Fun Facts About Granite and Quartz
Granite and quartz are two of the most enduringly popular choices for countertops. When you consider the timeless elegance of granite and the durable versatility of quartz, it’s no mystery why!
Have you ever wondered about the materials that make up your stunning countertops? If you enjoy winning trivia games or just want to increase your knowledge of granite and quartz, stick around. In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the most unique facts about granite and quartz.
Fun Facts About Granite
Fact #1: Granite is a naturally occurring rock.
Unlike other man-made surfaces (like quartz countertops), granite is naturally formed in the earth’s crust from the cooling of lava composed of quartz, feldspar, mica and various other minerals. Large blocks of this stone are blasted out of mountainsides and sliced into the slabs that we are familiar with at our favorite stone yards. The exact mix of minerals is what determines the color and pattern of your granite countertops.
Fact #2. Granite is one of the hardest materials in the world.
Granite ranks between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale, which is used to measure hardness. The scale ranks minerals from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. (For perspective, diamond ranks at a 10).
Fact #3: Granite was used in famous structures.
Granite has been used to build some of the most famous monuments and memorials in the world. The natural stone has been utilized as a building material since the time of Ancient Egyptians. Some examples of structures built from granite include Mount Rushmore and the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Fact #4: Granite countertops can add value to your home.
Granite is a highly desirable material in the home. Because of this, the natural stone can add value to your home – something that is helpful if you ever decide to sell. In fact, homes with granite surfaces generally command higher sale prices on the open market than comparable homes in the same area without this desirable feature.
Fact #5: Granite is often used for indoor rock-climbing walls.
Rock climbing is a fun way to get a great full-body workout, but it’s not something that can be done year-round. Fortunately, indoor rock-climbing gyms provide climbers with space to practice. The rock walls in these gyms are often made of granite, chosen for its durability and safety.
Fact #6. Granite was responsible for one of the first commercial railroads in the U.S.
Granite’s value as a decorative and construction material is so high that it caused the creation of America’s first commercial railroad in 1825. The Granite Railway connected Quincy, Massachusetts, and a dock on the Neponset River. From there, boats carried the stone to Charlestown where it was used to build the Bunker Hill Monument obelisk.
Fact #7. No two slabs of granite are the same.
Talk about feeling special! The specks, veining pattern and color of every granite are unique. In other words, no two granite stones are exactly alike.
Fun Facts About Quartz
Fact #1. Quartz countertops are a man-made wonder.
A practical alternative to granite, quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 93% +/- ground quartz (the natural hard mineral) with the remaining amount being resins, polymers, and pigments for color and stability. The manufacturing process takes this quartz mixture and forms it into slabs that can be made into items such as countertops for your home or office.
Fact #2. Quartz is the perfect copycat.
Because quartz countertops are engineered, the final appearance can take on a variety of forms and patterns. In fact, today’s options can look amazingly like granite, limestone, or even soapstone, depending on how it’s manufactured!
Fact #3: Quartz crystals have a unique electrical property.
Quartz has a unique electrical property called piezoelectric. The word piezoelectric is derived from the Greek piezein, which means to squeeze or press, and piezo, which is Greek for “push.” Because of this property, quartz crystals are used in electronic devices to convert mechanical stress into electricity and vice versa. In fact, modern day watches use the quartz crystal to keep accurate time. The quartz crystals have the ability to maintain an accurate frequency standard that helps regulate the movement of quartz watches.
Fact #4. Quartz is everywhere.
Here’s an easy piece of trivia to remember: quartz is the most abundant and widely distributed mineral found at Earth’s surface.
Fact #5. Quartz rates high on the mohs scale.
This fact explains why we love quartz as a highly durable material of choice for countertops! Quartz has a mineral hardness of 7.0 on the mohs scale. Manufactured quartz surfaces are mostly made from natural quartz, meaning they benefit from this same durable quality.
Fact #6. The word “quartz” originates from German.
The word “quartz” comes from the German word “quarz”.
But there’s more to the name! The beauty of quartz has attracted attention since very early times. These water-clear crystals were known to the ancient Greeks as krystallos—hence the name crystal, or more commonly, rock crystal.
Fact #7. Quartz crystals were once believed to be ice.
Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be ice that had been permanently frozen after great lengths of time. He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains, and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. This idea persisted until at least the 17th century but was later debunked.
While countertops that included particles of permanent ice would have been cool (pun intended), we’re still totally in love with the look and versatility of engineered quartz countertops.
Fact #8. Historically, quartz was believed to have anti-aging properties.
Quartz already has unique properties (see fact #1!) but the ancient Egyptians took it one step farther. They believed quartz crystals could prevent aging and would apply its powdered form to their skin to ward off aging.
Granite and quartz offer uniqueness and character like no other material for countertops. Both materials have quite the history behind their individual properties and interesting applications beyond a surface for the home and office.