What is granite?
Granite proper is a type of igneous rock formed from the crystallisation of lava, primarily made up of alkali feldspar and quartz, that has cooled slowly inside a volcano creating large, interlocking crystals or grains. Granite comes from the Latin for grain. The rock is very dense with an average density of 2.7grams/per cubic metre and has an impressive compressive strength of more than 200 megapascals. The melting point of dry granite is high, being somewhere between 1215 amd 1260 degrees centigrade. There is, however, a material known as ‘black granite’ which is not granite at all but gabbro made up from magnesium and iron but, nonetheless, perfectly suitable for kithen tops. Increasingly the term granite is being used for any igneous rock made up of large grains or crystals.
The advantage of granite for kitchens
Granite can be used in kitchens in many ways to create a luxurious feel of permanence. Although more expensive than other materials it lasts much longer, its high strength and melting point enabling it to maintain a stain and scratch-free surface for years. Its smooth surface is hygienic making it possible to clean easily with a cloth. Granite comes in several colours and patterns depending on the exact mineral composition of the rock. Red and green granites are less common than those that are brown or grey and some patterns, such as marbled or speckled, are also less common. Granite can be edged with a square edge, or with a bulhose or a bevelled curved edge.
The uses of granite in kitchens
Granite is often used as a material for kitchen countertops. These are often, but by no means always, supported by cabinets. They can also be extended from other supporting structures and are often used as tables as well as food preparation areas. Sometimes countertops are simply known as tops because of unwanted older associations with the word counter. Australians, in particular, are more likely to talk about a favourite granite for kitchen top. Granite for kitchen countertops can come in the form of tiles or in the form of kitchen slab granite. This can come in either the form of polished granite, polished after buffing, a form which needs no maintenance, or in the form of honed granite which has been polished before buffing giving a matte finish. Honed granite needs a stone and colour sealant to be applied twice yearly to keep the surface free from damage particularly from etching by acids or alkalis.
Granite kitchen cabinets
Although you can have cabinets made of granite the term is more usually used to mean either cabinets that have granite knobs on front of the cabinet doors or cabinets with granite tops described as kitchen cabinets granite countertops. This adds more granite to the kitchen giving it an even greater aesthetic appeal. Modern design for high city living makes great use of this. Granite is also used for backsplashes and even floors.
Granite tile flooring is widely respected, enduring and simple to clean. Owing to the fact that it is an organic product, and its manufacturing process does not involve hazardous chemicals, it as an eco-friendly choice of material. If it is properly sealed, it can be rendered stain and water resistant. Granite tiles are not damageable by pets and children, thus adding to the resale value of a property boasting granite tiling. Even though its installation cost be more than laminate wood or vinyl floor covering that bears the appearance of granite, long term these alternatives do not offer the same value for money. From an aesthetic point of view, granite confers a very distinctive look. They feel solid when walked on, and are an excellent choice for kitchen counter tops also. Granite tiles are also usable on kitchen walls, and are available in a wide plethora of colors and designs.