Granite is the best choice when permanence, enduring color and texture, and freedom from deterioration and maintenance are the prime requirements for your project. The hardest natural material available for countertops, granite is composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica, and various other minerals. This combination results in a product that is virtually scratch-proof, burn-proof, and nearly indestructible; in fact, the only known materials harder than granite are diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Because of its durable nature, granite is commonly used to face commercial and institutional buildings and monuments. Granite is also unmatched as a material for stairways and high-traffic flooring areas; however, it will always be best known as the material of choice for countertops, due to its unique colors and patterns, proven sustainability, and lasting value. In recent years, a rumor has developed that granite can harbor certain bacteria, but this is nothing more than a myth perpetuated by manufacturers of man-made countertop materials in order to positively impact their own sales. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has no records of granite harboring bacteria of any kind, and granite has performed only second to stainless steel in tests of resistance to bacteria. The fact that granite continues to be the countertop material of choice by designers in hospitality and healthcare applications gives even further credence to the material?s safety and sanitariness.