Are you a germaphobe? Do you err on the side of “sanitary-at-all-costs” over a more laissez-faire “chicken-and-veggies-prepped-on-the-same-cutting-board? No problem!” kind of attitude?
If so, the right kitchen finishes will put your mind and worries at ease – making the kitchen easier to clean and maintain to boot.
Worried About Bacteria? Non-Porous is Your New Favorite Word
Escherichia coli, shigella, salmonella, campylobacter, and Listeria monocytogenes – those are some of the common bacteria lurking around the kitchen – often in the pores, fissures and nicks that populate typical countertop surfaces.
The reality is that most of mother nature’s most beautiful materials – wood and natural stone – are full of pores and fissures. Bacteria flourish in these recesses because they find exactly what they need – food, moisture and a comfortable temperature.
The best way to minimize the presence of these bacteria and other less-desirables (fungus and mold) is to choose countertop surfaces that are non-porous, don’t have cracks or fissures and that aren’t prone to etching, staining or divots (all signs of a softer, more porous surface).
Top Hygienic Kitchen Countertop Surfaces
Here are the best countertop surfaces for a more germ-resistant kitchen design.
Move over granite and make way for quartz
Since granite is the most popular natural stone countertop surface, let’s start here. Granite is full of pores – and fissures. While sealing works – it’s not permanent and there’s no way to know if you’re really protected.
Quartz on the other hand, is made from natural minerals that are all held together using polymers and resin. Thus, you benefit from a non-porous surface. If you want, take your hygienic goals to the next level by choosing Silestone, which includes Microban®, a proprietary anti-microbial protection built in to the countertop material that fights the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the product surface.
Enjoy the hygienic properties of Corian
Corian is another non-porous countertop that is ultra-durable. We love it because the color and pattern varieties make it possible for any homeowner to integrate it with their current design plans. If you were a former granite lover, look for a granite tile to serve as your Corian backsplash and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Another benefit of Corian is that it’s heat and blade resistant. The Kitchen Magic team uses Corian cutting boards because we know everything washes clean with a little hot water and soap. Also, any scratches that do show up can be easily removed with fine sand paper and a little buffing – all of which you can do on your own.
Stainless steel has always been a commercial kitchen favorite
If you’re a modernist – or even a traditionalist – there are all kinds of ways to integrate stainless steel countertops. Some modern kitchens are entirely stainless steel with a few exceptions. Other kitchens may only have a section of stainless steel – perhaps the island or the section of the countertop that sees the most food prep or backing action.
Cleanup and maintenance are a cinch, although some homeowners don’t like the scratch- and smudge-ability.
Laminate is bigger and better than ever
When granite took the kitchen design world by storm, laminate became the whipping post because it was synonymous with an outdated kitchen. That sent the DuPont and other laminate manufacturing houses back to the drawing board and the results are impressive.