Cutting Natural Stone with Water-Jets

Creating intricate patterns on stone slabs is now easier than ever. The patterned stone work has now become precise and efficient with the advent of water-jet machinery. The water-jets are so powerful that they can penetrate through a natural stone slab effortlessly. This enables the slab to be formed in nearly any shape.

Enhanced patterns
One example of water-jets enhancing stone patterns is custom flooring fabricated with 2 cm thick slabs cut into pieces that fit together like a puzzle. Similar patterns can be achieved with terrazzo as the material can be poured into a place much like concrete. But unlike granite or marble floors, terrazzo is made up of crushed stone and fillers that have a limited color palette. Granite and marble slab floors, on the other hand, have a wide variety of color options.

Unique wall features
Cutting stone with a water-jet is a great solution for creating unique wall features. In addition to natural stone countertops, granite and marble slabs can be installed on a vertical surface. Stone slabs come in large rectangular pieces that make an impressive wall feature when installed upright. The most common vertical applications include fireplace surrounds and shower walls. The natural stone slabs can be cut into curves and waves using water-jet machinery. Although any cut pattern in stone is impressive since the material is extremely dense, cutting curves or waves is inspiring. The stone naturally found is rough and rigid and when shaped to a curve, balances the hard stone with a soft pattern that is pleasing to the eye.

Countertops that are unusually shaped are not a problem for the technology of water-jets. Granite or marble countertops designed in unique and non-rectangular shapes are popularly used in kitchen islands and custom furniture. Cutting the stone with the water-jet process is a precise method that allows the designer or homeowner to become more creative – they can design the island top to a geometric shape with straight lines or an organic form with curves. A common shape for kitchen island countertops is one where three sides are straight and the fourth extends past the cabinets with an arched overhang for bar stools. Granite and marble slabs make an ideal table top that is easy to maintain. Round and oval-shaped tables are easy to create with water-jet machinery. This has opened the doors to design granite and marble slabs in more unconventional and artistic ways.