Should You Climb on Kitchen and Bath Counters?

Are your stone kitchen and bath counters tough enough to double as stepladders?

Probably, but that doesn’t mean you should risk it.

Counters are for dishes, plates and cooking utensils, not feet. However, this question is a surprisingly hot topic on stone counter message boards and even home living forums. People want to know if they really need to pull out that stepladder, or if shimmying onto their granite or marble countertops is safe.

The Mohs scale is used to determine how strong stone counters are, and it’s a solid bet that the average person (200 pounds and under) could stand on a stone countertop without causing it to crack or break. Still, compare thousands of dollars’ worth of stone countertops to a few dollars for a stepladder, and it seems an unwise risk. There might also be unnoticeable fissures on your countertops that, with just the right amount of intense pressure in the right spot, might cause a big crack.

Kitchen and Bath: Risk vs. Reward

A bigger risk when standing on your counters is slipping and falling.

Counters in your kitchen and bath are likely slick, cold and possibly wet. If you’ve ever walked on marble floors, you know exactly how unforgiving they can be (which is why in many countries where marble floors are popular, so are big area rugs). Falling from a countertop can cause serious injuries.

Kids and teens are the most likely to crawl onto countertops, opting for a little faster solution to reaching the top shelf compared to pulling out the ladder. Adults cleaning the tops of cabinets, installing molding or reaching for those seldom-used red and green sprinkles are also guilty.

Not only is this dangerous, but you can never tell what’s on the countertops or your feet. Using kitchen and bath counters as a ladder is a great way to cross-contaminate and spread germs.
Think about where your feet have been, and ask yourself if you’d want to eat off them. Think about that raw meat that was just filleted on the counter. Do you really want to traipse around the house afterward spreading bacteria everywhere?

Better Options

Purchase a couple of lightweight, easy-to-use stepladders that remain in the kitchen. One can be a simple one-step, and the other can give you up to 5 extra feet of height. Keeping these items in a convenient location and having them be light enough so kids and teens can pick them up without trouble is key. Otherwise, it’s just too tempting to use the countertops.

If your kitchen and bath counters break or chip, they might still be salvageable. Restoring granite or marble counters is usually much faster and more affordable than replacing full slabs, but you’ll want a professional on your side. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble for complete kitchen and bath counter needs and repairs.

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