Since the late 20th century, American interior designers have been choosing granite for kitchen and bathroom counters. Real estate agents often encourage their clients to redo their kitchens with granite countertops for the purpose of maximizing the profit potential of their listings. Very seldom will you come across hardwood being recommended as a counter surface.
Homeowners who have custom kitchen cabinets made of wood may feel tempted to find matching hardwood pieces for their counters. While this choice has some merit in terms of aesthetics, hardwood is not an adequate material for food preparation surfaces. Here is what you need to know about granite versus hardwood in your kitchen.
Ancient Egyptians covered their pyramids with limestone and utilized granite to make their obelisks and sarcophagi, and Greek architects learned from the Egyptians and perfected their masonry and stonework, but granite did not enter the kitchen until the ages of the Roman Empire. Archaeologists have discovered ancient dwelling structures outside of Rome where granite blocks and slabs were used in kitchens that doubled as dining rooms. During the Renaissance, natural-stone materials were very popular in residential interiors. The current trend of granite kitchen counters owes a lot to the popularity of cooking shows on cable television networks.
A nice granite countertop in the kitchen creates an attractive center of attention. Homeowners who intend to build spec homes can base their décor ideas on the granite slabs they intend to install in their kitchens. The wide range of colors and patterns available in granite makes it easier for interior decorators to match with other materials and develop their specific vision. A highly polished, dark granite counter provides an ideal contrast to brushed steel appliances, while a more rustic, beige colored slab goes well with natural wood cabinets and country kitchen themes.
The natural porosity of granite may be a concern for the kitchen. However, this natural stone is not conducive for the formation of bacterial colonies. As long as granite is frequently cleaned and sealed with a specially formulated granite countertop cleaner and sealer, homeowners should not be afraid of contamination.
While wood surfaces can be found in millions of taverns and pubs around the world, there is a marked difference between wiping down spilled beverages and preparing elaborate meals. Granite is one of the preferred cooking surfaces at traditional pizzerias in Naples, with prep tables next to brick ovens that reach temperatures higher than 700 degrees Celsius, which means stainless steel surfaces are out of the question. Wooden pot holders and cutting boards are great to have in the kitchen, but a hardwood prep table is not very practical.
Granite is also preferable to hardwood because it is much easier to keep clean if you do so correctly. In addition to using a spray-and-wipe solution such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®, you can also use granite all-surface wipes to keep your granite countertops clean. Granite Gold All-Surface Wipes® are safe to use on granite as well as all other types of natural stone, including travertine, marble, and limestone. If you’d like to learn more about caring for granite countertops, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE.