Granite is an igneous stone, one that is formed from cooling magma. It has almost every range of color – whites & grays, greens & blues, golds & reds & browns, and many tones of blacks.
While natural stone has always been used in building, the widespread use of granite as a building material is fairly recent, starting in the mid-1800’s, as granite is extremely hard and required specialized machinery to quarry, cut, and produce. At this time and for a long time after, granite was used mostly for tombstones and exterior cladding/pavement, as granite is much more resistant to the outdoor issues of weathering and acid erosion than marble. Much of downtown Minneapolis is granite.
For countertops, granite became popular in the 1980’s and 90’s, but because of a high price point was usually used only in higher-end construction. Today – due to huge advances in technology – prices have dropped and granite has become the new standard for countertops.
Granite is popular for a number of reasons. There is a huge variety of colors from different countries across the globe, but mostly from Brazil, India, and China. Sealed granite is the cleanest countertop surface next to stainless steel – it does not harbor bacterial growth. Granite is extremely heat resistant – up to about 480 F. Granite is easy to maintain and easy to repair – if somehow a stain occurs, or if your granite chips over time, this is almost always a simple fix. Constant maintenance isn’t required – using everyday neutral cleaning products are fine and sealing every 1-5 years is also an easy process.