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.
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
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!
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.
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.