Are you thinking about planning a kitchen renovation? There might be some new things you want to consider in light of the current coronavirus, when it comes to moving forward with the design aspects of your kitchen. Specifically around cleaning. You may have adapted to new cleaning schedules, but how is your kitchen holding up to the new regime? Have you accidentally bleached your floors or find your old cabinets bubbling under the onslaught of cleaning products? Before you dive headlong into ripping things out, think about the surfaces in a new kitchen; what elements should you consider and which ones should you maybe steer clear of for the next little while? While we have discussed some specifics, there is a little science behind those choices and it has to do with porous vs non-porous surfaces. Let’s unpack that a little more.

Porous vs Non-Porous Surfaces

The big difference between porous and non-porous surfaces are their ability to hold water, air, or other liquids. A porous surface has pores which allow things to flow through them more readily versus non-porous materials, which have a much tighter cell structure preventing ease of flow. Glass, metal, plastic, and varnished wood are examples of non-porous materials, while untreated wood, drapes, carpet, and cardboard are porous.

Why is knowing whether a material is porous or non-porous important? Non-porous materials stand up better to cleaning, whereas non-porous items tend to hold germs and dirt longer and require laundering. So while you can wipe a granite counter or thermofoil cabinets down with appropriate cleaners, your drapes or rug requires a different process to clean and sanitize. Can you throw them into the washer? Do you have safe cleaners to remove dirt and germs without harming the material? These have suddenly become more important qualities to look for when it comes to the air-borne illness we are currently living with.

As you think about what design aspects you want to incorporate into your new kitchen, you might want to keep that in mind. Unless your softer surfaces are easy to clean, maybe a few more non-porous surfaces will keep your family healthier. You might want to lean more towards durable, non-porous, and easy to clean quartz and sleek, environmentally sound thermofoil cabinets that are easy to maintain. Think about glass for a backsplash and its non-porous surface. Say goodbye to carpeting for now, or choose smaller, washable throw rugs to warm up a space versus larger area rugs.

Even some materials that people have revered for years, might not make for the best choices now. Wood is a fantastic natural element to incorporate into home design, but bleach will ruin its surface quick. Not to mention that some woods are more porous than others. More porous natural stones are also out. Man-made objects just might have the advantage in that they stand up better to higher cleaning regimes that are now the norm.

Ultimately, kitchen design is a very personal decision. We get that. But keeping your family healthy is important. If a few simple design choices help to keep those you love healthier, isn’t it worth it? Just something to think about.