Buy Smaller Slabs for Countertops
The big slabs of granite or marble are very expansive. There are genuine reasons for the expensive price of the big blocks. Quarries generally produce smaller blocks. Big blocks are available less on any quarry. Quarry owners prefer making big blocks because big blocks are sold expensively.
But the nature of granite and marble doesn’t allow this. The most of the production of any quarry is smaller blocks in long and short sizes, which are not appropriate to make big size slabs. So quarry people sell these small blocks at lesser prices.
The lesser priced smaller blocks are cut on a verticle cutter and not on the gang saw or wire saw machine to get slabs. Lesser priced blocks make the price down of the overall material.
Problems using Small Slabs of Marble and Granite
- Thickness Variation
- Bend in Slabs
- Polishing Quality
These problems were so big to handle and the material processed on old machines were so cheap in quality. The cutting part was most pathetic. Imagin getting one slab of 22 mm thick and another as 25 mm thick. The vibration of old machines makes a bend in slabs, from one side the slab is 17 mm and from another side, it is 25. The slabs were of no use for high-quality projects.
The polishing was done manually by single head machines, in such polishing you get waves in the polishing. The Chinese abrasive had made it worse. The polishing came with different layers and the material comes out was shiny but with the problem of layers which shines differently.
The solution for problems
But now thanks to the new technology available, everything has changed. The new machines cut the material with the tolerance on less than 1 mm. Nowadays small cutting machines are totally computerized by PLC and CNC programs. The programs are so perfect that the tolerance is even less than many gang saw machines.
Now, the polishing is done on automated machines, which can polish up to 4 feet or 120 cm width and up to 15 feet of length in granite and marble. We use the machine of 16 head to polish the small size slabs. The slabs do not have the problem of uneven polishing and slabs are polished from every corner. There is a single layer polishing with the highest achievable gloss.
The processing price of smaller slabs in granite and marble is much lesser than the bigger slabs. A single slab of granite has a cost of cutting as around 15-20$ per Square meter or 1 to 2$ per Square Feet, while on the small slabs the cost of cutting is just 6-7$ per square meter or less than 1$ per square feet. This is a huge price difference in the cutting of granite on a small cutter and big gang saw machine.
As for the polishing, there is not much difference in the prices, however, the handling cost is also lower on smaller slabs than the big gang saw cut slabs.
The general price range of small slabs is almost two-thirds of big size slabs. The size of these slabs is width 70 cm to 90 cm and length as 200 cm to 320 cm, which is enough to use it as Kitchen Countertops. The size is also very important since the fabricator will have less wastage of granite and it will make the overall cost down. You can reuse the wastage for making backsplash tiles. The fabricator can use small slabs in different projects as well.
Many companies in the world already follow the above practices and get the premium quality granite and marble at cheaper prices. There are advantage and disadvnatage of both. But f you are working on big commercial projects these tips can save you a lot for money.