Granite Countertops Myths Busted!
Look at any new up-scale home or remodel…..The kitchen and the bathrooms shine forth as the most important rooms in the house. Some of that shine is coming from the beautiful natural stone countertops. And there are many reasons that granite and other natural stones are the most popular up-grades one can make to a home.
For shear un-matched beauty, natural stone is by far the choice of most homeowners. The fact that each slab of stone is individually carved from the side of a quarry, shipped from some far-away place, and then custom cut and polished specifically for their kitchen, bathroom, or fireplace makes shopping for that perfect piece of rock exciting but sometimes a little confusing.
There have been some misleading articles circulating over the past few years that try and discourage using Natural Stone for kitchen countertops. Stating concerns about granite being difficult to care for, too expensive, easily stained or grow bacteria from food products, or even emitting un-safe amounts of radon gas.
The facts show that Granite is not only easy to care for, it is less expensive than most comparable surfaces when you consider that it will last the life of the house. And there are many advantages to granite that make it well worth the investment. As far as food stains, bacteria, and radon gas emissions….well let’s just say that sometimes rumors get conveniently spread from competitive countertop manufacturers.
Here are a few areas of interest you may want to think about when you are considering what type of surface to use for your countertops.
GRANITE VERSUS RADON:
The Marble Institute of America has called upon several of the country’s leading scientists in geology and geochemistry to assist in preparing a response to the allegations in these articles that radon gas emissions from granite countertops may be hazardous. On reading the article, our consultants reacted with such comments as “ludicrous”, “a fabulous collage of nonsense”, “politically motivated”, “unethical” and “bizarre”. In terms of building materials, radon emissions from concrete, cement and gypsum could be of greater concern.
FOR COUNTER CLEANLINESS-GRANITE IS THE WAY TO GO:
If you are concerned about bacterial contamination of your kitchen countertop, it looks like stainless steel and granite are the way to go. That’s what a recent study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, a St. Paul Minnesota-based organization that develops educational materials and research for the retail food industry shows. The study measured the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E-coli (nearly 2 billion of the microorganisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with a vinegar-and-water solution. The results are shown in the table below.
Surface Microorganisms ELIMINATED by Cleaning*
- Stainless Steel 85,113.804
- Granite 79,432,823
- Plastic Laminate 498,884
- Tile 293,765
- Concrete 32,810
- Wood 2,080
*Source: Today’s Homeowner Magazine
ADVANTAGES OF GRANITE:
- Durable scratch-resistant surface
- Endless patterns and colors
- Each piece unique
- Adds up-graded value to your home
- Lasting value – granite will last forever
- Will not burn when hot pots are set on it
- Stains can be removed
- Harbors no bacteria or radon
- Can be repaired if scratched
Natural stone will continue to be recognized for its un-matched beauty and versatility and is considered by most to be the best quality material available for your countertops.