The concept of granite kitchen work tops is not a new idea, people have been using granite as a work surface material for hundreds of years. Looking at both the beauty and the practicality of granite as a work surface material, is not hard to see how granite has managed to remain so popular for all these years. The price of granite work tops has come down significantly over the last few years, historically granite work tops were reserved for the privileged few. This was primarily down to the fact that most good granite is mined in India or other faraway countries. The costs of shipping granite to the UK in years gone by was far higher than they are today. The popularity of granite as a work surface material has also helped to drive prices down even further, because work surface companies are now able to import in much larger quantities.
Granite is available in a huge variety of colorations and patterns. In fact, the coloration and patternation of granite can vary from mile to mile. Granite is an igneous rock, this means that granite is formed volcanically. Usually the formation of granite occurs underground where pockets of magma meet cooler mineralized materials. The coloration and patternation of granite are caused by the hot lava absorbing minerals form the surrounding materials before cooling. The slower the mineralized lava cools, the larger the patternation will be. Patternation of granite can vary from wavy patterns, to strikingly beautiful copper flecks that shimmer in the light.
As a kitchen work top material granite is ideal, loved by pastry chefs across the world due to its ability to keep the dough cool, granite is heat proof and most work surface granites are harder than steel. I would never recommend cutting directly on your granite work surfaces, but more often than not if you were to do so, it would be the knife that got damaged and not the work surface.
Many people believe that since granite work tops are essentially solid stone which has been shaped and polished to fit its purpose, that all granite work tops are essentially of the same quality. This is not the case, like many stones granite slabs come in different grades. Lower grade granite slabs can look like Swiss cheese when sliced into counter top sized slabs and polished, imperfections such as veins or quartz pockets are exposed when the slab is formed into work surfaces and the manufacturers who use lower grade granite in their production process simply backfills the voids with epoxy resin before using a chemical treatment on the granite to hide the imperfections.
With premium grade granite slabs, there is no need to use chemical treatments on the stone during the production process to hide imperfections. This improves the overall aesthetics of the finished product and also the durability work surfaces since many chemical treatments can lead to discoloration with age.