What is granite?
Granite proper is a type of igneous rock formed from the crystallization of lava, primarily made up of alkali feldspar and quartz, that has cooled slowly inside a volcano creating large, interlocking crystals or grains. Granite comes from the Latin for grain. The rock is very dense with an average density of 2.7grams/per cubic meter and has an impressive compressive strength of more than 200 megapascals. The melting point of dry granite is high, being somewhere between 1215 and 1260 degrees centigrade. There is, however, a material known as ‘black granite’ which is not granite at all but gabbro made up from magnesium and iron but, nonetheless, perfectly suitable for kitchen tops. Increasingly the term granite is being used for any igneous rock made up of large grains or crystals.