Important Granite Facts
Many people who decide to add stonework to their home design and decor consider using granite; facts about the versatility and beauty of this type of stone will convince most that it is the best choice for the job.
The earth’s crust is made up of three types of rock; sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. Granite is an igneous rock; meaning that it formed underground when molten rock, or magma, flowed into crevices and niches of the ground. These pockets of magma cooled over time, becoming igneous rock. Another form of igneous rock forms above ground when magma from deep within the earth’s crust pushes upwards toward the surface, erupting from the ground through a volcano. The molten rock, or lava, flows over the surface crust, cooling and becoming igneous rock.
The main composition of granite is three minerals: quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase feldspar. These three minerals provide the granite’s coloration, which can appear as pale gray, pink or white. Secondary minerals interspersed throughout the rock offer glints of brown, green or black. When the minerals compressed during the formation period, they merged in a form similar to that of an interlocking jigsaw puzzle, which results in granite being the second hardest substance on earth; surpassed only by diamond.
Granite, facts show, can be found virtually anywhere on earth. There are areas that possess a heavier concentration of the rock, and these locations have emerged as the leaders in exporters of granite. India, Brazil, Italy, China and some areas in Africa contain quarries of granite, which is excavated in immense blocks. Granite that is found near the top of the quarry has less strength and hardness than that which is found deeper within the earth. Compression caused by the weight of the earth pressing down upon the granite creates a harder product that is more suited for many functions.
After the granite blocks are harvested from the ground, it is then cut into slabs. The slabs are shipped worldwide to distributors. Depending on the purposes the granite will fulfill, the slabs will then be sold to a variety of individual businesses after being inspected for quality. The higher quality pieces are then polished, using abrasives and diamond wheels; a process that brings out the sheen, texture and pattern of the granite in preparation for commercial sale.
There are many purposes for granite; one of which is for the home. Facts about its durability, beauty and variety of color have made it one of the most popular choices for countertops; actually providing an increase in value to the home in which it is placed. It has several highly desirable properties that help to promote its use in kitchens, some of which are:
- It is naturally stain resistant; easily cleaned with only soapy water and a soft cloth
- It is bacteria resistant (2nd only to stainless steel in cleanliness)
- It is heat resistant; a pan can be removed from the oven and placed directly on the granite surface with no fear of damage or marring to the countertop.
- The natural melding of minerals creates a myriad of color and pattern occurrences; making these granite countertops amenable to most any décor.
- Granite is considered to be investment grade
- Adding granite countertops in the home is considered to be the #1 remodeling project in the U.S.
With the many impressive facts about granite, it is understandable that the rock is such a popular selection for many homeowners. Versatile in use, beautiful in appearance, durable and impervious to many outside influences, granite can be the perfect choice for just about any job.