At the heart of every home is the kitchen, the base for food preparation and the “catch-all” space that sees everything from family meetings to science projects and, more recently, work-from-home activities.

Our kitchen surfaces withstand a lot, especially harmful bacteria or germs that find their way onto our countertops.

In today’s climate, we are all realizing how easily germs can spread. Many homeowners now have a heightened interest in achieving functional, cleaner spaces.

If you are building a new home or remodeling and looking for countertop surfaces with criteria that includes hygienic qualities, two of the top choices are quartz and porcelain.

Both of these man-made materials are considered antibacterial and virtually maintenance-free. Quartz and porcelain can be cleaned with a simple mixture of soap and water.

Plus, these countertop materials resist scratches, stains, heat, mold and mildew. They are as stylish as they are sturdy. Because of their non-porous features, liquids and moisture will not absorb into the surface. 

Since its introduction in the 1970s, quartz has been trending as a top choice for countertops in homes and restaurants. It is design friendly, offering a highly durable non-porous surface that helps keep germs and bacteria at bay. 

Quartz is available in many new and sophisticated colors and patterns for kitchen design, from modern to farm look to coastal Lowcountry living.   

Homeowners are also choosing porcelain for their countertops, showers, floors and walls, and especially in outdoor spaces. Also non-porous and easily cleaned with mild household disinfectants, porcelain is the answer to keeping your surfaces hygienic without sacrificing the beauty of natural stone.

Another feature of porcelain is chemical resistance. From acidic foods, drinks or chemical cleaning products, this surface can withstand the use. It is stain and heat resistant and an extremely hard surface. 

When porcelain is professionally crafted and installed by a certified stone expert, the seams are virtually invisible, which also means that germs and harmful bacterial have less places to hide on your kitchen or bath surfaces. 

Porcelain is available in many colors and patterns and a sophisticated look for home design.

Whether you are building a new space or simply remodeling an existing one, be sure to ask how quartz or porcelain can help keep your countertops hygienic and safe. Spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying spaces to make memories with friends and family.

John Baltzegar III is owner and founder of StoneWorks, with more than 30 years’ experience in the stone industry.