Don't Take it For Granite - Geology of Countertops
Manage episode 343868549 series 2784864
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In this episode, we tackle the confusing industry of "granite" countertops. It's confusing because it seems as though all rock countertops are called "granite". However, to a geologist, granite is a very specific type of rock and only a small percentage of countertops are actually granite.
There are maybe 5 or so major rock types that are all found in the "granite" countertop category. We spend some time talking about each major type:
- Marble - this might be named accurately actually in most places. Is it very white with no distinct grains showing? Then it is probably marble. Especially if it has long dark wavys streaks
- Granite - there is some real granite in there! Does it have pink, white, grey, and a few black flecks in it? Most of the grains are smaller than your fingernail? Then it may actually be granite. Can be white - no pink, too. Has to have some black flecks and some gray too.
- Pegmatite - Does it have really really large grains? The size of your finger? Grey, white, black, with crazy textures in between them? It might be a pegmatite
- Schist/gneiss - does it have a definite texture and pattern in one direction? Are their little waves of light and dark wavy patterns? Are there big deep purple garnets in it or blue flakes? What about dark and light bands with an overall darker color? It could be gneiss or schist.
- Conglomerate - does it have a bunch of round or oblong grains in it of a variety of colors? Could be a conglomerate - these are spectacular.
- There are others to be sure. These are just the most common.
We also talk about another type that is growing in popularity - Quartz counters. They aren't actually quartz though. We like this option a lot because it's a green product. No rock was mined for the specific purpose of making countertops. Quartz countertops are a form of engineered stone, made from ground-up particles of stone bound together with plastic resins. About 90% of the material is Crushed up waste granite, marble, and natural stone or recycled industrial wastes such as ceramic, silica, glass, mirrors, etc.
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