Granite is one of the heaviest minerals and as such is often difficult to work with. But its strength, durability and resistance to scratches makes it a building material homeowners seek to incorporate into their kitchen, countertop and bathroom designs. Granite is mined from quarries around the world and comes to retail outlets in large slabs. These slabs must then be broken into smaller, rough shapes and then sanded before they are set into place. With the right materials, you can safely break up granite slabs without ruining the granite in the process.
Things You'll Need
Air hammer drill
Dexpan or other brand non-explosive demolition agent
Select a non-explosive demolition agent such as Dexpan or another brand made of 2.5 percent ferric oxide and 89.6 percent calcium oxide, as well as a small amount of organic resin.
Mark a line with water-soluble chalk where you want to break the granite. Drill holes that measure 1-1/2 to 2-inches wide into the slab of granite along that line. Space the holes 12 to 24 inches apart. Make sure each hole is about 80 percent of the total depth of the granite slab.
Mix the non-explosive demolition agent with clean water, according to package instructions. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes. Mix one part agent with three parts water in a bucket until the powder is completely dissolved into liquid.
Clean the holes with an air compressor hose before filling them with the mixture. Fill the holes two inches from the top with the mixture and then back away. Allow 45 to 60 minutes for the mixture to expand within the hole and cause the granite to break along the line you created.
Avoid pouring the mixture when temperatures are extremely high. If possible, pour the mixture and allow the granite to break early in the morning or in the evening after the sun sets. Place a tarp over the holes, if they are exposed to direct sunlight, until the slab breaks.