Granite surfaces are suitable for a variety of applications including kitchen worktops, splash-backs, wall cladding and floor covering.
About This Material
What is it?
Granite is a natural stone that comes from various quarries around the world. The diverse rock formations under the surface of our earth have unique characteristics, which determine the varying colours and patterns in the various types sourced from different parts of the world.
Why use it for kitchen worktops?
It is one of the hardest natural materials known to man, making it tough enough to take the wear and tear of daily use in the kitchen. This is its primary practical benefit of granite worktops in this context.
The appeal however is not limited to practicality, although that is certainly half of the story when it comes to kitchen worktops.
The second reason to use it for your kitchen worktops is its beauty. Few materials in nature come close to its natural beauty, nor anywhere near the variety available.
With literally hundreds of variations in colour, tone and pattern, this material is perhaps the most versatile of natural stones because it not only performs well practically in daily use, but it looks drop-dead gorgeous to behold.
How do different variations get their colour?
Granite is predominantly made up of three minerals: Quartz, Feldspar and Mica. When these minerals mix in different locations throughout the world, they do so at different levels and rates and under unique conditions, so as the resulting rock itself forms over time from this mix, it does so with a unique composition or mineral ratio, which results in the different colours and patterns you see in today’s surfaces.
How do you define it?
It is a commonly occurring coarse-grained rock, given its name from the latin word “granum”, meaning grain, referring to the granular nature of its appearance and make-up.
Recognised throughout the world, it is one of the most abundant rocks found underground. It is an igneous rock – meaning it is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava.
Why does it have different textures?
Granite is cut into slabs from large rocks after it is quarried and finished in a variety of ways depending on whether it is to be used externally, internally, for commercial or domestic applications.
In the context of granite kitchen worktops, the different finishes are generally offered according to demand from consumers and feature smooth or supple surfaces that suit both aesthetics and tastes.
This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but the most common finish for granite countertops and splash-backs used in kitchens and bathrooms is a polished finish.
In other situations, the kitchen worktop style finish isn’t appropriate, particularly for external or internal flooring, where the need for a non-slip surface to maintain health and wellbeing of the public is at the forefront of considerations, in which case you tend to see a rougher, more non-slip surface.
Sometimes though, when it is used in a decorative way, on the outside of buildings for example, the polished finish such as you would normally see on interior surfaces such as kitchen worktops becomes more prevalent.
So, granite has different textures depending on how it is going to be used, as a general rule.