What is Granite?

Few rock surfaces can rival the beauty of granite. It’s an igneous rock that forms when the crystals within the earth’s magma crystallize slowly. This creates a rock that can have shades of white, pink, gray, or red dispersed throughout. The name ‘granite’ comes ‘granum,’ the Latin word for ‘grain.’ Indeed, it is granite’s grain that gives the rock its most distinguishing physical characteristic.

Granite is the most well-known igneous rock in the world. Ninety-five percent of the earth’s crust is made up of granite and other igneous rocks. Most of it is found in mountains and hills.

Its smooth texture and interesting mix of feldspar, crystal, mica, and amphibole make it an excellent choice for many kitchen and bathroom surfaces, including granite countertops. It’s a logical choice for these surfaces due to its durability. If it’s properly cared for, it can last a lifetime and then some.

Where Does Granite Come From?

Granite comes from granite quarries all over the world. As such, each type of granite takes on the visual characteristics of the minerals that are most prevalent in the ground in the region it’s taken from.

For example, Chinese granite tends to be predominately brown in colour. Granite from Brazil is more pink and blue. But those aren’t the only places where granite is found. The answer to the question, where does granite come from is this: It’s found in many countries around the world (besides Brazil and China), including India, Spain, Italy, and North America.

Quarrying Granite

Extracting granite from its mountainous quarry requires workers to put long drills into the ground until they are able to form a block of granite with their drills. It’s then pulled loose from the rock bed using water jets or the jet piercing process. Sometimes, explosives are even used to remove the rock from the mountain.

Cutting the Granite

A special saw, called a slab saw, is used to cut the block of granite into slabs. Slicing through the stone with the saw can take hours, sometimes even a day. The saw cuts slabs of granite all at once. These slabs of granite eventually become your granite tiles and granite countertops.

Treating the Granite

Once quarry workers have cut the slabs of granite, it next gets sent to a warehouse, where it is treated with resin. This gives the stone much of its beauty and fortifies it as well.

Granite Grades

Granite is separated in low-, mid-, and high-grade granites. Low- or commercial grade granite typically comes from China. It’s thinner than other types of granite found elsewhere in the world. Brazil and India produce much of the world’s mid-grade granite.

Granite has a hardness of 6 or 7 on the Mohs scale, a scale which classifies the hardness of minerals. The Mohs scale goes from 1 to 10. By comparison, marble comes in at 3 to 5 on the scale. Diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs scale.

For more information about granite countertops, care and installations in London, ON and surrounding areas, contact the professional installers at Regent Granite.