Granite,Glorious Granite: Man’s Favourite Construction Material Articles by definition is an igneous rock which contains no less than twenty percent quartz by total volume. Granite is a volcanic rock formed from magma deep in the Earth’s crust which heats existing rocks to melting pint combining with the magma which gives the rock its distinctive speckled or grainy appearance. As this cools, quartz crystals are formed giving granite its defining ingredient. Granite is granite countertops near me currently only known on Earth and astro-geologists, being those who study rock formations on other planets, are yet to discover granite like rock formations outside of our blue planet. However seeing as granite is the bedrock of Earth, forming a major part of the continental crust, I’m sure granite like rocks do exist in the far reaches of space.
Here on Earth granite has been the mainstay of the construction industry since at least the time of ancient Egypt. Granite is both ubiquitous and workable which meant the rock could be quarried and hewn within a reasonable distance of the structure it was being used for. The great pyramids of Gaza are hewn from local granite, as are the pyramids of south America and many ancient structures throughout Asia are also constructed from granite. Granite was not only used for huge foundation or construction stones, as it was also commonly carved into statues, the most famous being the Sphinx, and split into granite tiles too throughout the ancient world.
It wasn’t for many hundreds of years that granite began to be polished to give it a smooth glass like finish, and it was only then that the true beauty of granite was revealed. The high quartz content gave the stone a sparkle which other common building materials such as marble and limestone did not have. Although marble was commonly used as wall and floor tiles, the ubiquity of granite throughout the ancient world paved the way for dominance of granite floor tiles. Being readily available and incredibly hard wearing, it’s no wonder Mesopotamia, parts of Africa and Asia are littered with numerous examples of granite construction and decorative features such as granite tiles.
More recently the huge variety of granites throughout the world has become more accessible and as such, its popularity has grown considerably, especially in domestic use. With better quarrying techniques and more effective polishing, granite floor tiles are becoming more popular than man made ceramics. Granites with an unusually high quartz content or commonly used as tiles, commonly known as galaxy granite tiles due to their resemblance to a night time star scape. Granite tiles is probably the most common use for most quarried granites these days as splitting the granite into thin tiles is far more profitable than using the same block as a single building block. Being the second hardest natural rock on the planet, it’s no wonder granite has been used for millenia and is likely to be favoured for many years to come.