Serving Northern California Serving Northern California Serving Northern California
Home  → All About Countertops  → Granite from a land before time

Granite from a land before time

Granite is a material that has been around for centuries and is created through a naturally occurring process in the Earth. Eons before people ever considered granite countertop installation, these massive rocks were being stored in the Earth waiting for humans to discover them. People also discovered and starting using granite slabs long before granite countertop installation was possible.

One of the first known structures made of granite slabs was the Red Pyramid of Egypt built in the 26th century BC, which was named for the light crimson hue of its exposed granite surfaces. Menkaure's Pyramid that is believed to have been built in the same era was constructed of limestone and granite slabs. The Great Pyramid of Giza, which was built around 2580 BC, contains a huge granite sarcophagus, and the largely ruined Black Pyramid from the reign of Amenemhat III once had a polished granite pyramidion. The Egyptian people also used granite for columns, door lintels, sills, jambs, and wall and floor veneer.

The Egyptians were not the only ones to use granite before people considered it for granite countertop installation. Granite slabs were used to create Hindu temples in southern India, particularly those built by King Rajaraja Chola I in the 1200s. There is a large amount of granite in these structures, and they are comparable to the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Roman Empire also used granite slabs for their roads, homes and public buildings.

Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock that is usually medium to coarsely crystalline with some rare occurrences of large individual crystals. Granite slabs can be pink to dark gray or even black depending on their chemistry and mineralogy. Outcrops of granite tend to form tors, and rounded massifs. Granite slabs sometimes occur in circular depressions surrounded by a range of hills, formed by the metamorphic aureole or hornfels.

Granite slabs have been widely used as a dimension stone and for flooring tiles in public and commercial buildings and monuments. Granite countertop installation has become more popular due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. The granite slabs must be cut, sanded and polished extensively before they are suitable for granite countertop installation, though.

Granite slabs are massive, hard and tough, which is why they have gained widespread use as a construction stone. The word granite comes from the Latin “granum,” which refers to a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of the crystalline rock. This is why people have been using granite for millennia.