Granite is a colour chameleon, ranging from pink to
grey in colour. However, one thing about the stone is consistent: its toughness
An igneous rock, granite consists mostly of quartz, mica and feldspar. Its most
notable quality, the one that endears it to builders, is that it's hard, tough
Granite is also common. It is the most abundant base
rock underlying the earth's sedimentary layer. It's also readily accessible,
often protruding through to the earth's surface. That accessibility, coupled
with its toughness, has made it a go-to stone for centuries. The pyramids of Egypt use it,
most notably in the granite sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid of Giza. In more
recent times, granite has been popular for gravestones and memorials. With acid
rain, the tougher rock has replaced marble (which corrodes) as the cemetery
stone of choice. Beyond memorials, the advent of steam-powered cutting tools,
in the 19th century, enabled a wider use of the stone in buildings
as flooring, home foundations, and even curling stones.
is increasingly popular inside the home, as a countertop and flooring, both in
the form of slabs and tile. Granite slabs
are breathtakingly impressive; with a size and varied look, that really
suggests presence and quality. Granite tiles are more inexpensive than slabs,
and combine strength and beauty. Reflecting the colour palette of the stone,
they come in a variety of colors, patterns and styles. The tiles complement
both modern and traditional décor. Tiles (and technological advances that make
them easier to cut and shape) are easy to install and are low in maintenance. In
addition, their toughness means they can be used in high traffic areas.
As a countertop, granite's muscle again is its chief
asset. It won't stain or scratch, it's burn-resistant, and replacement of tiles
is easy. Because the stone is also bacteria and heat resistant, it's perfect
for kitchen use. However, its ability to stand up to moisture and heat from
dryers, as well as withstand corrosion from personal care products, makes it a
useful choice in the bathroom as well.
Homeowners have discovered that granite boosts the
resale value of a home, in addition to endowing it with a look of elegance
The care of
Yes, it's tough, but granite still requires a degree
of care. There are many other, less expensive options for floors and counters,
and if you're going to take on the cost of granite, then you should be prepared
to take on its maintenance. After all, this is a stone that enhances your
day-to-day living and your home's resale value.
Granite needs periodic resealing. Sand, grit, and
dirt are abrasives, and though they won't damage the granite, they will affect
the look of its surface. If the stone is in a high traffic area, it is
necessary to ensure that there are mats or rugs at the entry points, to avoid
tracking in dirt. In addition, like any other surface, granite should be kept
clean. Stone cleaners are available, but gentle soap is more than adequate.
So bring the tough stone inside and let it enhance
your home. Whether it's in the form of slabs or tiles, granite is a versatile
and valuable addition to your home's décor.