Granite is an intrusive igneous rock that has large grains/minerals that you can easily see. An intrusive rock is one where molten rock cooled in the Earth’s crust and was never released as molten rock. When the molten rock is cooled gradually, it creates the large crystals of one mineral that you see in granite. When this process occurs over a long period of time, it allows minerals to form at different times than one another, which is what causes the final look of the granite.
If you’re wondering how many different colors of granite there are, granite usually comes in white, pink, blue, variations of black and gray, and occasionally green. Sometimes you will find stones that are called black granite, but they are actually gabbro. A stone must have at least 20% quartz to qualify as granite.
Why Is Granite Different Colors?
At some point, you might have asked yourself, “How does granite get its color?” Granite comes in such a variety of different colors because of its composition. It is made up of several minerals, including quartz (milky white), feldspar (white), potassium feldspar (pink), biotite (black or brown), muscovite (yellow), and amphibole (black or dark green). Depending on how much of each mineral is in the piece of granite and the rate it was formed, it will be a slightly different color.
For instance, if the piece of granite has a lot of potassium feldspar, it will look pinker, while a lot of muscovite would make it appear green. Each piece of granite will be primarily made of quartz and feldspar, which make up between 20% and 60% of the minerals in the stone. The rest of the rock will be made of a combination of the other minerals, which will determine how durable it is and its color.
Why Are Granite Slabs Different Colors?
You could go to three different houses and find three different granite countertops. The slabs can end up being different colors because they are made from granite with different mineral compositions. Some granite colors are more popular than others, but you can end up with granite slabs in quite a few different colors and shades. Also, due to the way granite is formed, your slab will not be the same across its entire surface.
What Is the Most Popular Color for Granite?
There are quite a few variations in granite color, but these are the most popular colors used for granite items like countertops.
The color you are most likely to see used with granite is black. It is a simple look that is quite appealing to the eye. Granite gets its black color from gabbro, which is an iron-and-magnesium-rich rock.
Some types of stone that are advertised as black granite are not actually truly granite, however. The stone must contain at least 20% quartz to be considered granite, and many of the black varieties of granite don’t meet this qualification. However, it still has most of the properties of granite, so you shouldn’t be afraid to add it to your home.
If you see white granite, that means it is likely made up of mostly feldspar and quartz. You will probably find small specks of black in the white of the granite. These are most likely small pieces of amphibole grains. Sometimes, the amphibole grains are there but either the chemical components to fully form aren’t there, or the cooling process did not allow them to form.
Be aware that if you have a rock or slab that is entirely white, it is probably man-made and not truly granite.
Pink and Red
Pink and red granite pieces have become more popular over the years. Granite processing technology is allowing for more finishes of granite, and this is causing more and more people to implement the pieces in their homes.
Pink and red granite has a high concentration of potassium feldspar. When the piece has dark red tones, it likely comes from iron oxide. You might also find a piece that has lava stone in it, which creates a red surface. A soft, pink granite piece can lend an air of romance, while red can add a fiery brilliance to the space. Either way you decide to go, pink and red granite can truly transform your space.
Another color sold as granite that isn’t entirely granite, is blue granite. It is usually Larvikite or Anorthosite. Larvikite is an igneous rock with monzonite that is often referred to as “blue granite.” Anorthosite contains a bunch of blue labradorite and can be sold under the name blue granite.
Green granite is not nearly as popular as the other colors, but this might be due to its rarity. It’s challenging to find purely green granite, but it can be found if it has a green feldspar mineral called amazonite. Generally though, if you are being sold green granite, it is more likely a metamorphic rock with a lot of serpentine, like marble, or a different type of rock, like soapstone.
Granite is commonly used in homes for items like countertops and sinks. However, granite isn’t just one color. You can find it in a variety of colors due to the way it is formed and the minerals that are included in it. The color of granite depends on how much of each mineral is included in the piece. Granite is typically primarily quartz and feldspar but can also include potassium feldspar, biotite, muscovite, and amphibole. Each mineral has its own distinct color.
Some of the most popular colors used in granite products are black, white, pink, red, blue, and green. Of course, some colors are much more popular than others, and some of them aren’t truly granite. Either way, any of these products will surely spruce up your house and give it an interesting aesthetic.
Check out our gallery of granite countertops to find one that will work well for your home. Then, give us a call to discuss. We can help you find the best granite countertop to make your home look the best it can be.