Considering Concrete or Granite Countertops?
Garden State Soapstone ™, Slate & Wood Countertops, is an advocate for natural stones like slate and soapstone. However, we don’t carry all kinds of countertops, like granite and concrete. There are a few reasons why.
The number one reason is sealing. Granite is a stone that requires periodic sealing. Without proper care, it can be permanently stained.
Ecofriend puts it this way: “Granite is a porous stone and it is sealed…before it reaches home. So, one has to keep up with the maintenance of that actual granite, that means it has to be sealed on yearly basis. When the natural seal of granite wears away with time or is gone and when it is not sealed again, it becomes porous again. It means if someone spills red wine on that granite countertop, which is porous, that red wine can work its way down the stone. Once it is in the stone, it will never come out it is there for life.”
Because it can harbor bacteria, it requires unsustainable sealers to maintain it.
Concrete and Granite: What Makes Them Unsustainable?
Concrete too, needs frequent sealing. And although it contains sand, rock, and cement, rather than plastic and artificially engineered materials, it is environmentally unsound. “Cement production uses up a lot of energy, and mining of aggregate and sand can be environmentally disruptive. Some of the sealers applied to concrete countertops to protect them may also contain toxic volatile organic compounds, or VOCs”, according to this Concrete Network Article.
This is drastically different from soapstone and slate, which are impervious, heat and water resistant, and do not require sealers. Cleaning a soapstone or slate countertop requires only soap and water.
Another aspect of granite that consumers should be aware of is radiation and radon. Though the EPA states that it’s unlikely radiation levels in the home will go above normal, it still signifies an unhealthy, unsustainable countertop. Different slabs of granite will have different levels of radioactive elements.
But when it comes down to it, looks matter.
Granite’s polished, glossy shine has an outdated, manufactured feel.
Soapstone and slate have a natural, organic, and honed look that can’t be duplicated. They add warmth and natural tones to each room, and have intricate veining and tones that contribute to a subtle, timeless appeal. Soapstone and slate may both be enhanced with organic wax and organic oil, but never sealing.
To view our soapstone & slate inventory, click here.