Choosing new sinks and counter tops are an important part of renovating and refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms. A comparison of Swanstone solid surface material to granite helps you choose the best material to suit both your style and pocket. Swanstone products are available in a wide range of colors, carry a lifetime warranty and are manufactured in the U.S.A.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Granite surfaces require sealing with finishes containing resins and polymers to form a barrier against water penetration and protect them from stains and damage by dirt and mold, while still allowing the stone to breath. This sealant is applied once a year, more frequently in busy households. Swanstone sinks and counter tops need no sealing, resist scratches, stains and moulds. They wipe clean with a small application of any cleaner also considered safe for plastics. Cleaning granite with regular household agents is not possible; they require neutral cleaners or specialized products like stone soap. Granite surfaces also are prone to efflorescence, a white powdery surface deposit of mineral salts, usually seen in new installations and caused by the first contact with large amounts of water. Deposits are removed by steel wool and continue up to a year after installation.
An ideal eco-friendly material for the home allows for repair rather than replacement and lasts for decades. Swanstone solid surfaces are as extremely strong, easily repaired and resist damage from heat up to 450 degrees F. This makes them longer-lasting, requiring less use of natural resources. Swanson products employ environmentally responsible processes like closed molding, which reduces emissions, oil recycling and solvent recover programs and metal and cardboard recycling systems. Granite is a resource-hungry product. According to the consumer's guide from thedailygreen, "Granite quarrying, processing and shipment carries a sizable environmental footprint."
Homeowners concerned about emissions from products in their homes ask contractors to check radon gas and radiations levels on a regular basis. Some, but not all types of granite are linked to higher than usual readings, typically the, "more exotic and striated varieties from Brazil and Namibia," according to a report by Katie Murphy for the Washington Post. Swanson surfaces are, "nontoxic, non-carcinogenic, and chemically inert."
Granite is a hard stone formed by heat from volcanic action. After it's quarried, cut to size, polished and sealed the heavy slabs are exported to the U.S. Granite is an expensive and luxurious material natural that adds value to the home. Up to three granite slabs are required for a full kitchen counter and costs of refurbishing with this material include reinforcing the existing supports, or buying new units capable of supporting the heavy slabs. Swanstone, which is made from molded plastic compounds, are much lighter than granite and cost up to 50 percent less than other solid surfaces.
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