Where Is Granite Located and How Is It Formed?
Posted on 24th August 2022 at 14:47
Where Is Granite Located and How Is It Formed?
Most of us are familiar with the idea of granite worktops, but where is granite located? With such an abundance of it in our homes, kitchens, and urban landscapes, where are we getting it from? And will it eventually run out?
We’ve dug a little deeper into the world of granite to explain how this rock is formed, where to mine granite, and why we only use the highest quality granite for our products. Let’s start with the basics of how such a versatile rock came to exist.
What Sort of Rock Is Granite?
Granite is an igneous rock, meaning it’s formed by molten magma cooling and solidifying. This process takes place slowly under the earth’s surface, which is what forms the larger crystals that give granite its distinctive aesthetics and coarse-grained appearance.
The crystallised grains are large enough to see the individual components of the stone. They’re mainly quartz, feldspar (a rock-forming mineral found in over 50% of the earth’s crust) and other minerals. The combination of different elements is what gives granite its distinctive colouring, as well as determining its quality.
Quality granite is pure, meaning it hasn’t been mixed with softer rocks to increase the weight without a hefty price tag. Lower quality granite is usually thinner, less durable, and not as visually impressive. All granite, however, is harder than marble and an ideal choice when you need a durable and heatproof stone.
What Colour Is Granite?
The composition of granite means it has a unique mix of colours rather than one set colour. You mainly see flecks of red, pink, grey, and white with darker spots from the mineral grains.
As granite is totally natural, you can’t make bespoke shades. Instead, you’re reliant on what nature produces. The different conditions across the world mean all granite is totally unique, but some may share similarities.
Due to this, areas have become well-known for producing a certain colour of granite. For example, Cornish and South-West granite is often pale, whereas Scotland is known for a multitude of colours, including red and orange. So, when asking what colour is granite, there’s no definitive answer.
Where Is Granite Located?
Where is granite located? Well, when thinking about where to mine granite, you can source it worldwide. A large chunk of the earth’s crust is made from granite, so you may choose a granite table sourced from Brazil or a countertop from Italy. With different conditions in each location, every quarry produces granite with unique characteristics.
The cost of shipping used to make importing granite an expensive luxury, but advances in technology mean it’s now far more affordable. With each area having a different mineral make-up, you’ll find countries are known for specific traits in their granite, as well as producing higher or lower quality granite.
Let’s explore the answer to “where is granite located?” and how different locations impact the finished result.
Will Granite Ever Run Out?
Realistically, no. Granite is formed over millions over years and there is so much of it still left unfound or unused that we are unlikely to ever run out of it. That being said, granite is expensive for a reason and if suddenly everyone on Earth made use of it, we could, theoretically, run out if we took too much from the source.
There are granite quarries in Britain, although these are mainly used for construction purposes rather than decorative. That said, some quarries will provide stone for repairs to historic buildings. For most of us seeking granite for our homes, it’ll be imported from elsewhere.
India is known for its vast array of granite and is, understandably, one of the largest exporters. Granite sourced from India is known for its beauty and hardness, so you’re bound to find your desired style. Numerous regions are known for producing specific colour types, from absolute blacks to crystal yellows.
Brazil is another granite juggernaut and is sometimes referred to as the granite capital of the world. In 2014, the country exported 1,100,000 metric tons to the USA alone. When thinking about where to mine granite, Brazil is known for its unique slabs with a selection of beautiful and rare colours, including violets and sunset reds.
Italian granite is some of the best in the world. The geological conditions over the last thousand years or so have formed durable yet beautiful granite with rare colours and patterns. The slabs are thick, so expect to pay a premium for a quality product.
Many other countries across Europe produce and export granite, such as Spain, Belgium, and Scandinavia. Having the stone so readily available allows us at Granite Unlimited to provide high-quality granite products at affordable prices.
Granite Around the World
You can, of course, find granite all over the world. The USA and Canada also have ample supplies of granite. In fact, Mount Rushmore is one of the most famous landmarks and is carved into the granite face of the mountain in South Dakota.
When sourcing granite, you do need to factor in transportation costs. The further it’s coming from, the more you pay. It’s not easy to ship large and heavy slabs of granite, after all.
There are different grades of granite to determine its quality. Where it comes from can impact the grade it’s given and, therefore, choices on where to mine granite.
Grade 1 (Entry-level): The lowest and thinnest grade granite. Simple design and standard colours. You may need plywood backing for extra support. This type of granite is often found in China.
Grade 2 (Mid-grade): Grade 2 granite is thicker than lower grade and has slightly more interesting patterns and unique markings. India and Brazil are importers of this grade of granite.
Grade 3+ (High-grade): Granite level 3 and above is high quality. It’s the thickest cut with interesting marks, colours, and patterns.
Quality Granite Products at Granite Unlimited
We hope we’ve answered the question 'where is granite located?' In short, all over the world! Granite is formed rather than made, so it's a natural part of the Earth’s crust. At Granite Unlimited, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality and durable bespoke granite products crafted by our expert stonemason.
We’re on hand to answer your questions, so contact us today to talk to our friendly and professional team.
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