Featured Image: Giallo Cream Granite Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile
Granite is well-known as a popular, durable choice for kitchen countertops and other surfaces. But there’s more to this unique natural stone than meets the eye. If you’re leaning toward granite for your next home update or renovation, you’d probably like to learn a little more about this material. Let’s take a look at where granite comes from, what granite looks like and how granite compares to other options like marble and quartz.
What is granite?
Granite is a type of igneous rock formed in the earth by slowly cooling magma. It’s composed of mainly quartz, mica, feldspar and other minerals that combine to create a very hard, durable natural stone.
One of the most common types of stone found on Earth, granite is mined from huge bedrock quarries in Italy, the US, Canada, China, Brazil and other parts of the world. Then, through a process called milling, granite blocks are cut into slabs about 7-9 feet long and polished to enhance the stone’s natural color and pattern. These slabs are the final product that you see at an Arizona Tile slab yard.
Image: Patagonia Granite Slab from Arizona Tile
What does granite look like?
Due to the natural composition of granite, it has a signature granular, crystalline appearance with visible grains of minerals in different colors and sizes. The grains can vary from very fine flecks to large crystals, forming a range of vein patterns and looks depending on the variety.
The various minerals in granite also create a multitude of colors in the stone. The most common granite colors include shades of grey, brown, white and black. Some granite even includes blue and green hues that are quite dramatic and unusual.
Image: Mystic Grey Satin Countertop from Arizona Tile
What types of stone are similar to granite?
Quartz and marble are granite’s main competitors. These other popular countertop options are similar in some ways but have some important differences when compared to granite.
Quartz is just as hard and durable as granite, but it’s not a natural stone. While it is formed mostly of natural quartz crystals from the earth, quartz is an “engineered stone” that can be manufactured in a range of colors and patterns, including looks that mimic granite.
Marble, on the other hand, is a classic natural stone like granite. It is a slightly softer and more porous stone than granite, and it can be more susceptible to scratches and stains. Some varieties of marble and granite look similar, but these two stones are generally quite distinctive in appearance.
Image: Azul Bahia Blue Granite Stone Background from Arizona Tile
Where can granite be used in the home?
Granite is a durable, one-of-a-kind stone. With its dense composition, granite can be used for countertops in the kitchen or bathroom and is fairly resistant to scratching or chipping. As with any natural stone, be sure to protect granite surfaces from excessive heat and clean up spills immediately to keep your granite countertops looking their best for years to come.
Hear what Yelper Gabi M. of Phoenix, AZ had to say about the Granite at our Scottsdale location:
“We walked in pretty clueless and walked out with a list of granite names that we liked. We looked around their tile section as well and they have some beautiful tile! I recommend checking out Arizona Tile if you are decorating or even thinking about it.”