Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray, or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.
Granite is the best-known igneous rock. Many people recognize granite because it is the most common igneous rock found at Earth’s surface and because granite is used to make many objects that we encounter in daily life. These include counter tops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer, and cemetery monuments. Granite is used all around us – especially if you live in a city.
Granite is a coarse-grained, light-colored igneous rock composed mainly of feldspars and quartz with minor amounts of mica and amphibole minerals. This simple definition enables students to easily identify the rock based upon a visual inspection.
Granite is the rock most often quarried as a “dimension stone” (a natural rock material that has been cut into blocks or slabs of specific length, width, and thickness). Granite is hard enough to resist most abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering, and it accepts a brilliant polish. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.
Most of the granite dimension stone produced in the United States comes from high-quality deposits in five states: Massachusetts, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Idaho.
Granite has been used for thousands of years in both interior and exterior applications. Rough-cut and polished granite is used in buildings, bridges, paving, monuments, and many other exterior projects. Indoors, polished granite slabs and tiles are used in countertops, tile floors, stair treads, and many other practical and decorative features.
High price often reduces the popularity of a construction material, and granite often costs significantly more than man-made materials in most projects. However, granite is frequently selected because it is a prestige material, used in projects to produce impressions of elegance, durability, and lasting quality.