What is granite, anyway?…

In geological terms, granite is an igneous rock that is produced under many layers of sedimentary minerals. Igneous rocks are the product of volcanoes, essentially hardened magma. Igneous rock that solidifies on the surface of the earth is called extrusive, and is brittle and flaky. Granite, however, is called intrusive because it cools over a very long period of time underground into the coarse, dense material we all know and love. The word “granite” itself means “grain,” referring to the large grain-size of the various crystal and mineral pieces that comprise it.

Technically speaking, there is a very small portion of intrusive igneous rock that is considered “granite” by geologists. However, for the purposes of the commercial stone industry, many stones that would be geologically classified as “granitoid” share enough similar properties that the term “granite” suffices. The diversity among granitoid rocks such as granite, quartz monzonite, quartz diorite, syenite, granodiorite and trondhjemite offers many different visual styles to select from. But they all possess the hallmark qualities of the stone: durability, strength, and a beautiful polish.

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Because of the slow cooling time and immense geological pressure that is required for its creation, granite is stronger than steel, polishes better than marble, and is almost completely inert to acids, bases, heat, and erosion. This makes it an excellent material for both indoor and outdoor applications such as monuments, headstones, plaques, columns, stairways, pavings, walls, granite countertops, and more. Throughout the history of civilization, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to our very own Mount Rushmore, granite has been a sign of opulence, wealth, power, and posterity. Using granite in your kitchen or bathroom renovation (granite kitchen countertops in Park Ridge and bathroom countertops in highland park) is a great way to add a touch of glamour and increase the resale value of your home.