks.

To do this, engineers carefully plan and place just enough explosives in these holes so that a block of granite separates from the bedrock without breaking.

To prevent the block from cracking or splitting at the wrong angle, it’s made to fall on a bed of soft sand.

Once separated, earth-moving equipment is used to load these huge blocks of granite into heavy-duty trucks.

The granite blocks are then transported to slab fabrication facilities all over the world, such as Brazil, Italy, India, and China.

Each of these countries has large fabrication factories with advanced machinery designed to cut granite slabs.

Most of the granite used for the countertops in the U.S. come from either Brazil or India.

Plain-colored granite is also quarried from Vermont or Virginia in the U.S.

However, this granite is mainly used for general building purposes rather than countertops.

Related: Granite Countertop Cost: The Complete Guide

STEP 2: Cutting the Granite Blocks Into Slabs

At the slab fabrication facilities, the granite blocks are cut into 2 cm or 3 cm thick slabs.

Giant saws with either circular blades or diamond wire blades are used to make multiple slabs at once.

It can take up to an hour for these blades to go through a single foot of granite block and create even thick slabs of 2 cm or 3 cm.

These slabs are typically between 4 and 5 feet wide and 7 to 9 feet long.

Every slab is given a number in order to keep track of its natural sequence.

Thanks to modern technology, such as diamond wire-cutting machines, these slabs have become readily available on the market.

This has led to competitive prices that are friendly for any budget.

STEP 3: Polishing the Granite Slabs

Before the granite slabs can be shipped, they must be polished to bring out their natural colors and patterns and make them smooth.

This is done by passing them through slab polishing machines with large diamond polishing pads.

This process takes a few passes in order to get a quality finish since each layer of polishing needs more finely polished pads.

Once this is done, the top surface of the stone looks polished. However, it leaves the edges rough.

At this point, the fully polished granite slabs are ready for shipment.

Here’s a video showing this entire process in great detail.

STEP 4: Transporting the Granite Slabs

Once granite slabs are cut and polished, they are carefully packed into bundles of 6 to 7 slabs.

They are usually packed in the exact same order they were initially cut from the granite blocks.

This is done so that the slabs in the bundles have a consistent pattern and color.

These bundles are then carefully placed into large shipping containers and transported to the U.S. by boat.

At their destination, large cranes are used to transfer the slabs onto semi-truck beds.

From here, they are shipped by land to the wholesale suppliers.

These suppliers sell the granite slabs only to fabricators, which are companies that specialize in cutting, polishing, and installing granite countertops.

Fabricators visit these suppliers to buy the slabs and bring them to their showrooms or warehouses.

STEP 5. Installing the Granite Countertop

When choosing a granite countertop for your home, it’s better to check the full-size slab to make sure that it’s exactly what you want.

Seeing the slab itself is the only way to get a good sense of its color and pattern and determine how it will look once it’s fabricated and installed.

After you have chosen the granite slab, a trained technician from the fabrication company will come to your house and measure the cabinets with a digital device.

This is done to ensure accuracy during the installation process.

The fabrication company will then create a Computer Aided Design (CAD Drawing) to plan out how the slab can be best cut based on its pattern and size.

You will then be asked to see and confirm the design before the cutting of the slab begins.

Cutting is done using a combination of diamond blade and waterjet technology so that even intricate cuts can be handled.

From there, CNC (Computer Numeric Control) stone routing machines will cut and polish custom edges on the granite countertop and make cut-outs for any sinks or cooktops.

The countertop is then inspected for any needed hand-polishing finishes, sealing, and other details that couldn’t be done in the machine.

Once all of this is done, the fabrication team loads the countertop on a truck and carefully brings it to your home for installation.

They then attach the sink, drill holes for the faucets, and make sure that the cooktop fits perfectly into the cut-out made for it.

It’s best that the fabricators seal the granite countertop themselves at the time of installation, which will only take them 15 minutes.

Sealing helps the granite withstand moisture and prevents any liquid from getting absorbed.

To see if you need to seal your countertop, you can do a test.

Place a glass of ice water on the countertop and wait for 5 minutes.

If the watermark stays in the stone for more than a few minutes after removing the glass, it’s time for sealing.

Ideally, you should be resealing your granite countertop every year.

Dark granite countertops will usually not show stains as much as lighter ones.

So you can get away without resealing dark countertops.

However, since no two stones are identical, it’s important to always keep an eye out!

Here’s a detailed video of the complete installation process of a granite countertop.

Further Reading: Main Differences Between Porcelain and Granite Countertops | Granite vs. Quartz Countertops | How to Repair the 4 Common Granite Countertop Damages?


The process of making granite countertops involves quarrying the granite, cutting it into slabs, polishing the slabs, transporting them, fabricating the countertops, and finally installing them at your home.

While installing the countertop, it’s important to seal it to protect it from moisture and staining.

Sealing should be done at least once a year.

With proper care and maintenance, your granite countertop can last for many years to come.

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