FAQ’s – Granite Facts & Frequently Asked Questions
Granite was formed by the titanic forces of the earth’s colliding techtonic plates as many as 100 million years ago. It is almost as hard as diamond and is primarily made of quartz (35%), feldspar (45%), potassium, and trace elements of calcite.
The minerals in granite came from the same liquid and gas minerals that formed the earth. The earth developed as a massive body of gas and liquid minerals that slowly cooled and condensed to a solid core. Through pressure, the earth’s crust began to form and heavy minerals were forced down to the core of the earth where they were trapped. As the crust got thicker it squeezed around the inner core, thus creating intense pressure and heat. Crystals and other solid forms began to grow from the mineral vapors that were being released. As the earth’s crust began to expand and erode, heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals up to the earth’s surface. Over time colossal rock beds of granite were formed. Many of these beds are now quarries where granite stone is currently mined.
Grantie quarries are found throughout the world, with most located in Italy, Spain, Turkey, United States, Mexico, China, Taiwan, India, Greece, Canada, France and Brazil.
Granite stone is quarried as large blocks that are usually 10 feet long and 6 feet square. These blocks are then cut into sheets called “slabs.” The surface is ground away in a multi-step process that smoothes the surface until it achieves a high gem-like polish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is granite good for kitchen counters?
A: Granite is very hard stone that’s formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives, pots and pans. In addition, it is unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid.
Q: Can granite be damaged?
A: Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect sealed granite under normal circumstances.
Q: What is honed granite?
A: Granite is called “honed” when the polishing process is halted just before a reflective shiny surface is achieved. This process gives a softer, matte appearance to the stone.
Q: I’ve seen samples of granite that has pits on the surface. Will I have these on my kitchen counters?
A: Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. You don’t see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-like. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks but are not structural defects. These fissures are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure process that formed the granite milllions of years ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material.
Q: Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A: You can cut on your granite countertop, but we don’t recommend it. Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
If you have additional questions about granite, or about our services in general, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.