Friday, November 14, 2008

Choose Granite Color

Granite is one of he hardest stones available on the earth and is found across various countries and continents. Another value proposition held by granite is its color which adds on or matches to the standard of aesthetic elegance as desired by designers. It's not a hidden fact that granite is the ultimate choice for kitchen counter tops, bathroom vanity counters and has also made its way into the floorings, fireplaces and many other such applications.

The most critical issue faced by most of the designers or individuals is the choice of granite color. As granite has a wide array of color options starting from the blacks, whites, browns, blues, greens and the variations thereof. With such subtle variations it increases a challenging task to freeze upon the right granite color and hue. It has been often seen that black and blue granite is much more in demand and so are its prices.

Brown and beige on the contrary give you a lot of variety to work with the combinations in your kitchen. Dark counters for light color cabinets and light counters for darker color cabinets is an accepted norm. What would be the factors which one would need to bear in mind while choosing granite color for a kitchen counter top?

Beginning off the first factor would be to walk in to a near-by granite supplier or warehouse which stocks, imports and deals with a large selection of granite slabs and not just a few samples of granite stuck on to a board. Ideally you would like the granite color to match up with your kitchen's cabinets; hence it would be advisable to carry a cabinet sample along. The same would apply in case of your granite color having to match with your existing flooring. In case of new house you could have your granite counter top selected first and then decide on the flooring, the flooring too can be of granite. Ideally run through the slabs which are a near match or a perfect combination before you intend to freeze on the granite color, as it is an one time affair and you need to make the most perfect selection which won't make you repent later.

Once you have done with your color selection you could request the granite supplier to draw out a couple of similar slabs to check for variation in color tones. Few of these granite warehouses also are efficient and expert granite installers. So you could always get the right measure of the kitchen and select the pattern. Prior to running through this exercise it would also be worthwhile to visit a few online granite stores which display granite colors along with the names or the codes and the country of origin. With a bit of online search and local market granite supplier or warehouse visit, you would be able to get hold of the right granite color that you are looking out for.


Monday, October 17, 2005

absolute black granite to the future!

The most dense quality Chinese black granite is known as Shanxi Black A Grade and expect to pay as much for this as any top quality Indian black or even more.

Some varieties of Shanxi Black have small gold points in them. Some fabricators do not like this therefore this quality tends to be slightly lower in cost. If you like the gold points and you get a good bargain and the material stands up to the acetone test, well done!

Be very wary if you are offered Shanxi Black B Grade since, not being of an export quality, it is not generally used outside of China owing to its inability to take a good gloss polish.

India first started exporting high quality black granites at the end of the 1960's and by the end of the 70's volume production of memorials and slabs were well under way.

Some of the finest quality, reasonable cost, dense/absolute blacks are the black granites from the south of India 。However some of these, including the very dense Khammam/Kunnam Black, can be very "soft", therefore care must be taken when specifying these for projects and even kitchen tops since they can scratch and show scuff marks.

In general terms the absolute black granites from the Warrangal area are both dense black in colour and much harder taking a superb polish and wearing well. Others include Dharmapuri and Mettur Districts of Tamil Nadu, Chittoor and Khammam in Andhra Pradesh and Kanakpura near Bangalore, where a variety of medium and light medium black granites are found.

Unlike basalts, many of these granites have a small rice-grain sized crystal structure which can easily be seen with the naked eye however, precisely because of the crystal structure, the colour appearance may not be as dark as a black basalt.
Many purchasers prefer this type of granite since it appears more natural than the compact black basalts which can look like a processed, man-made material. It's the buyer's prerogative!

During the past 30 years these black granites have been used more for memorial production than any other black granite therefore the quality and durability speaks for itself.

Indian black granites are known under the names of BG Black, Indian Dense Black, Indian Jet Black, Premium Black, Supreme Black, Indian Super Black, Nero Assoluto Indiano, and probably several others!

Black Galaxy is from Ongole in India, the original Galaxy material with the densest black background and bright reflectors, is known as Star Galaxy. The Star Galaxy quarry is not a massive one therefore the volume of blocks produced could not supply all the dealers who purport to sell this material.

The gold specks are due to the presence of ferrous rich Enstatine (Bronzite). Black galaxy can be broadly divided into three types based on the size of the gold coloured specks as 1. Large Specked Black Galaxy, 2. Medium Specked Black Galaxy and 3. Small Specked Black Galaxy Granite.

There are over 40 quarries spread over 400 acres of land. The sizes of quarries range between 2 and 20 acres each. Around 3500 CBM to 4500 CBM of black galaxy granite is produced every month. Only 40% of the volume make up big blocks and are commonly called gang-saw size blocks. These are blocks of sizes above 2.40m x 1.20m x 1.00m.

Black Galaxy is actively traded as a commodity and owing to the large volume of quarrying, large blocks in First Choice material are becoming scarce and much more expensive. Black Galaxy, like all natural materials, is susceptible to variations in veining; however it must be stressed that the possibility of one or two lines may probably occur in large slabs.

It is very important to view Black Galaxy before buying and not to buy on price alone.

Some granites are sold under a black name such as Nero Impala from South Africa, APP Black from India and G654, aka Padang Dark & Sesame Black from China however, because of their colour structure, they are generally considered to be dark greys rather than a black.

Having said that they are some of the most popular black/dark granites in the world and have been used on some of the most prestigious projects and domestic environments therefore to dismiss them would be ridiculous.

It is quite possible that your dealer/fabricator may be unaware of much of the above, therefore it would be wise to discuss your black granite purchase with several suppliers before making your specifying decision just to ascertain how much they really do know, or whether they are simply trying to fob you off with a sub-standard material at premium quality prices.