Granite: A Walk Through TimeApril 30, 2010 // Posted in:
Last Updated on January 6, 2020
Here at Granite Transformations we pride ourselves in offering a full menu of home remodeling options that can remake almost any room in your home. With that being said, we think this blog is a great place to talk about the history of our flagship product, granite, and why exactly people love installing this material in the most prized rooms in their home.
Granite first appeared as a building material and as ornamental showpieces a millenia ago in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used granite for a wide variety of things ranging from construction of early pyramids to tomb and casket construction. They even used granite to build columns, wall and floor veneers, and door lintels, sills, and jambs. Despite the proliferation of granite in Egyptian architecture it is still debated as to how they handled and cut the stone with such primitive tools. In 10th and 11th century India, granite was employed to create many of the shrines, temples, and palaces people visit to this day. Though those two civilizations were on the cutting edge (no pun intended) of granite use, they didn’t quite use it as we do today.
It was in Italy where granite countertops began to rise through the lexicon of home stone adornments. From there, the craze spread through Europe, as the stone steadily replaced marble as tomb stone or column stone for its heightened resistance to the elements, namely acid rain. Granite was also used in railway construction, seen as a sturdy foundation for the tracks. By the 1820’s granite quarries were being heavily tilled in the Northeastern United States, with the spread of excavation shooting West shortly thereafter with new quarries being discovered to this day.
Though, even before the American love affair with granite construction and countertop slabs took hold, sportsmen in Scotland and Canada had already seen the use of granite in playing the wintertime sport favorite, curling. Back in the mid 1700’s each original curling stone, cut off of the barren rock island Ailsa Craig off the coast of Scotland, cost roughly $1,500 US, a hefty sum for many who played. Today, curling stones still consist of primarily granite, with most containing 60% to 70% granite.
Back to home installation, granite has been used for the better part of the 20th century and today as a sturdy, scratch, heat, and chip resistant surface that lasts as long as the home it’s installed in will. We’ve come a long way from building pyramids to laying granite overlays in our bathrooms and kitchens, but one thing has remained constant, granite is the perfect combination of beauty, strength, and resilience. No wonder it’s been used for thousands of years!