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Granite: Types, Applications, and Benefits for Home

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Natural Stone Spotlight: Granite

As a way to use natural stone in your home, it is hard to beat granite for a variety of reasons.  Not only is the stone beautiful, it is also incredibly useful and has dozens of applications.  Further, it is a durable, solid stone that has the ability to last for years upon years, making it especially popular for kitchen countertop surfaces and flooring among other things.

The Journey from within the Earth to your Home

Granite forms much differently than many of the other stones we’ve discussed, and many people appreciate the unique look it has as a result.  Essentially, the rock forms when molten material is pressed between layers of rock and heated to extremely high temperatures.  As the rock forms, pressure causes the material to mix with other elements present within the earth, which vary from one area to another.  

The differing amounts of materials like quartz, mica, and feldspar and the way they are combined give granite the wide range of recognizable patterns and colors that we all love.

Today, rock quarries produce the granite that formed so deep within the earth, and it is eventually cut and processed for commercial needs.  Depending on the ultimate destination for the granite, it may be sold as a slab or developed into tile.  Regardless of its final form, each piece of granite is typically evaluated in terms of its strength and grade and polished before it ever makes it into your home.

Why We Love Granite

People tend to flock toward using granite in their homes because it is a relatively easy way to add the classic beauty that so many of us want.  Fewer natural stones are more beautiful and can provide the wealth of variety available in granite slab or tile in terms of color and pattern choice.  Further, using the stone can instantly add value to your property and is actually considered an excellent way to contribute to the strength of your home’s construction when used in flooring.

Once it is installed, caring for your granite can be reasonably easy when compared to other surfaces.  The way the stone was formed ensures that it is incredibly resistant to heat and damage.  In fact, it is considered to be one of the most durable natural stones available.  

How to Use Granite

If its beauty and durability haven’t convinced you, also consider that granite can be and is used in almost any area of the home that you could imagine.  Overall, it’s incredibly popular and can be used for nearly any purpose.

It is commonly used for both commercial and residential purposes, mostly in the form of granite tile. Commercially, you may notice that granite is frequently used in hallways and lobbies in a way that seems both functional and decorative.  This is certainly the case due to the public’s association to granite with endurance, toughness, and professionalism.

Likewise, in residential use, granite brings along its reputation for evoking a feeling of elegance and sound design that can be used to complement a variety of styles anywhere in the home.

Both granite tile and slabs are often chosen for countertops, and it is also common to see tile used for a backsplash in the kitchen as a way to incorporate granite as a decorative element.  Many people choose to incorporate the stone

outdoors as well, using granite tiles that have not been polished to create a unique path or patio surface that further adds to the appeal of the area as well as the value of the home.  Smaller pieces or even leftover granite may be used in fireplaces, vanities, and furniture, and even less amounts of the stone can be used to create coasters, cutting boards, and other home accessories.  

Before Installing Granite

Despite the many reasons there are to use granite in your home, like anything, there are some considerations you should make before and after you install it.  If you intend to use granite tile, the following guidelines will help you in the process.

+ Although it can be used almost anywhere, do consider where you would like to use granite to ensure that the stone will work with the amount of traffic and moisture that is common in the area

+ Also inspect the are you intend to install your granite to make sure that it is even, clean, and free of moisture at the time of installation

+ Research the warranties available on any materials that you buy, and always examine the tile you have purchased to ensure that the quality of your granite is what you expected

+ Have fun with the variation in the color and patterns in your granite, and use them to create a unique look

+Always arrange granite tile before you actually install it to determine the best fit and arrangement for the area

+Consider seeking the expert advice of a professional who can alert you to any other considerations and educate you in the installation and proper care of your stone

+An expert in natural stone should also be able to advise you on the proper sealant for your granite as well as the best way to clean and maintain your stone.  They should be able to guide you in choosing the best cleaning and polishing agents that will help you maintain the beauty of your granite over time.

If you already have granite, here are a few quick tips to keep it looking great:

+ Always wipe spills from the surface of your granite right away to keep it from staining

+ Avoid allowing gritty substances or dirt to stay on you tile for long periods of time, as they can impact the appearance of the stone’s texture and finish

+ Always rinse your tile after it has been cleaned with a suggested cleaning agent, and never use cleaners that are acid based.

+ Avoid using abrasive or scratchy materials like steel wool scouring agents because they can seriously damage your granite

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to discuss your current granite or plans for installation with an expert who can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you time and money.  For those in New York the Marble Polishing Experts can give you the best advice on anything related to keeping your granite healthy and beautiful for as long as possible.


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