Cutting Natural Stone with Water-Jets

Fireplace with water-jet cut stone

Using stone slabs in intricate patterns is now easier than ever. The result of patterned stone work has become more precise and efficient with the technology of water-jet machinery. Cutting granite and marble slabs with water-jets is widely used from basic sink cut-outs in countertops to custom designed floor patterning. The sky’s the limit when it comes to possibilities with this kind of technology. The jets are so powerful that they are able to penetrate through a natural stone slab with very little effort. This enables the slab to be formed in nearly any shape, especially patterns that include curves or tight radiuses.

One example of water-jet technology enhancing stone patterns is custom flooring fabricated with 2cm thick slabs cut into pieces that fit together like a puzzle. Similar patterns are achieved with Terrazzo because the material is poured into place much like concrete. Unlike granite or marble floors, terrazzo is made up of crushed stone and fillers that have a limited color palette and, in many circles, has become old-fashioned and dated. Granite and marble slab floors on the other hand have a wide variety of patterning and color options. Natural stone slabs are a timeless choice that never go out of style.

Cutting stone with a water-jet is also 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 would be fireplace surrounds, shower walls, or wall art. Cutting curves and waves into the natural stone slabs can be done effortlessly with the water-jet machinery. Although any cut pattern in stone is impressive since the material is extremely dense, cutting curves or waves is inspiring. Stone is naturally found in nature rough and rigid, so when it is shaped with a curve it balances the hard stone with a soft pattern that is pleasing to the eye.

Countertops that are unusually shaped are no problem with the technology of water-jets. Kitchen islands and custom furniture are the most popular places that the granite or marble countertops are designed in unique and non-rectangular shapes. Whether the island top is to be a geometric shape with straight lines or an organic form with curves, cutting the stone with the water-jet process is a precise method that allows the designer or homeowner to become more creative. A common shape for kitchen island countertops is one where three sides are straight and the forth 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 with the beauty of natural stone. Round and oval-shaped tables are easy to create with water-jets machinery. This technology has opened the doors to designing spaces with granite and marble slabs in more unconventional and artistic ways.