Black Galaxy granite is a relatively new addition to the family of building materials. It was first discovered in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. It has since become an incredibly popular material all around the world because of its durability and striking visual beauty. The deep black of the stone highlighted with naturally occurring gold colored flecks work well with a number of design motifs and can be a strong visual statement in any room. This star-studded material is provided by Cosentino under their Scalea brand name of natural stone materials.
This article will provide information necessary when contemplating black galaxy granite including a description of the material, durability, maintenance, and how to determine the quality of a sample of material.
Black galaxy granite is in the gabbro family of stone material and is sourced in the Ongole area of South India. The granite material is rated a 4.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, which is considered relatively hard. There are harder building materials, such as quartz, but granite is durable enough to withstand most common use.
The material can have a dark black background, a greenish/black shading, or have some white in the background. Some lower quality material may have lines running throughout. The beautiful and distinguishing factor of black galaxy granite is the metallic flecks, caused by the presence of broncite, and can come in a few varying grades:
- Large grained
- Medium grained
- Small grained
These grades are based on the size of the flecks. Large grain is typically more highly desired, but is rare and more expensive.
Galaxy granite is most commonly used in flooring, staircases, and countertops. The durability and beauty of the material are traits that usually put it in an area that is highly trafficked and will be seen by many. A highly polished finish accentuates the contrast and depth of colors and is most common, but flamed, honed, river-washed, and brushed finishes can also be applied to great effect.
Black Galaxy granite is a tough material that can take daily use and doesn’t require heavy maintenance. When used in high traffic areas, though, there is a possibility of scratching. Dust, sand, and debris can all cause scuffs and scratches that might show prominently on the dark colored surface.
While granite is an incredibly hard and tough material, care still needs to be taken, especially around the edges and corners. It is a fairly brittle material, capable of being cracked or broken if struck sharply with a hard object.
Black Galaxy granite is strange in the world of natural stone in that it doesn’t need to be sealed. It is very dense and doesn’t absorb much at all. If a sealer is applied, it will not be absorbed into the surface and may cause streaking or a hazy finish on the surface. Spills will not necessarily absorb and stain immediately, but they still need to be wiped up as soon as possible.
Acidic liquids can cause damage to the stone and should not be spilled onto the surface if at all possible. Specialty cleaners are available, but typically a warm soapy cloth or sponge should do the trick just fine.
If the stone has a polished finish, a polish can be done at home to maintain the look and luster of the material. If another type of finish was applied (leathering, honing, etc), it is probably best to have a professional refinish the surface to avoid damaging the quality of the stone or surface.
There are several things to consider when assessing the quality of a selection of black galaxy granite, but the three that have the biggest impacts on price and overall visual quality of the stone are lines (veins), galaxy size, and galaxy distribution.
Being a natural stone material, black galaxy granite can have lines or veining running through it. This quality is what gives marble it’s beauty, but it not as desired in galaxy granite. The ratings of lines are typically laid out in the following order:
- Grade A – no lines
- Grade B – one or two black lines
- Grade C – more than two black lines
- Grade D – many black and white lines
The colored flecks of broncite are referred to as “galaxy,” and the size of galaxy has an impact on the quality of the material. The desirability of the size is as following:
- Large galaxy
- Medium galaxy
- Small galaxy
Another galaxy factor that is considered is galaxy distribution
- Even galaxy distribution
- Uneven galaxy distribution
Cosentino is able to provide some of the best black galaxy granite on the market at a reasonable price and should be on every designer’s radar when it comes to suppliers.
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