What Makes a Beautiful Granite Countertop – Start With Make Up

Granite owes much of its beauty to make up. Not the type of “makeup” that lives in the drawers of the bathroom vanity but the “make up” or composition of minerals that are combined to give each variety of granite its unique color and pattern. Sometimes the color and pattern is very consistent and sometimes there is considerable variation due to small changes in the composition of the stone.

3 Criteria To Consider When You Go For A Granite Countertop

When choosing stone for your Clearwater kitchen granite countertops, understanding a little about the strength and color of the different minerals that make up granite will help you make the best choice.

#1 Hard Wearing Beauty

There are several ways to measure hardness but the oldest and still most commonly used is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Like a version of paper-rock-scissors (with only rocks). The #2 mineral, gypsum, a large component in drywall, is very soft but still scratches talc, the softest mineral on the scale at #1.

Granite Countertop in Clearwater Fl-Mohs Scale

The Mohs scale is based on the relative ability of different minerals to be scratched.

#2 The Beauty Mix

Granite is formed deep beneath the surface. As molten rock slowly cools the different minerals slowly crystallize. The “make up” or mixture of minerals, the rate of cooling and other factors determine the unique color and crystal pattern that is contained in your granite countertops.

Granite gets its hardness from its two main ingredients, quartz and orthoclase, which is also called feldspar. In order for rock to be classified as granite by a geologist it must have at least 20% quartz and 35% orthoclase. It can have more but not less. Quartz and orthoclase are only surpassed in hardness by gems like topaz and diamond.

granite countertops in clearwater fl -Granitic Minerals

Granite is made up of quartz and orthoclase, also called feldspar.

#3 Traces of Beauty

The ultimate color of a slab of granite destined for a granite kitchen counter is often determined by the presence of trace elements present in the quartz and feldspar as they cooled and began to crystallize. The presence of trace elements also influences the pattern of the granite by affecting how the minerals crystallize.

Quartz crystals are typically white or clear but if they contain any number of trace elements take on dramatic range of colors. Rose quartz contains trace amounts of titanium and manganese. Purple quartz, also called amethyst, contains iron impurities as well as other trace elements.

Feldspar is typically pink but the presence of trace elements can dramatically change its appearance as well. Green feldspar called amazonite, thought to contain traces of lead and hydroxide, can range from dark green to a light blue-green color.

As well as quartz and feldspar most granite contains shiny flecks of mica that range from transparent to silver, gold, brown and dark black.

granite countertops in clearwater Fl - Green feldspar

Granite is made up of quartz and orthoclase, also called feldspar.

Thanks to nature, you have an almost endless variety of granite colors and patterns to choose from. At Five Star Stone we have a wide selection of natural granite that will look great on your Clearwater kitchen countertops.

The ABCs of Choosing Exotic Granite

The ABCs of Choosing Exotic Granite

There are dozens or even hundreds of different exotic varieties of granite available on the market today. At our Clearwater showroom you’ll always find a wide selection of slabs available in-stock for your kitchen or bathroom project.

ABCs of Choosing Exotic Granite Stone For Your Countertop

Choosing exotic granite slab for your project should be a simple and enjoyable process where you can match your individual sense of style with a beautiful piece of natural stone that you will love owning for years to come. Here are three things you should consider to help you make the right choice.

A. Movement and Inclusions

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The beautiful swirling patterns that you find in many exotic granites are said to give the stone “movement”.

These patterns are completely unique to each piece of stone and are considered to add beauty and value. You may also hear the word “foliated” used to describe a stone with many different bands of color.

“Inclusions” are contrasting pockets of different minerals that have entered small fissures and cracks in the stone over millions of years. These are often rust colored, black or gray and produce interesting patterns of markings on the surface of the slab. Veins of contrasting minerals are also common inclusions in exotic granites.

Apart from the aesthetics of movement and veining, these qualities also come with additional maintenance considerations. Small holes and voids will be present in slabs that are less homogeneous. Care should be taken to seal the stone properly before use. The countertop should also be resealed periodically to prevent the possibility of stains or the harboring of bacteria. Granite sealers vary but are typically rated to last 3-5 years before resealing.

B. Matching Colors

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An exotic granite countertop will often serve as the focal point of your kitchen design.

To find the right color match it is helpful to have samples of your cabinet color, floor tiles and backsplash material with you when you are making your choice. A slab that includes contrasting colors often makes a beautiful choice. When choosing a slab with a main color that contrasts with the rest of your kitchen décor, look for one with veins or inclusions that match.

Related post: 4 Popular Vintage Kitchen Design

A white or light gray granite slab with dark brown flecks will stand out and look great with dark wood cabinets while a dark emerald green granite slab with white veining makes an excellent focal point in an all-white kitchen while still tying together your color palette.

You can also select your granite first and then match your cabinet and tile choices to the slab. Make sure to bring samples of the tile and cabinets you are considering to our Clearwater showroom to get a side by side comparison before committing to your choices.

C. Thickness

The right thickness is primarily a personal aesthetic choice but there are a couple of additional considerations.

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Exotic granite slabs come in 3/4 and 1-1/4 inch thicknesses.

The best thickness will also be influenced by the edge profile that you choose. You may decide on a simple and clean pencil or beveled edge. Both of these edge profiles look great with almost any style of cabinet from shaker and flat panel to

mission style and cottage kitchen. A 3/4 inch slab will look its best with a simple clean profile in a modern kitchen design.

If you choose to match a more ornate style of kitchen like French country or American colonial with the sweeping double curve of an “ogee” edge profile you may prefer the extra thickness of a 1-1/4 inch slab. Thickness also affects the heat conducting properties of the stone. If you plan to use your counter extensively for baking and want a cool surface to roll your dough on then a thicker 1-1/4 inch slab may be for you.

The Test

Now that you have mastered the ABCs of choosing exotic granite countertops you have everything you need to come down to our Clearwater showroom and pick out the perfect piece for your kitchen or bath project. If you’re still not confident you’ll ace the test don’t worry, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always here to help you.