The mineral-rich colors of granite, the hardest and densest of the commercial stones and probably the most popular natural stone available today, makes it ideal inside or outside and on kitchen and bathroom countertops. A broad range of elegant patterns and colors makes granite the most versatile, durable and most maintenance-free of all stones.
Granites are composed of quartz, feldspars and micas, as well as traces of a wide variety of other minerals, some of them from the host or country rock, which melts as the molten rock comes up into it. These minerals contribute to the color and texture of the various granites. Crystal size is somewhat determined by the rate at which the granite cools: the slower the cooling process, the larger the crystals grow, evident in materials such as Giallo Reale, or Verde Butterfly. Faster cooling produces fine-grained granites like Sierra White or Newport Sand. Granites get their wonderful variety of color from minerals that are melted into the liquid mass as it is formed. Sometimes, you might see what appears to be a completely different material, a big dark or contrasting spot, in a piece of granite. This is not a flaw, but most likely a xenolith, a piece of the “country” rock, which makes the stone absolutely unique.
Polished granite has a shiny, mirror-like surface. Honed granite has a matte or satin finish for a softer, less formal look.