If you’re interested in purchasing a granite monument in Walterboro, SC for a loved one’s gravesite, you might be wondering how you can determine the quality of the granite used for the monument. Granite grades are generally based on the amount of soft minerals found in the stone, the color of the stone, its porosity, its origin and its thickness and cut.
Knowing these factors, there are some things you can do to check on the quality of the granite, and differentiate granite from other stones commonly used for monuments, such as marble or limestone.
Here is some information you may find helpful:
- Origin: Granite can be found all over the world. The location of your granite’s origin does not necessarily mean it is of greater or lesser quality, but it can have an influence on how much it costs, due to a combination of labor costs and shipping and travel expenses. You can expect to pay more per slap for long-distance shipping, even if the granite isn’t necessarily as high of quality.
- Thickness: Granite comes out of the ground in huge slabs, which must be shipped to manufacturing facilities, where they get cut into more manageable pieces. Some manufacturers cut especially thin sections to be able to get more out of a single slab, but this can reduce the durability of the stone, especially if the thickness is less than an inch. Therefore, thicker granite is considered to be of higher quality—for countertops, for example, you want at least an inch to an inch and a quarter, while for monuments you’ll want even thicker.
- Porosity: Granite pieces vary in porosity, because every single piece of granite is unique. The more porous a piece of granite is, the more it will absorb liquids and debris. In addition, more porous granite requires more maintenance with sealant. If you don’t mind more maintenance work, then this isn’t necessarily an issue—you’ll be able to save money by opting for more porous granite. But if you’d rather not have to worry about numerous resealing procedures over the years, you’re going to want a less porous piece of stone.
- Appearance: You can carefully inspect the granite for scratches, dings or uneven surfaces. Small cracks always have the potential to turn into larger cracks, which could compromise the structural integrity of the stone. A quality piece of granite should be able to hold up against potential dings and scratches, so if the granite is already damaged before it’s even used for your monument, this should be considered a red flag.
- Scratch test: Going along with the previous note about durability, you can identify granite from other types of stone (and determine its durability) by performing the scratch test. Use the blade of a knife to make a scratch in the surface of the stone. Real, durable granite should be very hard to scratch with a knife blade.
For more information about granite monuments in Walterboro, SC, contact the team at Steedley Monument Works today.