Fun Facts About Granite

What part of the world houses the oldest known quarries?

The ancient city of Aswan in Egypt. The quarry produced an abundance of red, grey, and black granite colors used in the burial chambers and monuments of the ancient Egyptian Royals. This includes the Great Pyramid of Giza.To research more on this fun fact, please visit the Ancient Origins website here.

What temperature can granite withstand?

Before melting occurs, granite can withstand temperatures of up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that most granite can handle the heat of hot pots, pans, baking sheets, etc right on the surface without any sort of potholder or trivet.

Who created the first ever polishing tool?

In 1832, Alexander MacDonald of Aberdeen Scotland created the first polishing tool. This allowed for an expansion of granite uses and an increase in public demand.

The granite market – then and now.

In 1987, there were only two granite colors available on the market and they sold for upwards of $90 per square foot. Today, there are over 100 colors available to choose from and the price is much more affordable.

What is the hardest material in the world?

Diamonds are actually the strongest material in the world. Granite is the second hardest material and it is stronger that the highest grade of steel.

Did you know there was a “Granite Railway”?

The first commercial railway in the US opened on October 7, 1826, and was called the “Granite Railway”. It is located in Quincy, MA, and was built to haul granite from the Granite Railway Quarry to the Neponset River docks in Milton, MA. To research more on this fun fact, please visit the American Rails website here.

Myths About Granite

Below is a list of granite myths that have become very common over the last 10 years or so. We are not trying to debunk them but simply providing some more insight or information.

Granite contains radon that is harmful to your health.

Yes and no. Yes, radon can be harmful to your health and it could already exist in your house. No, because there are actually more radon gas emissions from common surfaces such as concrete, cement, and gypsum versus granite or marble. Granite is an igneous rock made from magma below the crust and it has superheating and supercooling abilities at different rates. There is no scientific evidence that supports that granite is harmful to your health.

This myth emerged about 33 years ago when Corian came onto the scene as a cheap and “safe” alternative. If you would like more info on this myth, please visit the Marble Institute of America’s website.

Granite harbors bacteria.

If you didn’t know already, granite has natural pits and imperfections. So…that means granite countertops will have natural pits and imperfections on the surface. With that being said, you may think that those pits would harbor bacteria, dirt, food, etc in them. Nope. With regular cleaning, granite is far less likely to support bacteria than manufactured countertops.

Granite stains easily and the stains cannot be removed.

Yes and no on this myth as well. Yes, there are a handful of granite colors that can stain easily because they do not come from the production facility with a resin poured on the surface. No, not all granite colors can be stained easily. Most granite slabs are “pre-sealed” with a resin from the production facility. What this means is that they have a sealer composed of several impregnators which penetrate into the stone and will prevent most stains. If you choose a color that needs to be sealed regularly, some of the most common stains occur from acidic liquids (i.e. wine, juice, lemons, etc.), cooking oils, grease, etc. The stains may be able to come out using a poultice or stain remover. For more information on poultices, please read our blog about poultices.

Heat will cause granite to chip and crack.

In a household setting, it would take an extreme amount of heat to damage granite countertops…we’re talking up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a conductive surface, which means it will become hot when hot items are set on the surface. We do recommend using pot holders or trivets when putting hot pots, pans, cookie sheets, etc on the surface.

Granite is an extremely tough material that requires diamond-tipped blades, shaping stones, and diamond-imbedded polishing pads to fabricate. In other words, granite is one of the hardest materials in the world.

Granite cannot be repaired.

Midwest Marble & Granite is one of the few companies in the Kansas City area that offer repair services for granite surfaces. Due to granite being one of the hardest materials in the world, it is very unlikely for it to break (unless a heavy force is put on the surface). Don’t get us wrong…nothing is guaranteed and there could be a chance for breakage; however, it would take A LOT to do so.

Some of the scenarios where we may be able to repair a granite surface include surface pits, edge chips, seams, sink mounting, and hairline cracks.

A few examples of repairs that would not be able to be fixed are man-made surface scratches and cracks that go through the granite. Once a granite surface is cracked all the way through, it loses its structural integrity and we recommend replacing those pieces for cautionary reasons (i.e. someone getting hurt).

Visit our sister company Kansas City Countertop Repair to learn more about granite countertop repair.