About Granite: History, Composition and Uses
Granite is the most well known and widely used of the igneous rocks. Its name comes from the latin ‘granum’ which means ‘grain’, referring to its grainy and crystalline appearance. It is primarily composed of feldspar and quartz but also contains variations of other minerals. The crystals in granite are clearly visible due to it being an intrusive phaneritic rock. Therefore when the rock was being formed from magma, the cooling rate was very slow resulting in the formation of large visible crystals.
Most of the worlds granite comes from India and it can vary in colour depending on the percentage composition of other minerals which it contains. True granite is usually white, pink or grey due to its high silica content although other dark igneous rocks such as basalt are often sold as granite too. Granite has a wealth of characteristics which make it useful in a variety of different applications. It is an extremely dense stone with low porosity and is therefore stain resistant and impervious to damage from high temperatures. The lack of calcite in Granite also makes it resistant to acid erosion and etching. Also, It has a hardness rating of 7-8 on Moh’s scale making it is very difficult to scratch.
- Building blocks: Due to its excellent wearing capabilities
- Flooring: Usually in the kitchen
- Tombstones: Due to Its ability to be highly polished and resistance to acid rain
- Kitchen worktops: Resistance to heat from cooking pans, acid erosion from liquid spills and ability to withstand knife scratching make this an excellent application for granite.
- Paperweights and small sculptures
Repair & Restoration
Granite is a stone which needs little maintenance compared to other natural stones however problems do occur which require professional repair and restoration. Although granite doesn’t etch it is sometimes treated or sealed incorrectly which results in unsightly marks and colour inconsistencies with acid contact. Granite can also crack resulting in the need for a professional epoxy repair. This is usually required on damaged kitchen countertop edges or badly laid tiles with serious lippage.
Granite floors can lose silica over time which results in the appearance of small holes or craters. In this case, the only option is to diamond grind the floor and re-polish it. This is a highly skilled task that requires much more experience and patience than the grinding of other stones. Granites hardness makes it a very difficult stone to restore however it has the ability to be polished to a very high shine.
Our extensive experience in granite restoration will give you peace of mind when choosing a stone care professional. We currently carry out granite repair work for clients of The Marble Group, London’s leading granite worktop distributor as well as many building contractors. We undertake granite repair jobs of any size and can provide survey reports for insurance claims. Please see our testimonials page and feel free to contact us for free expert advice and a no-obligation survey.