Granite and its use in modern stonemasonry
Granite is a material known to mankind for centuries. It is a magma rock which occurs in all parts of the world. It is used in both sculpture and stonework. So far it has been one of the most frequently quarried types of stone. It can vary in appearance and properties depending on its place of origin, although its characteristic features remain the same.
The most important features and characteristics of granite
It is a rock of open-crystal structure. This means that the individual grains of minerals of which a given granite is composed are visible in it. It is most often quartz, biotite and various types of feldspar. The grains of individual minerals may be smaller (then the granite has a more homogeneous structure) or larger, but they always remain visible. They are laid in a disorderly manner and do not form any distinct structure. Depending on the exact composition and proportions between particular minerals, granite can take on various colors. Granites in various shades of grey are the most common. Slightly more rare are brown, pink and red granites. One of the characteristic features of granite is also its relatively high hardness, which does not translate into difficulty of processing, thanks to which this rock is widely used in stone industry. In Poland, the most important granite deposits occur in the Sudety Mountains. Granite is also used in the Tatra Mountains; however, for obvious reasons, mining in this area is not possible.
Different types of granite and their uses
In the territory of our country, Strzegom and Strzelin granite are quarried in the greatest quantities. Both of them are grey in color but the granite mined in the Strzegom region has much larger and more distinct grains. Granites are commonly used not only in stonemasonry but also in construction. Slightly less popular is the beautiful Krkonoše granite, which is characterized by a more varied structure and the presence of clearly distinguishable grains of minerals in black, white, grey and pink. The so-called inscription granite and Rapakivi granite, quarried in Finland, are of particularly great decorative value. They are characterized by the presence of large and clearly visible mineral overgrowths, which give them a characteristic pattern.
Granite as a stone material
As a stone material, granite is used for a variety of purposes. It is used for kitchen worktops and elevations but also for tombstones and decorations. Such a versatile application is possible mainly due to the fact that granite rock is quite resistant to weathering, which gives it a long life. It also has significant decorative qualities. In this respect, the previously mentioned scribal and Rapakivi granites are particularly valued, but also many others. However, it should be remembered that granites with large mineral overgrowths are much more susceptible to erosion, so the possibilities of their use are smaller. They are primarily used for interior decoration and facade panels.