The Story Of The Granite That Is Used For Your Worktops

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  • Author Ali Shekh
  • Published April 4, 2020
  • Word count 752

Granite is one of the most common rocks on the planet and has been used for thousands of years for all sorts of things from buildings to bridges, to paving, to monuments, and a whole lot more. It is an intrusive igneous rock which has large grains which are other minerals included within the rock. An intrusive rock is formed by molten rock that cooled within the earth’s crust and was never expelled outwards.

The rock cooled over a long period of time, and over time there is different solidification of the rock which is dependent on the actual chemical components. This lets different minerals form at different times and thus changes the final granite which results. The size of the individual grains within the rock is in direct proportion to how slowly it cooled.

Granite consists mainly of quartz, potassium feldspar, mica, amphiboles, and trace minerals. It can contain anything from 10% - 65% potassium feldspar, 20% - 60% quartz, and 5% - 15% micas. The percentage of different coloured minerals in the rock is what gives it the final colour. So a large percentage of quartz results in a milky white colour, potassium feldspar is typically salmon pink, and amphiboles are usually black or dark green. Biotite and muscovite are both micas, and biotite results in dark brown or black, while muscovite is yellow or metallic gold. The inclusion of other minerals may result in red or blue hues.

Granite is an extremely hard rock – far tougher than marble. When used for kitchen worktops it can be polished, which gives it a luminous dimensional quality, or it can be honed to give a light shimmer, or flame-brushed which gives it a texture-rich surface.

Granite is blasted, chiselled, or drilled out of quarries and then special milling machines work it into slabs which are typically 7’ – 9’ in length and 4’ – 5’ wide. Other machines then polish the granite into a uniform thickness which is usually ¾ of an inch to 1¼ inches.

Special tools are used to cut the slabs into worktops, and these can either be pre-cut and edged, or they can be custom-made. The design and layout of the kitchen will determine if pre-cut and edged will be suitable or if they need to be custom-built. In order to cut granite, a diamond edge blade needs to be used. The vibration of the blade can chip the edge of the slab, so professionals use collars that act as big washers on both sides of the blade to reduce vibration. A contour diamond blade is used to cut out curves for sink openings or for hobs. The edge of the worktop can be cut in a variety of ways such as rounded, flat, bevelled, and so on. An automated edge cutting machine is used to both shape and polish the edge.

Most kitchen worktops will require more than one piece of granite because they are typically less than 10’ long, and so there will need to be a seam. This should ideally be at a well-supported area of the cabinetry. If there is a slight difference in the thicknesses of the granite, shims may be required to ensure the surface is level. Silicone is placed in between the two slabs to allow for expansion and contraction, and then a special epoxy is used to hold the two slabs together. The epoxy should be coloured to blend in with the granite.

If you’re living in Knightsbridge or any district for that matter and are thinking to buy Granite worktops its good to know that granite to some extent are porous and need to be sealed. If not, liquids such as red wine, grape juice, cooking oil, vinegar, and so on can all cause discolouration. Something that many people wouldn’t consider is grease from a pizza: if this soaks through the bottom of the pizza box it can also have an effect. Sealing granite worktops is fairly straightforward and should be carried out with a top-quality sealant.

Some of the sealants, such as those with a solvent base, can last for several years. Once sealed, any liquid spills will bead-up on the surface. If you want to know if it is time to reseal, it is simply a matter of pouring a few drops of water on the surface: if it soaks in, then it is time to apply another coat of sealant.

That aside, once you have installed granite worktops Knightsbridge or in any district for that matter you will have their beauty and outstanding benefits for years to come.

Marble & Granite is a leading supplier and installer of stone worktops in the Home Counties and different districts including Knightsbridge and can provide you with granite worktops.

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