Granite is classified as an “igneous” rock. Igneous means that the rock was formed in the bowels of the Earth and spit out or pushed upward through natural processes. As a result, granite is formed under extreme heat and pressure, akin to the way diamonds are formed. However, granite is considered “softer” than diamonds on the Mohs scale of the hardness of rocks.
What Does All That Science-y Stuff About Granite Mean?
Granite is preferred for countertops because it is so hard and so resilient. The Mohs scale is used by geologists to measure for how hard or soft a rock or mineral is. It ranks rocks and minerals from 1-10, and yes, rocks and minerals can rank at .5 increments on the scale.
Diamonds are the hardest “rock” known to man. Soapstone is the softest. Soapstone you can easily crush in your hand or with a hammer. You need some very heavy duty equipment or lasers to pulverize diamonds. Geologists use “scratch tests” to determine how soft a rock or mineral is and where it sits on the Mohs scale.
Granite earns the honor of being at a level 6 or 7, but more often than not at 7. That makes it one very hard type of rock.
Can You Smash or Cut Granite?
If you’re curious to see how hard granite is, watch a few videos online. You can easily find videos of people swinging hammers and sledgehammers against granite. Lesser hammers may create scratches or tiny chips, while sledgehammers may produce larger chunks. As for cutting granite, a diamond-toothed stone cutting saw is necessary to get through a slab of granite.
So, is it possible to smash or cut granite? Yes, but the amount of force and highly specialized tools required means that virtually nothing else will make a dent or cut well. It’s the number one reason why granite comes so highly recommended as a countertop material. It’s nearly impossible to damage it.
This is a testament to why granite is the ideal material for your countertops, because it is extremely unlikely anyone will ever take a hammer to your countertops. This means that everyday wear and tear will not leave lasting damage on your granite countertops, so you can rest easy knowing that they will last you a lifetime.
Does the Color of Granite Make Any Difference in Hardness?
Good question, and a simple answer follows. No, the color of granite doesn’t affect the hardness. Red, black, gray, yellow, white, etc., is all about the same. Color of granite is affected by what mineral melted into the granite when it was all molten rock. It doesn’t change the hardness at all, just the color.
That’s excellent news for homeowners who want to add granite countertops but aren’t interested in black or red granite as color options. You can pick another color of granite and still get the hardness and durability qualities you expect.
How Heavy Is Granite?
To tell the truth, granite slabs are heavy. Extra supports may be necessary to keep the weight of granite countertops from pressing down on cabinets too hard. Still, the lasting beauty is worth it.
What Can Damage Granite?
Any rock or mineral harder than granite, such as quartzite or diamonds, can scratch the surface of the granite. Most of these things are easily preventable though as it is not likely that your granite countertops will come in contact with quartzite or diamonds in their lifetime.
Granite countertops are extremely hard and durable. That is why they are such a popular material for countertops. Though granite is an investment, the lifetime of use you will get from them is well worth the expenditure. Additionally, with the help from Best Granite for Less, you can get high quality granite countertops at an affordable price! Visit our website or give us a call today!