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Ask a Designer: Clean, Safe Countertops


Are some countertops cleaner or safer than others?

Janice: Definitely the stone countertops and the composites, the quartz material countertops are very sanitary because they are steel and so things do not penetrate into them. Wood countertops you have to be a little more careful with the sanitation because they are porous. If you're going to be using your wood countertops to cut on, you can't cut meat on it and then turn around and cut something else on it. You need to make sure you disinfect it because it is a porous material. [Solid surface 00:00:38] is very very good as far as cleanability because it's an acrylic material. It's not porous at all. Laminates, again, are not porous, but you can't cut on laminate because you're going to leave knife marks.

Any countertop you really shouldn't cut right on the countertop anyway. You should have some sort of cutting surface that is completely dedicated doing your chopping and cutting. Those smaller surfaces, again, are easier to maintain and keep clean and disinfect than an entire countertop. Bacteria can sit on the surface of anything. It's how well you can clean it and how easily you can clean it to get the bacteria off. Any countertop, if you cut on it or prepare food on it, you're going to have bacteria. If you don't clean it, it 's going to remain there.