What is granite?
Granite is an igneous rock. This means that at one time during its development, it was melted like volcanic lava. Unlike lava, however, this melted rock never reached the surface. It remained trapped inside, where it slowly cooled and crystallized, resulting in a very uniform, speckled stone that ranges in color from blacks and grays to pinks, browns, and reds. Polished granite is a very durable stone, much harder than marble. Granite has been popularly used for commercial purposes for many years. Granite can often be found on building exteriors, interior walls, and high-traffic floors. Granite will withstand almost any element including heat and cold.
Why should I choose granite? What makes natural stone different?
In a word, time. It has taken millions, if not billions of years, for Mother Nature to create natural stone. Even the finest synthetic stones can't match natural granite's beautiful range of colors and textures, versatility, durability, and lasting value. There are many factors that affect the ultimate graining and coloration of natural stone. These factors include underground springs, mineral deposits, earth shifts, temperature, natural solutions in the earth and the pressure exerted on these elements over time. Obviously, there is no way to duplicate these factors in a laboratory or manufacturing environment. Because of the vast differences in the conditions that created the stone, every block extracted from the earth is different. The hand of man has played no role in the process. Even after the stone has been removed from the quarry, there is little human intervention, except for cutting and polishing, to bring out all of the uniqueness and natural beauty. Nothing is done to alter the natural state of the stone. That way the number of different colors and patterns of natural stone is virtually limitless. True, some common types of stone have a similar look, but no two pieces are ever exactly alike.
When it comes to resistance to bacteria, heat, scratching, staining and overall performance, granite is in a class by itself. Unlike other countertop surfaces, granite is highly heat resistant, which is a very important consideration in kitchen applications. Quartz surfaces will burn at just over 330 degrees. With too much heat, other surface materials may warp, crack and/or discolor, ruining your countertop. It is virtually impossible to damage a granite surface by accidentally placing a hot pot on it. You cannot say that about other countertop materials. Also, most granite will not fade in sunlight, which tends to be a problem with some artificial surfaces. Indoors or out, granite is an all-purpose material, which makes it the perfect choice for the newly popular outdoor kitchens. In the unlikely event a countertop is stained or otherwise damaged, it usually can be restored to near original beauty and utility.
Selecting Granite or Stone for Your Home
Choosing granite for your home is a very personal decision, much like selecting wallpaper or artwork. You have many options when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting natural stone or granite for your home. While there is a complete spectrum of stone colors and grades to consider, some are better suited than others for particular uses in and around your home. This website can help you explore your options and offer guidance on choosing the best granite countertop for your home.
Granite and Stone Colors
Natural granite stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colors. Colors in granite and marble can range from soft beiges and pinks to classic black-and-whites. They are also available in rich corals, greens, and multi-colors. Marble traditionally features swirls and "veins" of colors, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance. Unlike artificially manufactured stone materials, natural granite has a naturally varied appearance and has wonderful character. Granite stone creates a one-of-a-kind effect everywhere it's used.
Granite and Stone Hardness
The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion. One measure of a natural stone's strength it its Measurement of Hardness (MOH) rating, of which 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. On the MOH scale, most marbles rate "3" and quartz-based granites rate "7." Using a softer stone requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching.
Seams in Granite Countertops
Granite countertops in larger kitchens quite often will require seaming of the granite slabs. Great care is taken at the time of installation to minimize the appearance of the seam. However, natural stone cannot be made seamless. We want our customers to understand that seams, when done properly, are as natural as the stone itself. Please ask any questions you may have regarding seams and countertop installation. We want our customers to fully understand the limitations of natural stone.