15 Interesting Facts About Granite
Between the beauty, durability and multitude of other positive qualities granite has, it is not hard to see why so many homeowners choose the material to complete their remodeling projects. Despite being so popular, there are likely many things that you wouldn’t happen to know about this magnificent natural stone. The following are 15 interesting facts about granite.
Granite Fun Facts
#1: Granite is an igneous rock
Granite does not simply appear naturally as a slab. The stone is cut from rock beneath the earth’s surface. Granite is an igneous rock – one that is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma. Other types of rocks include sedimentary rocks (limestone, travertine, etc.) and metamorphic rocks (marble, quartzite, etc.).
#2: Granite is one of the oldest rocks in the world
It has been estimated that granite has been around for as long as 300 million years, making it one of the oldest rocks in existence.
#3: The name is derived from Latin
The name ‘granite’ is derived from the Latin word ‘granum’, which refers to a coarse grain. The name was given to the stone due to its coarse-grained structure.
#4: Granite is made up of many minerals
Granite is composed of many minerals, including quartz and feldspar.
#5: Granite is a plutonic rock
Granite is a plutonic rock – one that forms from the cooling of magma beneath the earth’s surface.
#6: Granite is one of the hardest materials in the world
Granite ranks at an 8 on the Mohs scale, which is used to measure hardness. The scale ranks minerals from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
#7: Granite was used in famous structures
Granite has been used to build some of the most famous structures in the world. The natural stone has been utilized as a building material since the time of Ancient Egyptians. Some examples of structures built from granite include Mount Rushmore and the base of the Statue of Liberty. Examples of natural granite can be found in many places, from New Hampshire to the Yosemite Valley. Granite quarries exist both in the United States and locations worldwide, from Brazil to China and many other countries.
#8: Granite led to one of the first commercial railroads in the United States
Granite has always been an in-demand building material. Because of this, it helped lead to the creation of one of the United States’ first commercial railroad systems. This railroad, referred to as the Granite Railway, connected Quincy, Massachusetts with a dock. At this dock, granite was loaded onto boats and transported to nearby Charlestown.
#9: Granite can have fissures
Many homeowners mistake fissures for cracks. Fissures are naturally occurring separations in the stone that do not compromise granite’s structural integrity.
#10: Granite can damage knives
Because granite is so hard, it can actually damage any kitchen knives that cut on the surface. While you can cut on your granite countertop, it is in your best interest to use a cutting board.
#11: Granite can handle excessive heat
Just as you can cut on the surface, you can also set down hot pots and pans on your granite kitchen countertops without having to fear damages. However, as with cutting boards, you should use trivets and hot pads in the interest of caution.
#12: Granite can be found in many different colors and styles
When homeowners think of granite, many think of white granite, black granite or other common colors, like beige. Granite can not only be found in these colors, but many more. Additional color options include pink, green, blue and others.
There are also many different styles you can find granite in. From types of the stone that are solid in color to ones with speckles and/or veining, there will surely be something that catches your eye.
#13: Granite is easy to care for
Granite is one of the easiest natural stone surfaces to care for. The only true maintenance you will have to worry about is cleaning and re-sealing, both of which are very simple processes. Always remember to use cleaners suitable for use on granite and/or natural stone. With most types of granite, you will only need to re-seal about once every year.
#14: Granite can add value to the home
Granite is a highly desirable material in the home. Because of this, the natural stone can add value to your home – something that can be particularly helpful if and when the time comes to sell.
#15: Granite is naturally porous
Granite, like most other natural stones, is porous. This means that liquid and stains can pass through the pores and work their way down into the stone, causing damage and discoloration over time. To prevent this from happening, you will have to keep up on sealing.
-WRITTEN BY STEPHEN BAEZ ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 REVIEWED BY SAMANTHA PETERSON
The 4 most beautiful mosaic works
around the world
OFTEN FOUND IN churches and mosques, mosaics seem like a simple art in practice — after all, they’re produced by assembling small bits of tile, glass, ceramic, or stone into patterns and pictures — yet on a grand scale, the result is a stunning visual display. From Uzbekistan to Iran, check out some of the most beautiful mosaic works around the world to spice up your bucket list with a bit of artistic intrigue.
1. Hassan II Mosque — Casablanca, Morocco
The Hassan II Mosque is the largest in Morocco and also features the world’s largest minaret, which towers nearly 700 feet. Construction took seven years and 10,000 craftsmen, and the top is adorned with hundreds of shades of blue and green tiles arranged in traditional Islamic patterns.
2. Basilica of San Vitale — Ravenna, Italy
Italy is the land of jaw-dropping mosaics. In addition to the spectacle of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the interior of the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is adorned with a series of mosaics depicting various scenes from the Old Testament, such as the story of Moses and the Burning Bush and the lives of Abel and Cain. Rich in symbolism, the mosaics are some of the most elaborate in the world and are comprised of rich colors and abundant gold, making for a stunning display.
3. Kalta Minor minaret — Khiva, Uzbekistan
Photo: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock
The barrel-shaped Kalta Minor minaret towers high over the neighboring Sayid Alauddin Mausoleum. Its entire surface is adorned with glazed tile and majolica, a type of pottery, in hues of bright turquoise and deep azure. The minaret was originally planned to be much taller, but the ruler in charge of the process was killed and construction ceased upon his death, so the tower remains “unfinished” — albeit eye-catching — to this day.
4. Jāmeh Mosque — Isfahan, Iran
An architectural marvel, Isfahan’s Jāmeh Mosque dates all the way back to the 700s but has been continually expanded and modified through the centuries. Decorative tile and brickwork coat the four gates, and one of the most distinctive elements of the mosque is its archway of honeycombed muqarnas, which add depth and texture to the vaulted ceilings.
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