When it comes to picking a luxury countertop material, Granite has always been a popular choice. We see it on television, in home and living magazines, and even in traditional kitchen showrooms, advertised as the premier option for stone countertops. While it may be easy to see why Granite countertops are so popular—they’re beautiful, of course—there could be some hazardous side effects that are not as easy to notice.
Granite countertops are composed of a naturally mined stone, and while many prize Granite for its natural properties, natural stone countertops are not as strong as engineered stone, like Quartz, for instance. This means that Granite is a more brittle substance, and can crack, chip and break off from excessive daily use. Imagine accidentally dropping a heavy pot onto your countertop, and a large piece breaks off and falls right onto your toe! Ouch!
Also, this natural stone surface is naturally porous, making it possible for unsanitary liquids and bacteria to leak through to the underside of the Granite. This can permanently stain your countertops and build a nice home for mold to grow inside, with no way to clean or remove the interior of the counters. To avoid this, your installers will seal the countertops with chemicals before your installation, but you must then reseal the Granite surface at least once every two years, which will cost you more money.
If this doesn’t seem bad enough, the popular kitchen material may emit trace elements of Radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that can seriously harm you and your family. Like other naturally mined rocks, Granite may contain the naturally occurring radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and radium, which decay into this radioactive gas. The amounts of radioactive elements present in a piece of Granite depend on where the Granite was mined, and can differ from one slab of Granite countertop to another.
While this could be a dangerous and harmful substance, Granite is not as porous as many other stones, and so does not pose a large risk. If you have a Granite countertop already, you can request information from your state’s radiation protection program and test your countertop for Radon.
If you don’t have a Granite countertop, download your FREE Countertop Comparison Chart to learn about the many countertop material options out there, and find out which one is best for you!