Granite is an easy option for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops. However, picking out the right granite for either of these purposes is not always easy. Granite comes in such a wide range of colors and designs that you can get into a bit of a choice overload. Granite countertops are a considerable investment and will last forever, so you want to make sure you pick the right one.
One way to choose the right granite countertops for your kitchen or bathroom is to know a bit more about granite, especially the colors. The color facts for granite countertops can help you narrow down your options.
The first thing you need to know about granite is that it is a natural stone. It is the most abundant natural stone covering about 80% of the Earth. It is not always visible as it forms under the crust from magma, so it requires a bit of digging, or quarrying, getting it out.
Granite has a distinctive look that most people recognize, particularly the visible grains or crystals of the minerals that gave it its name. This granular look is due to the way granite forms. As it cools over a long time, it allows the various minerals in the magma to separate and crystallize into veins, streaks, clusters, and grains. Different minerals in various proportions results in a wide range of unique coloration and design of the stone. Magma that makes its way to the surface has the same composition as granite. However, and it will cool much more quickly, it will not have visible crystals that distinguish granite.
The primary minerals found in granite include quartz, feldspar, and amphibole, which are typically white or colorless, gray, black, and brown. The most common type of granite is gray with darker speckles, so most people will immediately identify it. Generally, granite has a white or gray background with darker artifacts such as black, brown, or darker gray.
Granite encompasses a wide range of igneous-type rocks, but they all have one thing in common: quartz. For stone to be true granite, it needs to have at least 20% of quartz in its composition. This is an important qualification, as quartz is a very hard mineral. Its inclusion in the mix for granite gives it its resilience and durability. Because of the quartz and the slow cooling of the magma under extreme heat and pressure, granite is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains.
As mentioned previously, granite is composed of quartz and several other minerals. Quartz is either white or colorless, so it contributes little to the overall color of most granite stones. Minerals that do have a significant effect on the colors and grains of granite are the feldspar, micas, and amphiboles.
These minerals come in a wide range of colors from white to black. Biotite, a type of mica, is usually brown or black. Potassium feldspar can be white, red, brown, orange, and on occasion, green. Mica makes up about 10% of the composition of granite.
While gray on white is a common type of granite, other color combinations are less common. The following types of granite have a typically composition of minerals.
White granite is quite rare, and even then, they are not solid white. A pure white stone rarely happens with natural stones because there are almost always minerals in the mix with some color. If you do happen upon solid white countertops, they are most likely not natural stones.
That said, anything called white granite would be mostly white with occasional specks or streaks o other colors. It will most likely have equal parts of white feldspar and quartz, with a bit of mica and amphiboles. White granite typically forms in areas that receive little or no moisture, which does not promote the formation of strongly colored minerals.
Solid black granite is also just as unlikely as solid white granite. It will usually have some lighter colored clusters or streaks shooting through the stone.
Unlike white granite, however, you might be able to find natural stones that are solid black. These are probably not true granite, though. It is highly likely that some of the black “granite” you will see are other types of igneous rock such as basalt or gabbro. These are very good substitutes for granite as they are
Red or pink granite
Red or pink granite are also quite rare, but quite fantastic if you can get it. Typically, the mix includes significant proportion of red potassium feldspar and white quartz, so it is quite a durable stone. They might also have a good amount of amphiboles, which would give it a speckled effect.
Green and blue granite
You might be able to find green or blue granite, but that would be just luck. These are very rare types of granite, and unlikely to appear in showrooms. If you do find green and blue granite, they might not be true granite at all, but another type of igneous rock such as anorthosite, which is blue. Green granite might not even be an igneous rock, but a metamorphic rock like serpentine.
These color facts for granite countertops should give you a good idea of what to expect and what to ask when you go to a slab warehouse or showroom. Do not hesitate to ask if they are true granite, especially for green, blue, solid white, or solid black granite. A reputable company should be able to answer accurately. Cabinet Land Kitchen and Beyond offers free consultation services and quotes, so you can have the benefit of our expertise without spending a dime.
We are a local remodeling company with a showroom located in Schaumburg, Illinois. We work only with quality natural stones for countertops as well as the best cabinet brands at the best prices compared to our competitors such as Advance Cabinets and Handsome Cabinets.
Visit us today to see what we have to offer. We service Chicago land and have the expertise and resources to complete virtually any type of countertops and kitchen cabinets – ON TIME and ON BUDGET with top quality craftsmanship that will exceed your expectations.