Granite is the best-known igneous rock. Many people recognize granite because it is the most common igneous rock found at Earth's surface and because granite is used to make many objects that we encounter in daily life. These include counter tops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer and cemetery monuments. Granite is used all around us - expecially if you live in a city.
It is the rock most often quarried as a "dimension stone" (a natural rock material that has been cut into blocks or slabs of specific length, width and thickness). Granite is hard enough to resist most abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering and it accepts a brilliant polish. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.
The large mineral crystals in granite are evidence that it cooled slowly from molten rock material. That slow cooling had to have occurred beneath Earth's surface and required a long period of time to occur.