Natural Stone Porous Materials Protection Cleaning D.I.Y.

Stone origins: Granite

These granite tiles were once hot, molten rock swimming beneath the earth.

When you think of hard, long-lasting and durable, there tends to be one particular stone that comes to mind above all others: Granite. Granite is known as one of the toughest stones around, which is why it’s often the ideal material for features like countertops, where other kinds of surfaces might suffer damage from knives and other objects.

Why exactly does it have this particular constitution? Examining the origins of granite and how it comes to be can help explain this – and help prepare you for granite protection.

The formation of igneous rocks

Granite is quite possibly the best-known igneous rock in the world, a type of rock formed when magma solidifies. These rocks often take on a crystalline form, creating a unique, glassy appearance – which helps explain why it’s so popular for elements around the home.

Igneous rocks, like granite, are the products of what are otherwise terrifying and awe-inspiring natural processes. There are plenty of films like Dante’s Inferno which make much of the destructive potential of volcanic eruptions. But in fact, these processes are also key to the formation of in-demand natural resources like granite.

Beneath the earth, temperature is extremely hot – hot enough to melt solid, hard rock into liquid, which is what we call magma. Typically, when magma rises to the surface of the earth and erupts, being released as pyroclastic material or lava. Exposed to the much lower temperatures above ground, this molten rock rapidly cools, forming what we come to know as igneous rock.

Grasping granite

The formation of granite is a little bit different. Granite is known as an ‘intrusive’ rock, because it actually cools underground. The magma was pushed upward from deep within the earth’s surface, slowly cooling in underground magma chambers. This slow process of temperature loss gives granite its make-up of larger crystals, helping give it its unique appearance.

After cooling, over time, granite was slowly exposed to the earth’s surface, which is why it’s typically found in mountainous areas throughout the earth’s continental crust.

Despite the intense process which helps create granite, it too is porous like other types of stone. It needs to be sealed with a product like META CREME™ to help it last – after all, there’s only so much formerly molten rock lying around above ground.

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