We all know that granite is the most desirable type of stone for the interior of any home. There’s something about granite countertops that just outdo all the rest. Actually, there’s a lot of aspects to granite that keep it on top of America’s number one choice of favorite stone. But where does it all come from?
Granite has been mined since the times of ancient Egypt, and is still very popular today? It’s scattered throughout all of history, on just about every continent. It even defies proper dating. It’s been in use for so long and for so many applications. But you may be surprised to hear that granite countertops have only been in use since 1987, and even then, they were extremely expensive.
Granite is rarely used in physical building construction nowadays. It’s all about the internal uses. Countertops, fireplace mantles, and tiles. It’s become the most highly sought-after stone for indoor use thanks to its durability and the obvious aesthetic appeal. There are some entire kitchens made out of granite—the floors, the walls, and countertops and counters themselves.
You may be surprised to hear that granite and quartz aren’t that different. They’re actually close cousins. Granite is formed by the process of crystallization over time, when magma below the Earth’s surface cools and utilizes other stone types. Quartz, amphiboles, mica; it’s accurate to say that at one point in time, anything you own that’s made out of granite was actually molten lava.
New Hampshire got its nickname, “The granite state,” for good reason. It has some of the best quarries in the country. At one point in time, millions of years ago, mountains formed due to continued volcanic activity, so since the state is slightly elevated from sea level as you get into the mountainous regions of southern Maine and the western side of Canada, you have granite that’s actually very close to the surface.
Now look at the great state of Texas: we’ve got our fair share of mountains. Texas is also a prime candidate for granite, and if we could rename state nicknames, New Hampshire’s empty quarries and ravines would certainly lose the title of “The granite state.”
Granite actually does receive the effects of its original location. There are three different types of granite, based on durability and appearance, grouped into grades.
Low-grade granite is also referred to as “commercial grade,” and is usually important from places like China. You get less thickness on your granite, and it’s usually supplemented with plywood boards underneath so that they don’t break when being lifted. If you have a long countertop and thin, heavy stone, you’ll risk breakage pretty easily.
Mid-grade granite is usually imported from places like Brazil and India, though it is also found in the United States. This is a bit different in color appearance, and usually comes in a thicker slab when it’s cut for commercial use. This is usually the best choice for granite constructs because it’s been proven to be more durable than high-grade granite on average.
Rich in color and beautiful to the naked eye, high-grade granite is most often found to be used for high cost kitchen remodels in extravagant homes, but is also the most unstable type of granite. It ends up costing you more due to its rarity, above all else. You can see veins of minerals that hadn’t hardened quite right, and you can sometimes feel the malleable nature when you press down firmly on it. All in all, it’s not the top choice for any space that you plan on using, and is best used for fireplace mantles and such.
You can find granite rocks in your backyard on occasion. Granite is usually spotted at the base of a mountain or large hill, and that’s the telltale sign that it’s time to dig. Granite is extracted by making a quarry, the process of taking stone from the earth to primarily use as a building material. In most cases, you’ll only see a small flash of granite before knowing that it’s a granite-rich area. Most quarries are started on a small find, and become large pits in the earth where material is continuously extracted.
Top-quality granite for every single occasion resides at Granite Huggers in Sanger, where our motto, “Everything Granite,” really applies to how we carry our business. We’re fanatics about the best stone on earth.