Now one of the most popular materials for countertops, granite is the most common igneous rock found on Earth and the main component of the continental crust. Believed to have been formed roughly 300 million years ago, granite is known as a “plutonic” rock, meaning that it is formed deep underground. Created by the crystallization of magma, granite is composed largely of quartz, feldspar, mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. Its name comes from the Latin word “granum,” meaning “a coarse grain,” due to the grain-like patterns of red, pink, gray, white, and dark colors seen throughout it.
Ways Granite is Used
Granite has a long history of many uses. For thousands of years, it has been used as a building material for bridges, roads, monuments and other structures, including the base of the Statue of Liberty. Mined all over the world from quarries in Brazil, China, India, Italy, and Norway, granite was the impetus for the first commercial railroad in America, the “Granite Railway’ out of Quincy, Massachusetts.
Known as a “dimension stone” for the way it is quarried and cut into blocks or slabs of specific length, width, and thickness, granite is currently used to make a variety of products, including paver stones, floor tiles, stairs, veneer, and, of course, countertops. While it was once considered a luxury item, too expensive for most, over the last few decades, granite’s durability, scratch-resistance, and beautiful grains have made it one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials on the market.
Durability and Design
The ideal material for countertops that get a lot of use, when properly sealed, granite is impervious to stains, heat, and water. One of the hardest substances in the world, second only to diamonds, granite has a density of about 162 pounds per cubic foot, making it over two times heavier than the same volume of water. This means that if you’re cutting food on a granite countertop, using a cutting board will do more to protect your knives than the granite. It also makes for easier clean up.
Each slab of granite is unique, and they come in a huge variety of shades, patterns, colors, and thickness. It’s extremely flexible in regards to room design and works for a variety of different aesthetics, making it a great compliment for any home. And when it’s properly cared for, it can increase the resale value of a home, making it a fantastic investment.
Considering that it is a natural product, granite does have pours and needs to be sealed. It is recommended that it be resealed yearly to avoid discoloration from things like spilled coffee, wine, or other liquids. Though it is one of the most durable materials around, it can still chip and crack with too much abuse. However, with proper care, a granite countertop can easily last the life of your home, offering easy cleanup and maintenance while increasing the value and beauty of your home.
Check out our showroom today to find your favorite slab of granite!