What is granite? What are its uses?
Granite is a tough and versatile natural stone thats mined from the earth and over the centuries has gained importance as the stylish choice for applications such as flooring, kitchen tops, accent walls and such. Granite’s relative marble also has similar applications but is considered as the more posh and luxurious cousin of granite stones. The reason is that marble is a more porous and susceptible to staining compared to granite. Therefore, it does not lend itself as easily to versatile usage in areas that are accessed by humans and pets regularly.
Where does granite come from?
Granite is a naturally occurring stone formed from molten magma. It is found throughout the continental crust. Made of interlocked crystals from quartz, feldspar, mica and other mineral constituents, granite’s crystalline structure makes it hard and relatively non porous. Its a highly dense stone that finds numerous uses in construction industry as the de facto material for making durable and beautiful flooring, kitchen tops and other surfaces.
What are the different types of granites available?
Granite slabs can be primarily classified into two broad categories – consistent and variegated.
The consistent granite slabs are basically the ones which have the same pattern that repeats on the surface over and over again. These are easy to work with as placing two stones next to each other does not break the visual continuity. The most commonly found consistent granite are again classified according to their styles as – Black Galaxy, Luna Pearl, Baltic Brown, Angola Gold, Black Basalt, Impala Black, India Black granite etc.
The Variegated granite variety are the ones where there is movement or veining present. Which ones to use depends upon individual taste and place of application. Types of variegated granite are Verde Laura (green), Luis Blue, Juparana Columbo (very elegant and commonly used in floors).
A look at the major producers of marble and granite stones
Granite and marble are primarily produced and exported out of Asia, Europe and South America. It becomes abundantly clear that these are the biggest manufacturers and supplier nations of granite and marble by looking at the following export graphs obtained from the ITC Market Analysis tool.
China, Egypt and Brazil have really ramped up their Granite Export. So has India and Turkey.
The global market volume for marble and granite and other construction stones is expected to touch 20 billion MT by 2020 buoyed by extensive construction activity in Asian and other emerging and recently affluent markets with advantageous demographic positions. The Asia Pacific market is growing at a close to 6% CAGR.
Usually quoted in per square foot, these stone slabs can cost anything from $20 per sq ft at the low end to $120 or more per sq ft. The players in the market start right from companies that quarry the stones, ones that polish them and cut them into sizes. Then there are the big suppliers and distributors and finally the retailers and exporters. Depending upon the where a company is located in this value chain, these could be small companies to big multinational players in the granite market.
If you are looking to import granite, marble or other stones like onyx, limestone etc. you should look to import from China, India, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Brazil or Egypt considering geographical distance of where you are located from these exporting nations as freight costs go up as distance increases.
Biggest Granite and Marble Exporting Nations
Biggest Granite and Marble Importing Nations