If you’re interested in granite countertops or surfaces in your home, you’re probably already aware of its beauty, and probably some of the performance characteristics that make it an excellent countertop material. But what makes granite so special?
Granite is a gorgeous and unique natural stone. “Natural stone” means that it isn’t an engineered material like quartz countertops—granite is mined from the Earth and cut into slabs, which are then used for countertops, tabletops, fireplace mantles, and more. Granite is an igneous rock (aka magmatic rock), which means that it is formed through the cooling and solidifying of magma. It is an intrusive igneous rock: granite is formed beneath the Earth’s surface when a magma intrusion in the existing rock solidifies.
Despite the fact that many so-called granite slabs you see for purchase are dark in color, granite is generally a light-colored rock. This is due to its mineral composition; granite contains quartz and feldspar, as well as amphiboles, mica, and other minerals. The mineral composition of slabs varies, which is why each slab is unique in terms of its pattern and coloring. The mineral composition is also what makes granite a strong and high-performing material. Quartz is a 7 on Moh’s scale of hardness, which means it is very hard; this makes it extremely resistant to erosion. Feldspar is also relatively hard and gives granite it’s light color.
Raw granite is mined from granite quarries all over the world; Brazil supplies much of the world’s granite, and granite also comes from Italy, China, and India, among other places. Once the granite is mined, the raw granite is milled into cut and polished slabs. When the granite reaches the consumer, it is usually in the form of a slab. When a customer selects a granite slab, it is then fabricated into the correct shape for the application, in most cases, countertops.
Granite has lots of variety in appearance and color, and because it is a natural stone, each piece is unique. Additionally, it is a heat, scratch, stain, and bacteria resistant stone. These features make it an excellent material for countertops and other home applications.
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