Stoke public realm (7)aGranite is a beautiful natural material formed by magma in volcanoes – and one of the hardest substances in the world.  A highly durable and always popular natural stone, it comes in a huge variety of colours and textures and is suitable for almost any kind of external application or scheme.

Geologically a coarse-grained igneous rock, it contains a blend of accessory minerals that contribute to giving it a unique colour – from pure white to deepest black.

For a stone to be classified as granite it must contain between 10% and 50% quartz, along with the minerals feldspar, mica, and others. In fact, granite makes up 70-80% of the earth’s crust and is a large component of many mountain ranges.

It is an extremely hard stone and requires great skill to carve by hand. In fact, it wasn’t until the invention of steam-powered cutting and dressing tools in Victorian times that beautifully polished monuments could be created.

thomas more squareSince it has such a long lifespan, granite is also a great choice from a sustainability point-of-view. It can also be recycled or repurposed at the end of its intended life, reducing waste and creating new materials.

Here, the Hardscape team gives five tips on how to grapple with granite to make it look great.

  1. Natural granite is suitable for most applications and schemes both pedestrian and trafficked areas, depending upon the thickness and the stone type used. Make sure you always ask an expert for advice
  2. Creating a subtle chamfered edge – that is cutting off the sharp corners to leave a flat surface – can prevent pieces getting chipped on site
  3. Dark granites come out of the ground in smaller pieces than light granites, which is good to know when designing a scheme to make sure the desired look can be achieved
  4. It’s also worth noting that the darker the granite, the more expensive it gets
  5. Set your imagination free! There is no need to specify natural stone in generic concrete sizes – if you can wait 6-8 weeks, granite can be cut to almost any size

holborn gate webHardscape can supply a large range of textures, colours, formats and blends of different types from Europe – but also China and India. Always ethically sourced.