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Granite Knowledge: Formation, Properties and Applications

granite-countertop-kitchen

Granite often plays a dramatic role in Earth’s spectacular landscapes. This majestic igneous rock not only creates majestic peaks and ramparts in nature, but also reveals its presence in many ways in our daily lives. Granite, a hard stone formed by volcanic activity, is not only widely used in construction and decoration, but is also loved for its diverse appearance and color.

These rocks often lend their buildings, kitchen countertops, and artwork a powerful beauty with their unique appearance and texture. From majestic mountain peaks to home renovations, granite adds color to our lives with its versatility and durability.

In this popular science article, we’ll delve into the origins, characteristics, and importance of granite in modern society. We’ll uncover the story behind this rock and discover why it’s such an important part of our lives. Let us walk into this colorful magic stone of nature and explore its wonders.

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Table of Contents

I. What is granite? How did it form?

According to statistics, granite is one of the oldest rocks on earth, with a history of more than 300 million years. Granite is the most widely distributed igneous rock and is mainly mined in countries such as Italy, China, Brazil, India and Norway. Barre, Vermont, meanwhile, is home to the largest granite mine in the United States. Granite is the main material of Tianzhu Mountain Global Geopark, Menkaure Pyramid, etc.

Granite is the best-known igneous rock and is composed of feldspar, mica, and about 20% quartz. This mix of materials gives granite its signature speckled look and also means granite can come in a range of different finishes – from creamy white to deep black to speckled grey, and even bright blues and orange-reds.

Granite is formed by the cooling of magma, so it is called an intrusive rock. Granite is formed at depths usually 5 to 30 kilometers below the surface, so it is also called deep rock. Granite is an important part of the earth’s continental crust. In addition, granite can be said to be one of the most abundant internal igneous rocks. If statistics are to be determined, about 95% of internal igneous rocks are granite. In the entire lithosphere, granite accounts for 70% of the earth’s surface. Granite is the result of the gradual melting and crystallization of magma underground, causing the molten material to cool.

When it comes to texture or finish, you have a range of options available for granite. This mineral can be polished, honed, brushed or sandblasted. The choice depends largely on where you plan to install your granite slabs in your kitchen and bathrooms.

II. Properties of granite

Granite has the advantages of consolidated structure, high compressive strength, low water absorption, stable chemical properties, strong durability but poor fire resistance.

Granite generally has a granular structure or a porphyry structure, and can be divided into fine-grained, medium-grained and coarse-grained. Its particles are uniform and dense, with small gaps (porosity is generally 0.3% to 0.7%) and low water absorption (generally 0.15% to 0.46%).

In addition, granite has a Mohs hardness of up to 6. The density of granite ranges from 2.63g/cm3 to 2.75g/cm3. At the same time, the compressive strength of granite is about 100MPa to 300MPa.

The compressive strength of fine granite can reach 300 MPa, and the flexural strength can reach 10 MPa to 30 MPa.

III. What is the chemical composition of granite?

Among the components of granite, quartz has the highest material component, reaching more than 20%. Its main minerals include: Quartz is an alkaline feldspar and plagioclase. The combination of these minerals often causes granite to appear red, pink, gray, or white. White quartz mica produces white particles, feldspar produces pink particles, and dark minerals such as biotite darken the color of granite.

About 85% of the chemical composition of granite is silicon and aluminum, and the remaining 15% contains elements such as sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and titanium. These elements are present in various silicates in its minerals.

Components
Content Range (%)

SiO₂

69.26 - 71.63

Al₂O₃

14.00 - 14.54

 

Fe₂O₃

1.16 - 1.57

FeO

1.18 - 2.29

MgO

0.87 - 1.04

CaO

1.73 - 2.51

Na₂O

3.48 - 3.70

K₂O

 

3.92 - 4.11

TiO₂

0.29 - 0.49

MnO

0.06 - 0.12

P₂O₃

0.09 - 0.19

Igloss

0.57 - 0.84

Sum

100.00

IV. What color is granite?

The color of this granite depends on its composition, and usually appears in dark colors such as red, pink, gray, white, and black. If the granite contains a lot of potassium feldspar, it will appear pink; if it contains a lot of potassium feldspar, it will appear pink; if it contains a lot of quartz, it may appear white.

Combinations of minerals often cause granite to appear red, pink, gray, or white. White quartz mica produces white particles, feldspar produces pink particles, and dark minerals such as biotite darken the color of granite.

  • Quartz: typically milky white
  • Feldspar: usually off-white
  • Potassium feldspar: usually pink in color
  • Biotite: usually black or dark brown
  • Muscovite: usually golden or yellow
  • Hornblende: usually black or dark green

V. Advantages and Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Advantages

1. Durable

You would be hard-pressed to find a more durable stone surface than granite. Since it is tough, it is almost impossible to scratch or chip it. Maximize the results of your granite countertops by using a sealer to make them stain-resistant.

2. Increase the value of your home

One of the main benefits of granite countertops is that they bring nature into your home because they retain a natural look. Every time you bring exterior elements into your home, especially eco-friendly ones like granite, you are adding value to your property.

3. Resistant to almost everything

Since the surface of sealed granite countertops is not porous, most spills will not penetrate into it. Your kitchen will be less likely to harbor bacteria, dirt, and other grime commonly found on countertops. Plus, the smooth, clean surface makes it easy to clean up meal prep messes, helping you stay productive.

4. Granite countertops are easy to clean

Are you always on the go? By switching to granite countertops, you won’t have to spend as much time cleaning them. Because grease can be easily removed from these counters with just soap and a sponge, many homeowners adore them. We guarantee your countertops will look like new in just five minutes. If you choose to seal your countertops, you only need to do it once a year.

5. Green materials

Granite is a tough mineral that is 100% recyclable. But compared to quartz and other artificial minerals used in countertops, its supply is less plentiful.

6. Heat resistance

Considering this mineral is an igneous rock, it can withstand extreme heat and pressure. When you place a hot object like a pan on a granite kitchen countertop, you won’t see any burnt black spots on its surface.

7. Scratch resistant

Granite countertops are rated seventh on the Mohs scale of hardness (1-10, with 1-the weakest and 10-the hardest). This is also the main reason for its excellent durability.

8. Seamless slab

When you choose large granite slabs for your granite kitchen countertops, there will be no seams at all. However, with smaller board sizes, you may see 2 to 3 seams. Also, if your countertops are at different angles, seams will appear as well.

9. Best for undermount sinks

Your granite bathroom countertops and granite kitchen countertops are best paired with undermount sinks. This is highly recommended as you can wipe up the liquid and pour the spill directly into the sink without getting caught on the edge of the sink.

10. Tailgate

In addition to being a good material for countertops, granite is also best for backsplashes. When the color and texture match your countertops, it creates a continuous, seamless look.

11. Chemical resistant

In addition to being a good material for countertops, granite is also best for backsplashes. When the color and texture match your countertops, it creates a continuous, seamless look.

Granite-Countertop-kitchen-island

Disadvantages

1. Price

Granite countertops come in three different pricing points: low, medium, and high. Cheap granite countertops are expected to cost between $35 and $55 per square foot.

High-quality granite countertops, meanwhile, cost between $125 and $200 per square foot. If you want something cheaper, you can opt for granite tile countertops.

2. Limited color variations

Unlike synthetic minerals, granite countertops have fewer color options. Although the selection is small, the designs and textures are still outstanding. The typical varieties you can have are white granite countertops and black granite countertops. You can also use blue granite countertops to renovate your kitchen and bathroom.

3. Seal maintenance

Granite countertops are naturally porous, which puts them at risk for bacteria, mold, and mildew growth within their mineral pores. Likewise, the inherently porous nature of granite makes it susceptible to stains and stains easily. In order to address this issue, you must seal your granite kitchen and bathroom counters once a year or every other year.

VI. Where is granite used?

1. Building

Granite is commonly used in construction as a material for floors, walls and facades. Its sturdiness and aesthetic appearance make it a common choice for residential and commercial buildings.

2. Kitchen and bathroom countertops

Because granite is wear-resistant, heat-resistant, and easy to clean, it is widely used on kitchen and bathroom countertops. It is not susceptible to scratches and high temperatures, making it suitable for use as a durable countertop material.

3. Art and Decoration

Granite is often used to create sculptures, artwork, and decorative items due to its rich colors and textures. It can be carved into various shapes and used for landscape design, sculpture and other artistic creations.

4. Public space decoration

Granite is also widely used in the decoration of public spaces such as squares, parks, sculpture gardens, etc., such as seats, sculptures and paving.

5. Tombstones and Monuments

Because granite is durable and resistant to corrosion and weathering, it is often used in the production of tombstones and monuments.

6. Floor laying

Granite is also a common choice for outdoor and indoor flooring. Its hard properties make it suitable for use as walkways, driveways, patios and garden paving.

Overall, granite’s sturdiness, versatile appearance, and durability make it an ideal material for construction, decoration, and artistic creations in a wide variety of settings and projects.

VII. Conclusion

Whether in architecture, decoration or artistic creation, granite shows its unique charm and practicality. Its variety of colors and textures makes each granite unique and ideal for personalized designs.

Through an in-depth exploration of granite’s formation, characteristics, and wide range of uses, we not only gain a greater understanding of the excellence of this rock, but also develop a deeper awe of the power and beauty of nature. If you would like a quote for granite, contact us today!

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