Granite is one of the most dense natural stones making it ideal for fountains and water features. Natural elements such as vegetation and water elements have a way of completing a space both indoors and out. Being able to smell the subtle aroma of flowers or herbs, for example, in a home or garden can have a calming effect on people, not to mention the added bonus of being natural air fresheners. In a similar way, a soothing water feature with a trickling sound can help ease worries, drown out unwanted noises, and engage one of the five senses often overlooked in design – hearing. Although there are many ways to add a water feature, a superior choice in materials is natural granite. Granite fountains are commonly seen in a traditional stacked-basin design where the bottom reservoir is largest with a medium-sized basin next and a smaller basin or spout on top. Another classic granite fountain design is when a figure or scene is carved from stone with water spout strategically placed to spray into a large basin or pool below. Other more modern granite fountain designs are called water features, especially when they are a wall of water, waterfall design, or a series of compartments that spill into each other before descending into a bottom basin.
When considering the necessary elements needed to create a successful water fountain, granite is the superior choice in material. Commonly, granite is used for heavy-use areas in the home such as kitchen countertops because it is a dense stone that naturally resists water penetration and staining. Granite countertops are also strong and durable helping them to scratch less than most other countertop options. In addition the countertops, granite wears well in any state because of its superior natural properties. Granite is denser and stronger than most other stones including marble, limestone, and especially concrete.
Granite can be carved in numerous shapes and sizes since it naturally resists cracking and breakage. Since granite is such a dense and hard stone, it requires the right tools and pressure to form and carve it. Technology of machinery has greatly improved the carving process allowing almost any shape or design to be created. The same carving efforts done by hand for centuries can now be done in about a tenth of the time with water-jets and laser-cutting. Intricate patterning and styling can be easily achieved in granite without concern about cracking and breakage as with limestone. Similarly, concrete has to be poured and molded to create the fountain components limiting the design possibilities. Natural granite allows the creator to be more creative, precise, and accurate that enables them to develop a superior product.
Perhaps the best attribute of granite fountains and water features is that the stone ages gracefully and is naturally more resistant to erosion and water penetration. These fountains can last longer than a lifetime maintaining their function and appearance. Although not necessary, granite can be easily cleaned to prolong a desired look without deteriorating the surface. Acid washing is used to safely remove mineral build-up or moss growth and poultice treatments are used to remove oil-based stains. Granite is dense enough that a raw or unfinished surface works well for a fountain, but for added protection it can be easily honed or polished depending on the desired look. A polished granite surface, typically seen on kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities, is the most resistant to water penetration and staining. A honed or leathered finish resists staining well with a softer, more natural looking sheen. Natural granite, in any shape, style, or sheen, is by far the best choice of material for water features and fountains.