Kitchen cabinets are one of the first things you need to think about when remodeling, and in most cases, you will want choose the right kitchen countertops to go with it. One of the best options for kitchen countertops is granite, and there are enough colors from which to choose to match any type of kitchen cabinet.
However, how much do you know about granite colors? These are natural stones, so the colors mean something. Here are some fascinating facts about granite and the colors in which they come.
Basic granite facts
Granite is a natural stone, and the most abundant type of rock in the world. It is a type of igneous rock, which forms under the surface of the Earth from magma. Magma is like lava, but it stays underground rather than over it, so it cools very slowly and under great heat and pressure.
The circumstances surround the formation of granite makes it very dense, which is why granite countertops are very durable. Aside from its density, granite also has a distinctive look. Granite slabs have visible mineral crystals, which take the form of streaks, speckles, and explosions of color.
Granite is actually a mix of many types of minerals, including quartz, feldspar, biotite, muscovite, mica, and amphiboles. The most common colors of granite are gray and brown because of the biotite, a black or brown mineral that comprise up to 15% of granite stones.
Quartz actually makes up a larger part of the mix at between 20% and 60%, but since it is white or colorless, its presence is not obvious. Quartz does affect the durability of a particular granite slab because quartz is a very scratch resistant and hard mineral. In most cases, a higher proportion of quartz means a more durable stone.
Other common colors of granite are pink (potassium feldspar), yellow (muscovite), and white (quartz). You might sometimes see green (amphibole) or red (potassium feldspar with iron oxide). However, granite in solid colors is rare. It will always be a mix of different minerals, so you get interesting varieties in one slab that makes each one unique. This is one of the best things about granite, and a good part of the reason it is a favorite with homeowners and interior designers.
You will find some of these granite colors in the showrooms of kitchen countertop and remodeling companies in your area. Some are more common than others are, but they are all beautiful.
Speckled gray granite
Most people will immediately recognize this speckled gray stone as granite because it is one of the most popular choices. It has equal parts amphiboles, quartz, and feldspar, creating the speckled patterns in the stone. It is quite durable, so it is a good choice for kitchen countertops. It also goes particularly well with white or black wood kitchen cabinets as well as stainless steel cabinets.
White granite comes about when the magma has equal parts of quartz and white feldspar. In most cases, you will find white granite in areas that has little water, which inhibits the formation of amphiboles. However, this does not preclude the presence of other minerals, so you are likely to get speckles and veins of darker materials. In fact, solid white granite is very rare. If you see solid white kitchen countertops, these are most likely engineered quartz and not granite.
Like white granite, black granite is available, but it will have lighter colored steaks and speckles. This has to do with the presence of quartz, which has to be at least 20% to be granite. If it is less than 20%, then it is not granite.
Solid black countertops might be engineered quartz. It might also be another type of rock that looks like ad shares many characteristics of granite such as gabbro, which is a excellent alternative to granite. Many granite suppliers will offer gabbro or basalt in lieu if granite for clients that want a natural stone but in solid black.
Pink granite looks great in many bathrooms, but it can also work in retro or modern kitchen styles. It owes its pinkish cast to the presence of potassium feldspar, and it is often interspersed with white quartz and darker minerals.
Red granite might seem like an overwhelming color for a kitchen, but it does strike a dramatic note. It works best with white or black kitchens as a sort of accent. Red granite is pink granite but darker. The higher saturation of color is due to the iron oxide mixed in with the potassium feldspar.
Green granite is quite beautiful, but rare. The color comes from amazonite, a type of feldspar, and it is possible to find true granite in this color. However, when people use green stones for kitchen countertops, these are most probably soapstone, or perhaps marble with a generous amount of serpentine in the mix.
Blue granite is granite in name only in most instances. Like black granite, blue granite is likely to be engineered quartz, or a natural stone with less than 20% quartz, which disqualifies it as true granite. If you see blue slabs for kitchen countertops that look like granite, such as anorthosite or monzonite. Anorthosite has no quartz, and mainly comprised of blue labradorite. Monzonite has about 5% quartz. Both these rocks are also igneous in type, and very beautiful, but they are not granite.
Granite colors for kitchen countertops have a fascinating background, and while some may not be true granite, they are almost as good if you get them from a reputable supplier that can match them with the right cabinets.
Look through the design options from Cabinets City. We service cities such as Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, Elk Grove Village, and surrounding areas.
We carry a large inventory of granite as well as marble slabs, and work with top quartz brands, so we can supply you with anything you need for your kitchen remodel. You can visit our showroom in Mt. Prospect, Illinois to see before you buy.
We also carry the best cabinets brands in the country, from RTA to custom cabinets, and at the best prices compared to Cabinets To Go and Advance Cabinets. These include Schrock, Fabuwood, J and K, Forevermark, and Wolf Cabinets, each of which come with manufacturer warranties. We always deliver on time, so you will not have to worry about keeping your schedule to stay in budget.
We can advise you on the best countertops and cabinets for your kitchen. Give us a call for a free consultation and quote!