Granite owes much of its beauty to make up. Not the type of “makeup” that lives in the drawers of the bathroom vanity but the “make up” or composition of minerals that are combined to give each variety of granite its unique color and pattern. Sometimes the color and pattern is very consistent and sometimes there is considerable variation due to small changes in the composition of the stone.
3 Criteria To Consider When You Go For A Granite Countertop
When choosing stone for your Clearwater kitchen granite countertops, understanding a little about the strength and color of the different minerals that make up granite will help you make the best choice.
#1 Hard Wearing Beauty
There are several ways to measure hardness but the oldest and still most commonly used is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Like a version of paper-rock-scissors (with only rocks). The #2 mineral, gypsum, a large component in drywall, is very soft but still scratches talc, the softest mineral on the scale at #1.
#2 The Beauty Mix
Granite is formed deep beneath the surface. As molten rock slowly cools the different minerals slowly crystallize. The “make up” or mixture of minerals, the rate of cooling and other factors determine the unique color and crystal pattern that is contained in your granite countertops.
Granite gets its hardness from its two main ingredients, quartz and orthoclase, which is also called feldspar. In order for rock to be classified as granite by a geologist it must have at least 20% quartz and 35% orthoclase. It can have more but not less. Quartz and orthoclase are only surpassed in hardness by gems like topaz and diamond.
#3 Traces of Beauty
The ultimate color of a slab of granite destined for a granite kitchen counter is often determined by the presence of trace elements present in the quartz and feldspar as they cooled and began to crystallize. The presence of trace elements also influences the pattern of the granite by affecting how the minerals crystallize.
Quartz crystals are typically white or clear but if they contain any number of trace elements take on dramatic range of colors. Rose quartz contains trace amounts of titanium and manganese. Purple quartz, also called amethyst, contains iron impurities as well as other trace elements.
Feldspar is typically pink but the presence of trace elements can dramatically change its appearance as well. Green feldspar called amazonite, thought to contain traces of lead and hydroxide, can range from dark green to a light blue-green color.
As well as quartz and feldspar most granite contains shiny flecks of mica that range from transparent to silver, gold, brown and dark black.
Thanks to nature, you have an almost endless variety of granite colors and patterns to choose from. At Five Star Stone we have a wide selection of natural granite that will look great on your Clearwater kitchen countertops.