One of the most beautiful natural stones on earth, granite has been prized for centuries for the almost magical way the colors swirl, mix, and sparkle. Created from pressure and high temperatures inside the earth during a volcanic magma stage of the earth’s creation, the crystal fractionation and ultra-metamorphosis processes moved together to produce dozens of beautiful stones types known as granite. Not only is the stone beautiful, but it makes for durable stone countertops for kitchens around the world. Here is an insight into the magic world of granite.
Egypt is believed to be the first to use granite as a building stone. Quarried from the hillsides, the surface of the rock was laboriously polished by rubbing wet sand over the stone until it started to shine. Eventually, granite’s sparkles, rare colors, and beauty drew admirers that requested pieces for themselves. As the people of Giza began distributing the stone in the 19th century, new machinery, extraction tools, and buffing equipment were invented to develop a precious stone piece every time.
Granite used for stone countertops is still extracted from the earth, but modern technology has made it easier than it once was. Large hammers and picks are still used to break off large pieces of rock. Then massive wet saws are used to cut large pieces of the mountainside with their diamond edges. Each piece of granite is then transported to waiting fabrication sites to receive a final cut, have their edges trimmed, and to be buffed to a smooth, shiny surface. The stone’s colors are also better understood today, and fabricators understand how the refinement process affects the beauty of the resulting stone.
The story of granite began long ago in a remote area of the world, but it continues today in stone countertops sitting in kitchens around the world. The elegant rock has no equal in its durability, and that continues to make it a popular kitchen worktop surface.