Plenty of people know that natural stone can be a great way to go when remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. And it’s also certainly a choice when building a brand new home, too. But natural stone isn’t limited to personal dwellings. It can have industrial applications, too. So if you’re weighing your countertop options for business building or remodeling, count natural stone in.
Of course, hospitals and other healthcare organizations do a lot of vital work. And it’s certainly not limited to the kind of life-saving jobs that are done in the emergency room. Consider also necessary work like case management, human resource management, and supply chain management.
Not everything can be done at an operating table, nor should it be. Thus, hospitals and other healthcare offices certainly need surfaces on which to do some of this work. And when businesses in the healthcare industry are weighing their countertop options, one possibility to consider is using natural stone.
One huge benefit to natural stone is its appearance. Carefully planned to complement the design of the area it’s in, stone could certainly lend an upscale appearance. Plus, visually, it could appear less sterile and institutional-looking, perhaps creating a more inviting environment for patients and employees.
Where cleanliness is a priority
Cleanliness can be a tricky topic when it comes to stone countertops. Even though stone looks quite solid, some stone countertops can actually be porous (granite, for instance). And porous surfaces, as Kitchen Magic points, can harbor bacteria.
However, a porous countertop like granite can become less so thanks to sealing or going with polished granite. Modern Worktops says that “Granite worktops offer a nearly impenetrable shield against germs, as long as they are properly polished and sealed.”
Quartz could be even more helpful when it comes to germs (though we’re not saying it removes the possibility). Being a non-porous surface means you could have less to worry about than with granite. For instance, Modern Worktops says, “As there is no absorption of dirt or filth, quartz worktops won’t foster bacteria or transfer them onto foods or objects.” Plus, there could even be quartz options for you that take a proactive approach against germs.
Certainly, healthcare environments aren’t the only places in the business world that could benefit from natural stone. Restaurants could be interested in the possibility of these surfaces, too. Cutting straight on the surface of your natural stone may not always be the best idea, so we won’t recommend that you do (especially considering potential damage to knives and possible counter damage from cutting certain foods).
But there could be another advantage to stone—temperature. And for those of you whose work benefits from a cool surface, natural stone could be a help here. Additionally, there’s the aesthetic appeal to consider, too. Especially for areas of restaurants that customers see (like the entrance area or bar countertop seating), natural stone could lend a lovely appearance.
Some companies gravitate toward stone because of the nature of their work—for instance, iconic Michigan fudge shops. But the exact reasons a company selects natural stone could vary. In addition, the exact stone they choose could differ. For instance, while marble may not be the best option for high-traffic areas (since it can scratch more easily than other options), quartz might be able to satisfy the business’ needs.
Discussing your specific countertop needs and wants with a countertop specialist could help you out here if you’re making decisions for your company. If you know you want natural stone, but you’re not sure where to go from there, check with a local specialist. You can describe to them not only where you’d like to place your counter but also what you plan to do on it and how much effort you can put into upkeep. Then, they can lend some expertise, perhaps by sharing the pros and cons of different natural stone options.
Stone factors to consider
As you discuss with your countertop specialist or research on your own, here are some countertop factors to keep in mind. They could help you evaluate whether certain natural stone countertops would be a good fit for your particular situation. Here are some things to consider:
- The hardness of the specific stone (stones are ranked on the Mohs scale).
- How impact-resistant the stone is.
- The price and value of the specific stone.
- How porous the stone is.
- How much upkeep (including countertop sealing) the stone would require.
- What kind of finishes are available for your stone.
- What range of color and design options you would have for each stone type.
Your stone in its new surroundings
What countertop material you ultimately choose for your company’s workspace may vary based on your needs and desires. And if you’re headed for natural stone, there will be even more decisions to make. For instance, you’ll need to choose (with the help of your countertop specialist, perhaps) what type of stone will best suit your needs. Plus, you’ll want to match the appearance of your counter with the surrounding area’s design and decor. For that, begin gathering some ideas with our How To Match Your Countertop With Your Color Palette & Style.