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Between the beauty, durability and multitude of other positive qualities granite has, it is not hard to see why so many homeowners choose the material to complete their remodeling projects. Despite being so popular, there are likely many things that you wouldn’t happen to know about this magnificent natural stone. The following are 15 interesting facts about granite.
Granite Fun Facts
#1: Granite is an igneous rock
Granite does not simply appear naturally as a slab. The stone is cut from rock beneath the earth’s surface. Granite is an igneous rock – one that is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma. Other types of rocks include sedimentary rocks (limestone, travertine, etc.) and metamorphic rocks (marble, quartzite, etc.).
#2: Granite is one of the oldest rocks in the world
It has been estimated that granite has been around for as long as 300 million years, making it one of the oldest rocks in existence.
#3: The name is derived from Latin
The name ‘granite’ is derived from the Latin word ‘granum’, which refers to a coarse grain. The name was given to the stone due to its coarse-grained structure.
#4: Granite is made up of many minerals
Granite is composed of many minerals, including quartz and feldspar.
#5: Granite is a plutonic rock
Granite is a plutonic rock – one that forms from the cooling of magma beneath the earth’s surface.
#6: Granite is one of the hardest materials in the world
Granite ranks at an 8 on the Mohs scale, which is used to measure hardness. The scale ranks minerals from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
#7: Granite was used in famous structures
Granite has been used to build some of the most famous structures in the world. The natural stone has been utilized as a building material since the time of Ancient Egyptians. Some examples of structures built from granite include Mount Rushmore and the base of the Statue of Liberty. Examples of natural granite can be found in many places, from New Hampshire to the Yosemite Valley. Granite quarries exist both in the United States and locations worldwide, from Brazil to China and many other countries.
#8: Granite led to one of the first commercial railroads in the United States
Granite has always been an in-demand building material. Because of this, it helped lead to the creation of one of the United States’ first commercial railroad systems. This railroad, referred to as the Granite Railway, connected Quincy, Massachusetts with a dock. At this dock, granite was loaded onto boats and transported to nearby Charlestown.
#9: Granite can have fissures
Many homeowners mistake fissures for cracks. Fissures are naturally occurring separations in the stone that do not compromise granite’s structural integrity.
#10: Granite can damage knives
Because granite is so hard, it can actually damage any kitchen knives that cut on the surface. While you can cut on your granite countertop, it is in your best interest to use a cutting board.
#11: Granite can handle excessive heat
Just as you can cut on the surface, you can also set down hot pots and pans on your granite kitchen countertops without having to fear damages. However, as with cutting boards, you should use trivets and hot pads in the interest of caution.
#12: Granite can be found in many different colors and styles
When homeowners think of granite, many think of white granite, black granite or other common colors, like beige. Granite can not only be found in these colors, but many more. Additional color options include pink, green, blue and others.
There are also many different styles you can find granite in. From types of the stone that are solid in color to ones with speckles and/or veining, there will surely be something that catches your eye.
#13: Granite is easy to care for
Granite is one of the easiest natural stone surfaces to care for. The only true maintenance you will have to worry about is cleaning and re-sealing, both of which are very simple processes. Always remember to use cleaners suitable for use on granite and/or natural stone. With most types of granite, you will only need to re-seal about once every year.
#14: Granite can add value to the home
Granite is a highly desirable material in the home. Because of this, the natural stone can add value to your home – something that can be particularly helpful if and when the time comes to sell.
#15: Granite is naturally porous
Granite, like most other natural stones, is porous. This means that liquid and stains can pass through the pores and work their way down into the stone, causing damage and discoloration over time. To prevent this from happening, you will have to keep up on sealing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Granite Cost?
On average, granite costs between $32 to $75 per square foot.
How Do You Seal Granite?
Sealing granite is a very easy process. The steps are described in the following table:
|Step 1: Choose your desired sealer||The first step of the process will be choosing your desired sealer. There are plenty of products to choose from, including some that come in easy-to-use spray bottles.|
|Step 2: Clear off and clean the surface||Clear all items off the surface. Then, clean your granite by using a granite/natural stone cleaner.|
|Step 3: Apply the sealer||Apply the sealer using either a brush or spray it on if it comes in a spray bottle.|
|Step 4: Wait for 15 minutes||Wait for 15 minutes. If you see that all the sealer has absorbed during this time, apply an additional coat.|
|Step 5: Wipe off any excess sealer||After you are done waiting, you can wipe off any excess sealer.|
|Step 6: Let the surface sit for at least 24 hours||Lastly, you will need to let your granite sit without use for at least 24 hours.|
What Can Granite Be Used For in the Home?
Granite can have many applications in the home, from kitchen countertops to bathroom vanity tops, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds and even outdoor surfaces in some cases.
Although granite is a common building material in homes, there are many things you may not have known about it. Through reading the information above, you can know more about the beautiful natural stone that makes up your countertop.