The only natural stones harder than granite are diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Therefore, choose granite when permanence, enduring color and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements. Granite is highly heat, scratch and stain resistant. Granite is the traditional favorite of countertop materials for its unique colors and patterns, proven durability and lasting value. Granite is also commonly used to face commercial buildings, bathroom fixtures, fireplaces, steps, road and driveway curbing, and terraces or outdoor countertops.
There is a myth that granite harbors bacteria, but it continues to be approved in food and medical applications. In fact, the CDC has no records of granite harboring bacteria. Granite has performed second only to stainless steel in ability to resist bacteria. The hardest natural material available for countertops, it is composed of a variety of minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica. Granite is an excellent choice not only for its beauty, but also for its durability and ease in cleaning.
Granite comes in hundreds of different colors and is quarried in such places as the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Africa, Norway, India, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and more.
Granites usually have a "spattered" or "swirled" grain and can contain many colors (minerals). Interior granite applications generally have a polished finish and a "busy" look, but to keep up with current trends, more manufacturers are producing honed (smooth and unpolished) and flamed (rough textured) surfaces. Exterior applications can be polished, honed, flamed, split faced, bush hammered, or otherwise textured with one of many industry applications.