Granite Gravitas

Kansas City Granite Countertops: An Origin Story

By January 28, 2015 No Comments

When considering what to share on our new blog, we decided that launching with the scientific made the most sense. And then we read the Wikipedia article on granite, and lines like this helped up change our minds:

“These form interlocking somewhat equigranular matrix of feldspar and quartz with scattered darker biotite mica and amphibole (often hornblende) peppering the lighter color minerals.”

Instead, we thought we would share things that make sense to everybody – sorry to geologists out there. The important things that you really need to know about granite is that it forms naturally as a rough stone of varying coarseness, color and luster. The important thing is that granite is made from a combination of feldspar and quartz, the two most abundant minerals on the planet. Feldspar is the white mineral in granite and quartz form the light grey veins. Materials that feature this combination are considered true granite.

Now, all the other colors of granite come from other minerals that are also present in the mixture. Granite is an extremely common rock formation, but particular colors and shades of granite can only be found in places with different types of natural mineral deposits in the ground. Granite is an igneous rock, meaning that it was formed over millions of years from compression of molten rock under the planet’s surface interacting with the local mineral deposits. This means that we can’t just make a piece of granite that looks naturally one color or another.

The fact that granite was formed in this way means that it is extremely hard and resistant to chipping and heat. It is a better, and usually much more beautiful, option for things like granite kitchen countertops because it it can withstand much more wear and resist much more damage than other materials like marble, laminate and synthetics. Durability, coupled with it’s dimensional look and glossy sheen, are the biggest reasons people choose to install granite.

Granite Mine, Kansas City Granite Coutnertops

This quarry in Washington is an example of one of the places fine granite originates – this is the E. L. Smith quarry which produces very fine granite with a very fine grain.

Because of the material’s abundance, it is chiseled, drilled and blasted around the world in preparation for installation in homes and businesses. It’s hardness means that special machines have to cut the blocks into workable slabs, and others thin and polish the material for it’s intended final use – whatever that may be. In New England, older homes sometimes used granite for home foundations because of its abundance!

Also because of it’s hardness, getting a custom granite installation for things like granite countertops is often necessary. Because precut granite countertops rarely fit a home perfectly, especially in towns with older homes like Kansas City, and because a diamond cutting blade is absolutely essential, getting a pro to install the granite can offer serious benefits as opposed to attempting it DIY style. Even with a diamond cutting blade, vibration from the saw can destroy the mineral bonds and cause chipping at the edges of granite slab.

More on installation next time!

Dean The Granite Guy

Author Dean The Granite Guy

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