by Aaron Cook
We’ve had a busy Spring, filled with exciting trade shows and events, the acquisition of super-cool new equipment, and shopping for truckloads of beautiful and unique new stones. One of the highlights of our Spring Renewal was a day trip to an ornamental stone factory in Brazil. While granite does come out of the ground (quarries, to be exact), the huge chunks of rock (and I mean HUGE) have to be cut and processed before they end up in showrooms like Prestige Marble & Granite. It was such an interesting experience – Brazil stands out for being the country with the greatest diversity of ornamental stones in the world, besides having one of the largest existing reserves – and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience it first-hand and to share what I have learned with our customers!
This Brazilian factory, Decolores Mármores e Granitos, is located in the municipality of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, in the state of Espírito Santo. The town is the economic hub of southern Espírito Santo, and is the most important producer of marble and granite in Brazil.
Our factory tour began inside, with the attractive stone-filled offices.
Then, the real fun began, as our tour moved out into the factory. Here’s a look at the fascinating Pedrini machine. It uses diamond wires to cut massive blocks of stone into 28 slices, 1-1/4″ thick, in just four to six hours. The water flows constantly to keep the wires from burning up, but it is 100% recycled, so there is zero waste.
Another interesting factory show to watch was the resin-filling process. Some (not all) of the exotic stones are filled with resin because they have natural micro-fissures. The resin is applied with a squeegee-like tool, and the slabs are then run through a special convection oven on a conveyer to cure. The process fills the minute cracks, improving the qualities of the natural stone and ensuring that your beautiful stone is virtually free of defects.
It was just amazing to see these huge cut and uncut blocks of stone!
And did I mention the fabulous view?
We’re your Middle Tennessee source for high quality, rare and exotic natural stones. We have something for every taste and every budget. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!