What is Granite? – A Rock for the Ages!

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what is granite?It's rough, tough and common. A major part of the earth's continental crust, granite is found widely around the world and has been used by builders throughout the ages. The Red Pyramid of Egypt is built of granite. Its larger partner, the Great Pyramid of Giza, though clad in limestone, contains a huge granite sarcophagus. Early Hindu temples were also made of granite.
 
In modern times, a visit to any North American graveyard will show a preference for granite gravestones. Prior to the 18th century, granite could be carved only with great difficulty due to its hardness, and marble was the stone of choice. The advent of steam-powered cutting tools changed all that, and suddenly, granite was all the rage. Its use as a memorial stone is increasing, as it is more resistant to the elements (and acid rain) than marble. However, granite is not limited to celebrating the dead. Its use as a construction material has spread from memorials to buildings, both as foundations and as accents.
 
Granite flooring – a beautiful choice…
 
Granite's durability makes it perfect for any area of high activity, which in the home, is likely to be flooring and countertops. However, granite has other advantages; the foremost of which is its beauty. Granite comes in a wide range of colours, including black, yellow, pink, brown, and red. As a result, it can complement or form the colour base of just about any décor decision in the home. The flecking of shades and other tints in granite also provide cues for other accents in the room. Added to that, is the ability to work with the surface of the stone used. Granite can be polished to a high sheen, or left in a more roughcast state, depending on the surface to be covered.
 
The ease of converting granite to tiles has also been key to its popularity in North American homes. Granite tiles are a blend of materials. Like the stone itself, they come in a variety of colours, patterns and styles. They are less costly than granite slabs, easier to install, and low in maintenance. Granite is resistant to staining, scratching and burning. As with all tiles, it's easily replaced, or reconfigured, in a kitchen or counter design. In addition, as anyone visiting a graveyard knows, granite has a longevity that is unparalleled. Nothing is forever in this world, but granite comes closest!
 
Maintenance of Granite
 
Whether in tile or slab form, or as flooring or countertop, granite does require some maintenance. As flooring, it can be affected by abrasives such as sand, grit and dirt. Some household cleansers also contain abrasives. Old-fashioned soap is sufficient for cleaning. Some cleaning products can also damage a granite floor's lustre including products with an ammonia base. Granite should be sealed for added protection.
 
Tough and versatile, commonly found and easily quarried, for a building material that has been used back in ancient times, granite is a surprisingly modern stone, and one that can provide the perfect foundation for interior design.