||Its molecular structure renders granite very strong and stable but in some cases problematic. The word granite comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock. There are many different types of granite that fall under a wide spectrum of colours. In this article we have tried to give you a basic outline of the different structures and properties of granite.
For the ultimate, in-depth analysis of granite and its natural origins click here.
To see our full range of granite worktop colours click here
If you are just looking for basic information on different granite types, granites pros & cons and Cleaning & maintenance for this beautiful surface please read on.....
|Group 1: Granite colours such as Star Galaxy, Cosmos black and Zimbabwe black are very rigid and hard with a dense structure and small tight knit grain. Due to this dense structure and therefore low porosity they are the hardest and most stain resistant. Dry treat stain proof is recommended by Finch’s as a precautionary measure but not essential with this type of stone.
Manufacturing considerations: These materials can make worktops of long lengths with cut out for hobs and sinks with no problems. It will not bend or flex in worktop thickness(30mm) although this granite is not suitable in long span applications of 3m or above if the worktops has a cut out for a sink or hob.
|Group 2: Granites such as Baltic Brown or Sapphire Brown are certainly as hard as group 1 colours. They are as stain resistant as the first group with the same low porosity and dense structure. The make up of this type of material is a larger grain structure that is not as close knit. Dry treat stain proof is recommended by Finch’s as a precautionary measure with this type of stone.
Manufacturing considerations: The make up of this type of material is larger grain and so more prone to breakages. They will not bend or flex in worktop thickness (30mm) but this type of granite is not suitable in long span applications of 2.5m or above if the worktops has a cut out for a sink or hob .
Group 3: Granites such as Giallo Venitziano or Giallo Ornimental type materials are still hard wearing. They are softer than the above groups in makeup but have a similar larger grain structure. This is what we would term as a "biscuit” type structure that is softer between the larger structures so a long length may crumble and break if it has a cut out for a hob or sink. These types of granite may also have fissures, cracks and vents in the surface. Group 3 materials are of medium porosity and Dry treat stain proof is advised by Finch’s as a necessity with this type of stone.
Manufacturing considerations: This granite is not suitable in long span applications of 2.4m or above if the worktops has a cut out for a sink or hob.It is far to brittle and may snap easily if the weight of the piece forces too much pressure on the material left after a cut out is fabricated.
|Group 4: Granites such as Kashmir Gold and Shivakashi materials have a smaller structure or grain but are much softer than any other group. They very often have markings like you may see in marble with veins and swirling patterns. These materials are very porous and it is essential that they are sealed with dry treat- stain proof.
Manufacturing considerations: These types of granites will certainly bend or flex very easily and break in worktop thickness(30mm) of longer lengths. This type of granite not suitable in long span applications of 2.4m or above if the worktops has a cut out for a sink or hob.
NOTE: If you are looking for longer lengths of worktops please have a look at our Quartz manufactured surfaces such as Silestone, Caesarstone , Technistone ,Diresco and eco(75% recycled materials). They are certainly a better all round material due to their superior strength, flexibility, stain resistance and included 10+ year warranty)
The Appreciation of Granite & Natural Stone
Most coloured granite and marble is inherently unsound. This can vary from hairline cracks or "fissures” in some varieties to extensive brecciations in others. Natural stone can have other flaws and irregularities and can never be fully guaranteed to remain consistent throughout the whole slab (a.k.a sheet or scant).
Generally speaking the more "figure” the material contains the greater the need for reinforcement, repair or filling. Fortunately, with modern techniques and skills, these reinforcement repairs can be well concealed. In fact, the parts so treated are normally the stronger sections and such repairs, reinforcement and filling should not therefore be regarded in any way as defective.
In the course of developing a quarry, considerable variation often occurs in the colour, appearance and veining of the stone that is extracted. For this reason, close uniformity is not natural and should not be expected. Therefore, when for reasons of size, Granite or other natural stones has to be in two or more pieces, it’s sometimes impossible to match the graining exactly to conceal joints.
Those who seek perfection in other walks of life should understand that the very imperfection of natural stone is often one of its most beautiful, endearing and essential features.
Due to the unpredictable nature of granite for kitchen worktops we actively encourage our customers to call in and select their exact slabs to make your project. Our prospective customers are welcome at any time to visit our stockyard and production facility, without any prior appointment for free and impartial advice.
While here you can view the slabs, production process,take samples and discuss your bespoke project in detail. We would be very pleased to show you around and give you all the information you need, the pro's and con's on any product available to ensure you get the right product for you !
Granite is difficult to work with and requires water cooled diamond tooling, specialist C.N.C machinery and a specific knowledge of this trade and its materials.
Finch's have the latest innovative C.N.C machinery, laser guided sawing equipment, knowledgeable and skilled production staff. We have excelled in this field for over 4 generations and have an unrivalled leading position in the stone trade for over 40 years.We are proud of our unique heritage and excel in applications in our field of expertise.
To see more information on how we fabricate your project click here
The Pitfalls with Granite:
Granite is also a notoriously heavy material with an approximate weight of, 30mm x 2.6m long x .6m = 145kg or 23 stone.
Working with such a heavy material can cause problems upon installation. We have heavy lifting equipment, cranes and fork lift trucks in our factory but the heavy finished worktops & island units still need to be taken from the delivery vehicle into the house, then fitted.
Good access for lifting equipment is essential when dealing with larger pieces such as island unit worktops. We can instruct you on the best price, practice, material choice the realistic possibilities of your design when you give us a kitchen worktop plan, that's invaluable information before you reach the template stage
For more information on planning your project click here
for more information on our fitting teams click here
Granite Worktops - Care & Maintenance Guide......
Natural granite is hard wearing, functional and beautiful addition to any kitchen and if treated properly will last for many years. To help you keep it that way we have prepared some guidelines and information about granite worktops that should be observed.
Heat Resistance: Always use pan stands and trivets to protect stone surfaces from hot pans, pots and dishes. Granite can take a moderate amount of heat but a pan that is taken directly off the hob and placed onto the granite may damage the surface. The cause of the damage is the sudden, rapid change in temperature of the surface that may cause the granite to heat up so quickly that it crystallizes the surface and leaves it a few shades lighter and possibly with a rougher texture. Once this change occurs it is very difficult to reverse or disguise the effect.
Scratch Resistance: It is a common myth that granite cannot be scratched as it is perfectly possible to do so, after all if it can be cut into worktop sizes then it can be scratched. Under normal working conditions in a kitchen this will not be a problem. Do not cut directly on the granite surface unless you want to ruin your good knives and possibly scratch your granite. Always cut and chop on a wooden, glass or plastic cutting board to avoid any damage. Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects
Stain Resistance: In general granite will not stain easily. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but most popular granites have very little porosity. Most colours will never show any moisture. A few colours may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colours, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colours demonstrate this trait. Strongly coloured foodstuffs such as blackcurrant, beetroot etc should be avoided if possible or cleaned off the surface as soon as possible with warm water. Acidic foodstuffs such as citrus juices, vinegars, tomato sauce and cola may etch the stone surface and affect the gloss polish if left on the surfaces. Clean the spills up as soon as they occur to prevent any possible damage.
Daily (Regular) Cleaning: In normal use, clean the stone surface regularly with clean hot, soapy water ,a mild detergent, anti bacterial or neutral detergent and a soft cloth, clean dishcloth or sponge. Rinse off the surface then dry and polish with a soft cloth(tea towel) or sponge. Over time with normal kitchen use, stone work surfaces will start to dull and be in need of some attention. It is normal for the granite high gloss to weather in this way and can be restored by using special liquid polishes and cleaners available from us. We supply a wide range of cleaning products for your new worktops. There are a number of different types of kits as well as stand alone products for you to keep you work surface in prime condition.
Detergents & Cleaners: Never use bleach and other chlorine based cleaners, acids, photographic development liquid, alkalis (caustic soda) and concentrated disinfectants on the stone surfaces. If any of these substances come into contact with the stone, clean them off immediately, otherwise surface damage may occur. Avoid use of abrasive cleaning materials: scouring powders/pads course steel wool and metal brushes.
Anti Stain Treatments: Although Granite is one of the least absorbent stone types, If not correctly treated with a stain repellent it can be stained by grease, nicotine, fruit juices, wine or coffee, any spills must be removed fairly quickly from an untreated granite worktop, if you delay this you could cause permanent damage to the material. For years the debate on granite staining has had no real conclusion- until now! The previous incarnations of natural stone sealers such as Lithofin and Akimi products have been silicone based. This would be applied to the surface and create a barrier on the surface to stop any liquid from passing through. While these are better than nothing they required re-application every six months as the protective layer would ware off. Dry treat stain –proof is the very latest innovation and works in a different way by penetrating the surface and making the actual stone the barrier. Once applied stain proof will keep on protecting your surface for up to 15 years with only the one single application. It is suitable for all types of natural stone and surface finishes. For more information on dry treat please click here or call us on 01257 253069
Honed and textured granite surfaces are more susceptible to soiling and staining due to the fact that there are more open pores at the surface than a highly polished finish. The polishing process has a tendency to close off pores leaving fewer onesexposed, resulting in a low absorbent surface. However, some varieties of stone have largepores and capillary structures and even when these stones are polished they still remain very absorbent.