Granite’s Journey – from Victoria to Ottawa
Granite has long been one of the most popular stones for public and commercial buildings. From pyramids to ancient temples, it was prized not only for its accessibility, but also its durability. Initially, however, that strength limited its use, as it was difficult to cut and polish. Steam-cutting technology developed in the early 1800s changed that. Granite became the go-to stone for monuments, most notably the sarcophagus housing the mortal remains of Queen Victoria. That British Queen was, of course, the monarch who chose Ottawa (originally Bytown) as Canada’s capital city. And, not surprisingly, granite has been used extensively around the capital, most notably in the construction of the Chateau Laurier hotel, the Ottawa Convention Centre (formerly Union Station), and the British High Commission. Italian granite in Ottawa is now gracing the interiors of its better homes, as the stone’s popularity moves indoors.
Granite’s Versatility Makes it Perfect for Countertops
Granite is fast gaining a reputation as the perfect stone for kitchen or washroom countertops. Granite can revitalize a room. The stone comes in a variety of colours, including black, azul, rose, green, white, gold, and everything in between. The pieces are all unique and the sheer variety of hues means that it can match or contrast with just about any decorating scheme. Italian granite is available in a plethora of shades, from the enchantingly named "Violetta,” to "Verde Tropical” (tropical green), and "Rosa Porrino”.
But beauty alone doesn’t make a good building material. Changes in the use of the home have also mitigated in favour of granite. The kitchen is increasingly used as a family gathering area. With the popularity of work islands, as well often being the site of a family computer or television, the kitchen has become the place for conversation, work and play. The kitchen also exerts a gravitational pull for parties, as well. It must combine functionality with the kind of showy appeal that granite provides.
But make no mistake - that functionality is granite’s strongest suit. It’s an immensely tough stone. The surface is resistant to water and heat, stains, and the depredations of spills from alcohol, oil, and citric acids. It retains coolness and like marble, is perfect as a natural surface for baking, and dough and candy making. The surface can be used as a cutting board and of course, it is sterile.
Granite as Flooring
Granite tiles are also popular as flooring in kitchen, for many of the same reasons as it is favoured for countertops. It is durable, easy to clean and, again, provides a welcome jolt of style to the room.
The drawbacks of granite are few. In its natural state, it is not uniform – granite slabs are unique and impossible to perfectly match. (That’s also their charm, as well.) There is a need to maintain granite with periodic sealing – once every year or so being sufficient. Granite is not the cheapest form of kitchen flooring and it is necessary to factor in with the purchase cost other expenses such as subfloor preparation and professional installation.
But it’s worth it. Italian granite in Ottawa is making that city’s interiors as intriguing as the city’s politics. Granite conveys prestige, power, and beauty – and that’s a capital combination for any home.