Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recycled Kitchen Countertops Finishes :: Alternatives to Natural Stone

Technically the greenest kitchen counter top is the one you already have... However if yours is bright yellow (we still come across a few) or beyond repair or you are unable to source a recycled kitchen then you may need to look for a new kitchen joinery and a new countertop.

Firstly, your counter top material should be of good quality, durable, water resistant, non porous (this excludes most natural stones) and something that is a timeless design that you are happy to live with for many years. If your kitchen is a neutral design and of a good quality it is likely to be around for a while, thus reducing the need to consume more materials with buying a new kitchen.

I have selected a few alternative counter materials below. Some of these brands may not be available in your country but there may be other similar products available by local suppliers.

Recycled glass countertops - For an alternative to natural or quarried stone

Whilst granite and marble counter tops have a luxurious finish they are not very environmentally friendly as they are a quarried from natural stone. Nowadays engineered stone has become quite popular as a practical stone substitute but their manufacturing process is not so eco-friendly and their recycled component is fairly low.  However, some stone composite brands are now incorporating higher recycled content options. For an alternative to natural stone or non recycled composites try:

1. Squak Mountain Stone - A fibrous-cement material made from recyled paper, recycled glass and low-carbon cement.

2. Fuez - Made from 100% curbside recycled glass.

3. BottleStone - Made from 80% post-consumer curbside recycled container glass.

4. Vetrazzo - Made from cement and 85% recycled glass from curbside recycling programs. Some of the glass comes from  windows, dinnerware, stained glass, laboratory glass, building demolition glass, traffic lights and other unusual sources. They even provide a certificate of transformation that tells you where the glass came from!

5. Seeta by Torzo - A formaldehyde free composite made from sunflower seed hulls.

6. Caesarstone - On a few colours only, 42% recycled content from production off cuts.

Nowadays there is a wider selection of different surface materials that adopt recycled principals, FSC certified timer products and green building council certification. This is still a growing market a lot of green wash with some materials claiming that they are eco and green when they are not. If you give yourself some time to research thoroughly and check the products technical credentials then you should be able to find your perfect alternative counter finish.

Have fun.

1 comment:

  1. Ah Vetrazzo! The Italians had it right so many years ago. Terrazzo is durable as well as beautiful.


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Have fun, Lisa

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