Scientific Social

Granite countertop? Think again! Photo: HGTV

What is Granite?

We often hear many speaking highly of granite for use as counter tops in high-end kitchens and bathrooms, as accent pieces, and much more. But, what is granite?

What is Granite?

Granite is one of the Earth’s most typical rock and an essential building block of the continents. Granite¬†is a light-colored intrusive igneous rock with a distinct granular texture. Simply put, it’s a light-colored rock with a unique grain texture. Since granite forms below the Earth’s surface, cooling slowly,¬†large crystals form within the rock. Generally, granite consists of 20% quartz and two types of feldspar (a rock forming mineral) – plagioclase and alkali feldspar in relatively equal amounts.

Because it’s so hard to determine the amount of quartz and the difference between the types of feldspar, many medium-grained light-colored igneous rocks -rocks formed by the cooling of molten magma on Earth’s surface – are called granite.

So those fancy countertops you see at your local hardware store being sold as granite? Probably not granite!

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