Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Labradorite granite

This is a bit off-topic. Countertops made of labradorite granite are
commercially available. They are beautiful, but I’m wondering how
durable they would be in a kitchen. Thoughts?

Jamie King,
laurasjewelryworkshop.com

they should be fine. The correct name (rather than commercial name)
for the material is Larvikite, from Larvik, Norway. It’s pretty tough
stuff. It’s also used for grave stones, so should be pretty durable
(I used to live in Norway, so have a bit of it for cabbing… it’s
pretty solid and stable). It’s also marketed under the names blue
pearl marble, and as a Jeanne

We just sold a house we’d lived in for about six years. It was an old
but adequate house with a number of expected old-house problems -
floors not quite level, old leaky windows, cat’s cradle electric
wiring, collapsed perimeter drains and too many stairs for us old
folks - but the worst, the VERY WORST feature were the brand new
granite kitchen counters put in by the previous owners who probably
thought those were THE selling point that made us buy the place. NOT
So, and even less so once we’d lived with them for a while. They are
damned hard on anything that drops on them. They are damned hard on
elbows and arms which may rest upon them, and cold as well. They are
the very devil to keep looking good because their polished surface
shows every smear and fingerprint. Unless they are black (I don’t
know what colour labradorite is) they need sealing periodically. Also
they make a great surface for bacteria colonies to grow. I recommend
for sheer friendliness, warmth, safety, and comfort - believe it or
not - wooden counters, laminated maple “butcher block” coated with a
pure tung oil finish. They literally destroy bacteria, They are safer
for dropped objects to land on, they can be maintained to look new
with far less trouble than granite. They are4 comfortable to the hand
and to your elbows. They may require very occasional overhaul to
remove stains - I can send you my recipes how to do that - They do
not require the everyday struggle to which the polished granite
condemns you. Granite counters SUCK. I say this as an enthusiastic
cook, both as a former professional chef and as one who cooks a
minimum of 2 meals each day from scratch at home.

Jamie King was wondering about durability of “labradorite granite” in
the kitchen. Answer: the same as any other granite, since typical
granites are made up of quartz, a feldspar (usually microcline), and
often a dark mica or other dark mineral. Labradorite is just
afeldspar (plagioclase), so there should be no concern about
durability of a granite with labradorite as a constituent.

Dick Davies
Fairfax, VA

Labradorite granite is also called Norwegian Moonstone. It is used
on walls, floors and countertops and is very sturdy. It is much
better in the kitchen than marble as it does not stain the way
marble does.

they should be fine. The correct name (rather than commercial
name) for the material is Larvikite, from Larvik, Norway. It's
pretty tough stuff. It's also used for grave stones, so should be
pretty durable (I used to live in Norway, so have a bit of it for
cabbing. it's pretty solid and stable). It's also marketed under
the names blue pearl marble, and as a Jeanne 

That is incorrect

There are a number of true labradorite (anorthosite) dimension
stones. The two I’m familiar with come from Labrador. One is marketed
under the trade name “blue eyes” and comes from the quarry at Ten
Mile Bay in the Nain Archipelago. This quarry began production in
1992. They crystals are approximately dime size and oriented more or
less randomly; about 20 percent of them flash from any given
direction.

A quarry also was opened at Igak Bay in 2001. The stone here is a
brownish anorthosite “exhibiting large, multicoloured crystals” and
is marketed under the trade name “Arctic Rainbow.”

Cheers
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

perhaps they are using other varieties now, but this
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep8064

is the material I am familiar with from Norway and have seen it as
countertops, wall and floor tiles here. There are darker versions as
well. I know that Norway exports it all over the world. At one time,
they would mine it in bulk, ship it to Italy to be cut and polished
as they did not have the industry for it, then re-import it as a
finished product. This is a medium to dark gray material with gray to
blue flash, usually in small flakes, though I found some that was
more a greenish base while I lived there. The anorthosite with
mulitcolored fire(electric green/blue/yellow) and pink base can also
be found in Norway, but I don’t know that it is mined commercially. I
have some chunks of it in my studio. It is from Egersund, Norway.

Jeanne

I’m with Martin H. I’ve worked on granite countertops and hate them
as much as tile counter tops for all the same reasons. Hard, cold,
will chip glasses and china, hard to keep pretty.

Tim and I did our own counter top a couple of years ago out of
copper.

Love it.

Have fun and make lots of food and jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com

When I had my house built some time ago, I specified Formica
counters and vinyl tile floors in my kitchen for one simple reason -
to cut down onbreakage from vintage dishes and glasses. I know its
going to be a tough sale when I do put my house up for sale in the
future, but I sure love not having to break my beloved vintage
dishes. I did have a 50’s glass shatter on me, leaving me with 6
stitches on one finger, but I love the old dishes. Despite
metalsmithing being a dangerous field, I’ve had more stitches from
kitchen accidents, than I have working with my sharp tools in my
workshop.

I found I really did not like granite counters. All those fancy
high-end kitchens are curiously bland in their wood and granite
tones. Give mevintage anytime. More character, more fun.

Joy

Vintage counters are the best - personally I like wooden butcher
block for practical reasons but there is nothing like a section of
inlaid marble for pastry. Can’t be beat! Barbara on another blue sky
day on the Island - is Lady Spring finally here to stay?

When I had my house built some time ago, I specified Formica
counters and vinyl tile floors in my kitchen for one simple reason
- to cut down onbreakage from vintage dishes and glasses. 

I had a beautiful Limoge fish platter inherited from my M-I-L. It
had a few chips in it, and I suspect she had purchased it at one of
the many church bizarres she worked at in her life. While washing it
in my porcelain kitchen sink, it slipped from my rubber-gloved hand
and shattered into a million bits. I was absolutely devastated!
Unfortunately, I threw out the shattered plate before learning that
people were making lovely mosaics from just such broken tableware.

Linda in central FL