Understanding Black Granite

There are a number of stones on the market that claim to be true, black granite. Black stones are popular in many homes for their beauty when polished or honed, and are unmatched when it comes to durability and low maintenance. Most real black granites on the market are actually Gabbros, a type of igneous rock that is very dense, hard, and non-porous, making them ideal for any type of countertop application. Unfortunately, not every stone sold as black granite really is black; some Chinese stones are being dyed to blacken their surface and make them more visually appealing, while hiding defects. This black dye can fade or wear off over time, giving the unsuspecting homeowner an unwelcome surprise. Get to know real black granite before you purchase, so that you can be sure that you’re getting the best quality stone.

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Your first clue as to the quality of the stone should come from its origins. Absolute Black, Absolute Black Premium, and Absolute Black Super Premium are all quarried in India, and are very dense, dark, and high quality stones. Black Galaxy, which has a black background with flecks of Bronzite in its surface is another very high quality black stone that has not been dyed.

Many black stones imported from China for a lower cost may have white veining, voids, fissures, or pits in their surface. These are often dyed black to help disguise the issues. Be wary of any black stone quarried in China, even with the name “Absolute Black”.

Other high quality black stones will have either a “rice” grain texture to them, or may have a silvery appearance; stones by the names of Zimbabwe Black, Nero Impala, and Cambrian Black should not be flat black in color, but should have some variation. Any stone by these names with a flat black color may have been dyed.

If you suspect a stone of being dyed, request a sample. Wipe a white cloth soaked in Acetone over the surface of the sample. If a black residue comes off on the cloth, the stone has been dyed.

A true black counter can enhance any room it’s installed in. Protect yourself by getting to know black granite to ensure you get the best quality product for your home.

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