Properties and types of granite – a material that is taking homes by storm
Granite is a material that is making a strong comeback in the world of the architecture and decor, as its grained appearance makes spaces very appealing, and it is also available in many different shades to suit the design needs of any project. More than 500 different colours are available! Furthermore, although the hardness of the different types of granite varies (normally between 5.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale) as well as its characteristics, it is still a resistant stone that provides very good results and is used in architectural solutions (such as flooring and kitchen countertops) and, of course, also as furniture and decorative accessories, for example in superb industrial style pieces.
ORIGIN, COMPOSITION AND DENSITY OF GRANITE
The hardness of granite makes it one of the most widely used natural stones today, for both indoor and outdoor applications. Granite is an igneous, plutonic rock that forms when magma (aluminium melt) slowly cools down at great depths in the earth’s crust, thus making it very hard. This continuous cooling allows large crystals to form, resulting in the distinctive crystalline texture of granite. The main minerals in granite are quartz (up to 60%), feldspar and mica, and aesthetically it is a stone that usually has a grained appearance and coarse texture. Both the hardness and colour of granite depend on its specific chemical composition – the darker the granite, the lower the proportion of quartz, and so the less hard it is.
What is the density of granite?
The density of granite is high and ranges from 2.63 to 2.75 g per cm3. Its resistance to pressure is between 1.000 and 1.400 k per cm2.
TYPES OF GRANITE
Four types of granite can also be distinguished, according to the origin of the magma and identified by the letters I, S, A and M:
Type of granite: I or Igneous. This granite is formed where the mantle and the inner crust come into contact.
S or Sedimentary. This type of granite is the result of the melting of sedimentary rocks from the upper crust. This means that they originate from the aluminium-rich continental sedimentary crust.
Type of granite: A or Anorogenic. A-type granites are those that are not associated with compressional structures. Therefore, they are not related to the formation of mountain ranges as in the case of the I and S types.
M or Mantle. This type of granite is formed directly from the magmas of the mantle.
PROPERTIES OF GRANITE: VARIETY OF ORIGINS AND COLOURS
Traditionally, granite is extracted from open cast quarries using diamond wire cables, arm chainsaws and disc cutters. As for granite deposits, they can be found all over the world, as granite is the most common plutonic rock on the earth’s surface. The main deposits are located in: Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United States, Argentina and China. It should also be highlighted that the granite sector is generally focusing on becoming more sustainable and, for example, promotes the supply of purchases and services in the area of influence closest to the quarry.
In terms of shades, once again it’s worth mentioning that there are more than 500 available. The range of colours is very wide, including: white, grey, black, red, blue, brown, green, cream, pink, etc. And in a wide variety of finishes: flamed, hammered, polished, honed, brushed, sandblasted, etc.
WHAT IS GRANITE USED FOR?
Regardless of the type of granite, it has always been used in construction, as the properties of granite are outstanding both aesthetically and technically, it is also highly resistant and durable. In addition, it should be noted that granite has a high resistance to wear and tear, due to its high quartz content, so it is widely used in homes.
Therefore, all types of formats are made with this stone (depending on its properties), such as slabs or tiles. In addition, it is used in an endless number of commercial and custom-made pieces to create floors, wall cladding, kitchen or bathroom countertops, as well as claddinges behind the cooking area or sinks. Granite stands out as the main material in many contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, and its use is almost unlimited.
Its distinctive and striking crystalline texture has meant that it is also used to make furniture and accessories, usually combined with other materials, such as stone top tables with metal or wooden legs, for example. Granite has an endless number of applications.
MAINTENANCE FOR ANY TYPE OF GRANITE
Granite is resistant to water, heat and grease, but remember never use abrasive or acidic products to clean it, as this could cause irreversible damage to the surface. Also, avoid using vinegar or lemon juice. For daily care, all you need to do is to mop or wipe it with a damp microfibre cloth and a cleaning product especially for granite, then use warm water to rinse it with the mop or cloth. To ensure that the surface maintains its brightness and luminosity over time, you should apply a sealing coat once or twice a year. However, there are treatments for this porous stone to ensure greater durability and resistance over time, which effectively protect it against stains. This is the case of the protective treatment applied to Sensa granite by Cosentino, which does not require any special maintenance and is very easy to clean. This brand is a unique, high-quality surface, and its performance is so reliable that it comes with a certified 15-year warranty.
KEYS TO THE SUCCESS OF GRANITE
Any type of granite, even those that do not have this revolutionary stain-resistant treatment, as is the case with granite surfaces of the Natural Stone collection by Cosentino, is a building material with excellent features, resistant and with reduced water absorption. This is why it can be used anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. But in addition to its physical and mechanical characteristics, it is also aesthetically striking – each piece is one-of-a-kind. Granite means beauty and personality; that is why it is becoming increasingly popular in homes.