Between the beauty, durability and multitude of other positive qualities granite has, it is not hard to see why so many homeowners choose the material to complete their remodeling projects. Despite being so popular, there are likely many things that you wouldn’t happen to know about this magnificent natural stone. The following are 15 interesting facts about granite.
Granite does not simply appear naturally as a slab. The stone is cut from rock beneath the earth’s surface. Granite is an igneous rock – one that is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma. Other types of rocks include sedimentary rocks (limestone, travertine, etc.) and metamorphic rocks (marble, quartzite, etc.).
It has been estimated that granite has been around for as long as 300 million years, making it one of the oldest rocks in existence.
The name ‘granite’ is derived from the Latin word ‘granum’, which refers to a coarse grain. The name was given to the stone due to its coarse-grained structure.
Granite is composed of many minerals, including quartz and feldspar.
Granite is also what’s called a “plutonic” rock, meaning that it forms deep underground. Granite is the main component that makes up the earth’s continental crust.
Granite ranks at an 8 on the Mohs scale, which is used to measure hardness. The scale ranks minerals from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
Granite has been used to build some of the most famous structures in the world. The natural stone has been utilized as a building material since the time of Ancient Egyptians. Some examples of structures built from granite include Mount Rushmore and the base of the Statue of Liberty. Examples of natural granite can be found in many places, from New Hampshire to the Yosemite Valley. Granite quarries exist both in the United States and locations worldwide, from Brazil to China and many other countries.
Granite has always been an in-demand building material. Because of this, it helped lead to the creation of one of the United States’ first commercial railroad systems. This railroad, referred to as the Granite Railway, connected Quincy, Massachusetts with a dock. At this dock, granite was loaded onto boats and transported to nearby Charlestown.
Many homeowners mistake fissures for cracks. Fissures are naturally occurring separations in the stone that do not compromise granite’s structural integrity.
Because granite is so hard, it can actually damage any kitchen knives that cut on the surface. While you can cut on your granite countertop, it is in your best interest to use a cutting board.
Just as you can cut on the surface, you can also set down hot pots and pans on your granite kitchen countertops without having to fear damages. However, as with cutting boards, you should use trivets and hot pads in the interest of caution.
When homeowners think of granite, many think of white granite, black granite or other common colors, like beige. Granite can not only be found in these colors, but many more. Additional color options include pink, green, blue and others. The reason for the various colors of granite, in addition to quartz and feldspar, is the presence of small amounts of mica amphibole elements and so on.
Granite is one of the easiest natural stone surfaces to care for. The only true maintenance you will have to worry about is cleaning and re-sealing, both of which are very simple processes. Always remember to use cleaners suitable for use on granite and/or natural stone. With most types of granite, you will only need to re-seal about once every year.
Granite is a highly desirable material in the home. Because of this, the natural stone can add value to your home – something that can be particularly helpful if and when the time comes to sell.
Granite, like most other natural stones, is porous. This means that liquid and stains can pass through the pores and work their way down into the stone, causing damage and discoloration over time. To prevent this from happening, you will have to keep up on sealing.