Furniture Fridays: Working with Stone – Granite

  • Posted: October 12, 2018

Granite is easy to recognise – it’s one of the most common igneous rocks found at Earth’s surface. With a high durability, strong and resistant character, Granite is used to make many products we encounter in daily life, including items such as countertops, paving stones, building facades, and monuments.

Granite Quarry in Vermont, US.

What is granite?
Granite is a coarse-grained, light-colored igneous rock composed mainly of feldspars and quartz with minor amounts of mica and amphibole minerals.

The mix of minerals and rocks (primarily feldspar and quartz) provide granite a wide range of colour variations – the most popular being grey, gold, pink and black. These colours become accentuated when a high-gloss finish is applied. While Granite is extremely durable and easy to maintain, the stone is porous and has the potential to stain unless treated and finished.

How is granite formed?
Granite forms in a very particular set of circumstances. Magma flowing from volcanoes, millions of years ago, combines with other materials below the earth’s surface and cools to create a very hard, crystalized stone. Usually, as a result of the large crystals that form, you are left with very strong patterns across the face of the stone when cut.

Van Gogh Granite is quarried from Brazil. It's one of the rarest granites in the world due to the resplendent expressions in the veining.

Where does granite come from?
With a range of more than 110 colour and shade, India accounts for over 20% of the total granite reserves across the world. The total granite reserves in India are estimated around 138 million tonnes and it is one of the largest exporters of granite and granite products in the world.

Closer to home, Aberdeen was once the largest exporter of granite. At the end of the 19th century, the advances in quarrying technology and transportation meant this difficult commercial material could be easily exported. Much of the architecture of Aberdeen is still made of the stone, hence its nickname, ‘Granite City.’

Aberdeen: once the world's largest exporter and known as 'Granite City'

How is granite processed?

It takes a total of about 30 days for the rock to travel from the quarry to the wholesaler. Firstly, the rock is sliced into individual slabs with gang saws. The stone is treated with a resin and cured in a gigantic oven, then polished and buffed. The remainder of the time is spent in transporting the hefty granite slabs to market.

Colourations and shades of granite

Characteristics of granite

  • It is a hard, crystalline rock, extremely resistant to erosion
  • It’s extremely common – the rock can be found across many of the continents in great quantities. This makes it much more affordable than many other types of stone.
  • Granite can be found in a range of aesthetically beautiful colours with natural movement, patterns and depth
  • Available in 2 different finishes
  • Granite is 7 on the MOHS scale (mineral hardness and scratch resistance)
O Table with black frame and granite grey quintana tabletop