- 12th April 2015
- Posted by: Granite & Marble Specialties
- Category: Granite
Granite is one of the most common plutonic rocks found on Earth, but different places yield slightly different appearances and mineral composition. While appearance is certainly the most important aspect when remodeling a kitchen, it’s also helpful to know where your granite supplier gets its materials.
Formed as long as 300 million years ago, granite is formed by volcanic activity over 10 miles below the surface of the Earth. As magma cools and rises to the surface, it solidifies over one million years until it becomes granite. Granite quarries become apparent after land has been eroded, exposing the rock. Traditionally, Italy, USA, and Canada are very popular sources of granite, but China, India, and several locations in Africa and South America are big suppliers of granite to the rest of the world.
Mined as either crushed or dimension stone in open pit mines, crushed granite makes up about 16% of the total crushed stone produced in the United States. Every state in the country (except Delaware) has some level of crushed or dimension stone mining in operation.
The difference in appearance comes from the hints of other minerals that exist in its composition. Granite is made mostly from feldspar, quartz, and mica, but the various colors and patterns come from traces of muscovite, biotite, pyroxene, and others. Feldspar is the most abundant rock on Earth and gives granite its uniform white appearance. Light gray colors come from quartz and the darker veins are either biotite or black mica. Therefore, depending on what secondary minerals are common in specific geographic regions, the difference in appearance.
The beauty of installing a granite countertop comes from its natural appearance – it’s something that only the beauty of nature could supply. Sure, humans can cut and polish it to specification, but nothing can mimic the dazzling imperfections and level of detail that hundreds of millions of years of development can provide.
To find out more about our granite sourcing process or to see nature’s product for yourself, give us a call or stop by our showroom and we’ll help you find the right material for your countertops.