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Debunking 4 Myths About Granite Countertops

From ease of cleaning to durability, granite is a clear winner. Granite counters remain popular for a reason: They look great, stand up to a lot of kitchen abuse, and they last a lifetime. Actually, they last longer, considering that most granite was formed more than 500 million years ago.

Be that as it may, some naysayers have created an awful lot of myths about granite. Here are four of the most persistent, and the reasons why they're false. Myth #1: Granite Will Fall out of Style Reality: This is a timeless countertop material. Trends come and they go, and sometimes it seems like an interior designer's job to decide when some trend should end. It all keeps excitement and a sense of urgency in the market. The truth is that granite is only gaining ground, not losing it. There are lots of reasons why granite isn't falling out of style. First, it lasts. You won't wake up one day, disgusted with how your countertop looks because it's one of the toughest and most resilient surfaces available. There's also the variety of colors and patterns available. You won't have to worry about whether every neighbor on your street has the same countertop because each slab is unique in some way. Myth #2: It's Hard to Maintain Reality: It's no more difficult to maintain than any other countertop. Considering just how tough granite really is, it's hard to imagine how this myth was started. It's actually very easy to maintain. For everyday cleaning, all you need is a sponge or rag and some soapy water or a bit of vinegar. Some people prefer not to seal granite, but in most cases it's the smart choice. That way, pores are sealed and you'll get more uniform performance from the surface. BT Kitchen and Bath installs granite that's already sealed. After that, your cleaning routine will dictate how often you need a new coat of sealer. Myth #3: Bacteria Thrives on Granite Reality: There is no quantifiable evidence of this being true, and lots of evidence to suggest otherwise. This is another myth where it's hard to hone in on a source. But it's not hard to debunk it. Probably the most often cited reference for the lack of bacteria colony status is the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Managementreport, "The Reduction of E.Coli on Various Countertop Surfaces." This report compares several materials and how each one tends to harbor the bacteria. The group consists of laminate, wood, tile, concrete, stainless steel and granite. On the lowest and worst end of the scale in this study is laminate. A basic wash and rinse only reduced the bacterial counts by 285 to 1. Using vinegar, the stats improved to 500,000 to 1. At the other end of the scale is granite. Washing and rinsing reduced bacterial counts 36,000 to 1. Using vinegar, it improved to 80,000,000 to 1 (yes, that's eighty million). The only material that ranked higher with vinegar was stainless steel. But an ordinary wash only reduced bacterial counts by 4,000 to 1. Other materials were not even in the same ballpark. Granite has already survived more than your hottest pan. Myth #4: It's Easy to Damage and Stain Reality: Granite is an ultra-dense rock formed under intense heat and pressure. Have you ever tried to smash a piece of granite? It's not exactly easy. But what about heat and stains? Surely those are a problem. Except that they're not. Granite is incredibly old, and was formed under intense heat and pressure. The bottom of a hot pan straight off the stove doesn't compare to what created granite. And if you drop a plate, glass, pot or baking dish, you'll lose the dishes and keep your countertop. What about stains? Consider the density of this stone. It's not riddled with big pores that soak up grease. Add sealer, and it's not likely that you'll ever create much of a stain problem. But even if the unexpected happens, you can remove most stains relatively simply. A paste of baking soda and water draws out oils. A poultice of plain flour moistened with hydrogen peroxide draws out stains such as wine. That's what stone countertop expert, Fred M. Hueston recommends in his book, "Stain Removal Guide: For Stone, Tile and Concrete." Granite counters are beautiful, durable, easy to clean and they don't harbor harmful bacteria. You can't say that about nearly any other material, and you especially can't say that about synthetics such as laminate. Natural stone gives you the good looks that you want, and it's not as expensive as you might think. Request a free consultation from BT Kitchen and Bath and find out what a great investment it really is.

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