Marble and Granite Countertops: Nature's Magnificent Expression

Marble and Granite Countertops: Nature's Magnificent Expression

August 08, 2012

The process of showing marble, granite and other natural stones to customers is extremely satisfying and full of excitement. Sales people absolutely love that expression and amazement when customers look at a slab and totally fall in love with it. And many of us often come across customers making comments like," This slab looks gorgeous. I wish I could hang this on my wall like a painting. I would not like to even cut it into a countertop". This is such an aesthetically satisfying statement which not only recognizes but also truly appriciates nature's beauty. Though all natural stones look beautiful yet there are some that you cannot resist saying "WOW".

Let me start this wow series with Breccia Montana - a gorgeous granite from Brazil. I would not attempt to describe the beauty of these stones because as George Santayana rightly said," Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said". I would rather let the readers enjoy these visual treats themselves. 

 Breccia Montana

 The word "Breccia" definitely needs some attention. We have come across this word before as in Breccia Oniciata and Breccia Nouvelle. Breccia is a rock composed of broken fragments of minerals or rock cemented by a fine grained matrix. In Italian langauge it indicates loose gravel or stone made by cemeted gravel. The stunning visual appearance of Breccias has for millenia made them a popular sculptural and architectural material. Breccia was employed for column bases in the Minoan palace of Knossos on Crete in about 1800 BC. It was regarded by the Romans as an especially precious stone and was often used in high profile buildings.

  The great Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, "I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon that little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky."

 When we think of rare and beautiful blue granites nothing comes close to this amazing blue called Azul Bahia. I have rarely come across a customer who passes by a slab of Azul Bahia without saying "OH My GOD". The mineral compostion of Azul Bahia is 45-50% Sodalite, 30% Plagioclase (Feldspar) and 20% Microline. Sodalite is a rich royal blue mineral widely used as 

Azul BahiaSodalite

an ornamental gemstone. It is light, relatively hard yet fragile mineral and is named after its sodium content. Though sodalite is well known for its blue color yet it may also be grey, yellow, green or pink and is often mottled with white veins or patches.

 Countertops made of Azul Bahia look gorgeous in combination with white cabinets. Blue and white is a popular combination that goes way back in history. This color palette dates back to ninth century when cobalt-blue pigments were used to create motifs on white pottery and porcelain in China.

  Solid black granites have been in demand for a long time but there are times when homeowners look for a change. Customers these days want to view a variety of black granites that show moderate to decent activity in terms of specks, pattern or swirls. There are not many options available when it comes to finding a black granite with lot of movement or swirls and that is exactly where a granite like Bross Black comes to rescue. This is a stunningly beautiful granite quarried in Brazil.

 Lot 9312

 As a color black is considered bold, dramatic yet sophisticated. If used correctly black can unify the look you are going for, and it can work with almost any style from traditional to modern to cottage. It creates a very opulent look when used in combination with white, gold, silver and copper.

A great majority of customers who visit our showroom to view slabs almost get magnetically attracted to softer looking marbles but choose granites in stead because granites do not react with some of those common household mild acids as found in lime, lemon or tomatoe juice. 

Taj Mahal is one of those perfect choices for customers who love the tender look of marble but feel more comforatable using granite in the kitchen. Taj Mahal technically is called a quartzite. Quartzite is a very hard and solid stone and when polished has high gloss marble-like appearance. In addition to being used as a decorative stone crushed quartzite is also used as railway ballast and also in road construction due to its hardness.

Taj Mahal Quartzite

Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally Sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to techtonic compression. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though it also occurs in red and pink due to varying amounts of iron oxide. It is also found in yellow and orange colors due to other mineral impurities. Quartzite has a very high resistance to chemical weathering. Though Quartzites are predominantly silica yet there is a remote possibility that sometimes it may have traces of calcium carbonate which can become cause of localized etching if a tiny area comes in contact with something acidic. But quartzites even in this unique scenario give you enough time for cleanup before it starts to etch.

This beautiful new granite - FUSION - is the youngest member of our colorful inventory. It has a striking visual depth. We will talk about this gorgeous gift from nature in one of our next 

Lot 9558 (1)

blogs and we will present few more amazing colors.

It is interesting to note that mother nature has not only provided us with food but also with these magnificent colors of natural stones that eventually decorate our kitchens in the form of gorgeous yet functional countertops. And the best part is that nature gives you a chance to become the proud owner of a product which is probably as antique - forget about vintage cars - as this earth.


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