There are some things to consider when choosing which product that will best suit your needs:
- You may read that granite must be periodically sealed to maintain its shiny polish. Not true. Sealing is only for stain resistance.
- Man-made solid surface manufacturers try to claim their products resists bacteria while granite “harbors” bacteria. This is totally false. Studies prove that both granite and quartz are among the safest and cleanest surfaces on the market today, but one is not superior to the other.
- Granite continues to be used and approved in food and medical applications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no records of granite harboring bacteria, and has no reports of people becoming ill from bacteria in granite.
Below are results from a study that was carried out by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, in St. Paul Minnesota on countertop cleanliness. The institute develops educational materials, carries out research, and provides data and reports for those working in the retail food industry. The purpose of this particular study was to determine the clean ability of six of the most commonly used countertop surfaces: Laminate, Wood, Tile, Concrete, Stainless Steel, and Granite. The study measured the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E-coli (nearly 2 billion of the micro organisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with a vinegar-and-water solution. The results are shown in the table shown here. Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr. who conducted the study at the Institute said: “We hope our research will help consumers make healthy decisions when selecting a countertop surface for their kitchen.” Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr., has educated thousands of executives, owners, chefs, employees, and home food preparers in procedures for producing safe food and is the president of Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management.”
The retention of the E. coli was from most retained to most removed is as follows:
- Stainless steel
Although man-made quartz countertops were not part of this study you can see that granite outperformed stainless steel. We all know that stainless steel is used in operating rooms, clean rooms, and commercial kitchens to name o few. With that said, how much better could man-made quartz be and if it is better, why aren’t hospitals and commercial kitchens using only their product?
Once you remove the hype and you understand that man-made quartz countertops and granite perform equally well and that the care and cleaning of each surface is essentially the same, the decision between granite and man-made quartz counter tops usually comes down to color, pattern and price. Granite is typically less expensive than man-made products which offer a better value for the money. Granite enjoys a greater “prestige” due to its natural uniqueness and is therefore, of greater value in the minds of most buyers. New granites come on the market all the time from different countries providing hundreds and possibly thousands of different colors and patterns to choose from. Engineered stone manufacturers offer 20-50 color choices all of which have basically the same repetitive pebbled appearance similar to laminate.
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