Uses for Granite in Your Home
Granite is one of the oldest and most reliable natural stone options for countertops, floor tiles, fireplace surrounds and more. Practically everyone has heard of it but few really know the unique characteristics that make it such a sought-after building material.
This article seeks inform you of all the reasons why granite can be a perfect option and advise you on best practices, including what you can expect when you have granite installed in your home.
Granite is classified as an igneous rock (also called magmatic rock), which means it was formed through the cooling down and solidifying of magma or lava deep beneath the earth over the course of millions of years. After cooling down, the substance crystallizes and hardens into granite, ready to be extracted for use as dimension stone.
Granite in its raw form
In terms of durability, it’s tough to beat granite. Its Mohs hardness scale ranking comes in at around 6 to 7, depending on the exact mineral composition of a particular granite. What this means for your kitchen countertop is that it will be quite resistant to scratching and chipping over the long run.
There is a ton more that could be discussed in regards to granite’s formation and composition but I’m guessing you’re not here for a geology lesson. If you’d like to learn more about the geological origins of granite, there are plenty of informative articles online that can provide further details.
Throughout human history, granite has always been one of the premiere stone building materials because of its versatility, durability and aesthetic qualities.
Many of the ancient Egyptian pyramids counted granite among the stones used in their formation, including the Great Pyramid of Giza, and it was also used as a decorative stone on the sarcophagus of several pharaohs.
Granite quarried in Egypt and Turkey also played a huge role in the development of ancient Rome in the 3rd century AD. Architecture of the era was heavily influenced by this stone and it proved to be a reliable and effective material for the construction of all sorts of temples and public buildings.
Granite was used heavily in the construction of ancient Rome
The first temple built entirely of granite, The Brihadeeswarar Temple, was constructed in the 11th century AD in India and was the tallest temple in the region.
Since ancient times, granite has been used in the construction of all sorts of edifices, from lofty castles in the medieval era to modern homes all around the world.
Granite in Your Home
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the geology and the history of granite, let’s dive into its uses for your home.
Kitchen countertops are the perfect use for granite. It is a very dense and durable stone and so can generally weather day-to-day use without showing signs of wear and tear. Granite sits at a 6 to 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, with only diamond and some quartzites scoring higher. This makes it ideal for cooking, baking and entertaining guests as you don’t have to worry about accidents that could cause long-term damage. It should be noted that there are certain granites that can be somewhat more susceptible to chipping or flaking than others and so it is always best to consult with an experienced salesperson in the stone industry so you know exactly what you’re getting.
There is a misconception out there that granite is boring and only comes in a limited number of drab colors that do nothing to inspire the imagination. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, which is that granite comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. This means that you are bound to find a slab that suits your tastes and is also a good match for the other design elements in your space.
New Azul Aran Granite on a Countertop
There will also always be more “traditional” granite out there, with simple patterns and plain colors, and that’s great as well. For some people, they aren’t looking to make a statement with their countertops and want something that won’t dominate the room but rather, complement it. For this reason, granite is very versatile from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a practical one.
Granite is also not likely to stain, as long as you follow a few precautions. Firstly, make sure your countertop is sealed after it is installed. A good quality sealer will go a long way to preventing not only staining, but scratching and etching as well. Secondly, do be mindful to clean up any spills that happen as soon as possible to minimize the chances of liquids seeping into the stone and leaving a stain. Finally, avoid chemical-based cleaning solutions and instead, use warm water and a natural solution to clean your granite countertops.
Now that we know how durable granite is, it’s no surprise that it also makes for excellent floor tile material. Granite tiles are suitable for any area of your home and are some of the most sturdy, reliable and long-lasting tiles on the market.
When it comes to aesthetics, granite tiles are a bit more limited in terms of options compared to granite slabs. You won’t find the same large variety of different colors and patterns but for those who are drawn to the look of granite, you won’t find similar-looking tiles in any other stone category. In addition, floor tiles are usually not there to draw all the attention and so if you’re looking for something that is still appealing while not being overbearing, granite is an excellent option.
Granite tiles come in a wide variety of colors
As with countertops, you will want to seal your granite tiles to ensure they stay in the best condition possible. Cleaning is simple and also follows the same rules as slabs, clean up spills as soon as they occur and avoid harsh chemicals whenever possible.
Are you looking for a strong stone that comes in a variety of colors and is also heat-resistant for your fireplace surround? These days, it seems a lot of people are drawn to the traditional white and grey marbles to serve this purpose but granite provides a lower-cost alternative that is nonetheless stunning in its own way.
I would refer to a granite fireplace surround as practical beauty, as opposed to the more extravagant or luxurious vibe given off by marble. Think of it as a blue-collar stone that is reliable and hard-working. If those are traits you value, then granite will be more than suitable for your fireplace.
Granite adds a rustic touch to any fireplace surround
We also know that trends come and go, today it’s marble, tomorrow it’s quartzite and the next day, it could be granite. One thing’s for sure: granite isn’t the type of stone to be mired down in trends and fads but it always performs.
The exterior of a home is much more important than most people give it credit for. Not only can it make a design statement and allow you to express your personality, it also provides protection from the elements and helps boost the overall value of your home.
Granite is one of the very best options out there for exterior cladding due to its durability, availability and economical pricing. It also comes in a wide variety of sizes and finishes, ensuring that you’ll be able to find something that suits both your preferences and building requirements.
Granite is one of the oldest and most practical natural stones available on the market today. Although some people are put off by what they see as an “outdated” material, trust us when we say that granite is more exciting than you think and there are so many options available for slabs, tiles and exterior stone.
If you’d like to have a look at granite in person, feel free to stop by one of our showrooms in Burnaby, Calgary or Edmonton. Our experiences staff members can give you a personal tour through the gallery and help you find the perfect slab for your home.