Posted on: 9 December 2015
When it comes to kitchen countertops, many homeowners will settle for nothing less than granite as the most attractive and long-lasting option out there, or so they think. The truth is that granite countertops come with a bevy of environmental and health concerns that lay hidden under their glossy sheen. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are far safer both for your family and for the environment in ways that you might not realize immediately. Here are a few reasons to opt for quartz when picking out a material for your new countertop.
Granite is a problematic material for your countertops because it is extremely porous, and unless you're very diligent in sealing the granite every year, these surfaces can harbor huge amounts of bacteria that can cause illness in your home. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are specially engineered to not be porous at all, but instead to deflect bacteria, water, and food particles without the need to seal off the material. In fact, these engineered quartz surfaces have anti-bacterial properties built right in, since they will never absorb water to form a bacterial habitat.
Granite Mining Isn't Sustainable
While this fact might not directly influence your family's health, the impact on the health of the environment can be dramatic. Mining granite can be a huge process that can rip up and displace habitat for many species of animals, perhaps even in your own town. Granite quarries are an eyesore, and can cause environmental issues like excessive waste, transportation costs, and destroyed habitat as previously mentioned. Quartz mining is rarely practiced in and of itself, but quartz rather comes out of other mining operations as a byproduct, thereby reducing mining waste.
Radon in Granite
Another important effect of granite mining is the use of radioactive materials to obtain the granite slabs which eventually make their way into granite countertops. These radioactive materials give off radon, sometimes in very high amounts, in the finished countertop, which can pose a real threat to those living in the house, especially pregnant women or young children. Quartz used in engineered countertops, on the other hand, is typically obtained as a byproduct of other mining operations, and is harvested directly by hand more often than by explosives due to its fragility in its natural form. That means that quartz offers a powerful one-two punch in that hardly any land is used in its mining and it isn't obtained by methods that leave behind dangerous radioactive byproducts.Share