It’s time to update that worn kitchen and you want to make informed, environmentally conscious choices for all aspects of the remodel. Countertops need to be selected with both aesthetic and functional considerations in mind; therefore we’re pleased to note that several companies offer green kitchen countertop materials that fulfill both requirements. Following are a few options to bookmark for further research:
PaperStone, brought to us by Paneltech International, LLC., is an innovator in the field of green kitchen countertop materials. One of the recipients of the 2006 Top 10 Green Building Products Award from BuildingGreen.com, the company has continued its efforts to become greener – and greener.
By offering a “Certified” product line made from 100% post-consumer waste paper, PaperStone lays claim to being the only architectural surface on the market today with certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, Smartwood and the Rainforest Alliance. LEED credits may be earned for recycled content, rapidly renewable materials, certified wood materials and/or low emitting materials.
Beyond being a superb eco-choice, this material is just downright lovely - warm, soft and highly customizable with a rich palette of colors to choose from. For those of us who put our kitchens through the paces, the best news may be that durable PaperStone is often specified for skateboard ramps!
Visit http://www.paperstoneproducts.com/ to learn more.
Photos courtesy of PaperStone.
From Kliptech BioTechnologies, Ecotop has been featured as one of the Top Ten Green Building Products of 2008 by Sustainable Industries magazine. This smooth, sleek, sophisticated surface is as durable as it is beautiful. Long bamboo fibers make it highly scratch resistant while keeping water absorption to a measly rate of less than one percent. Fabrication and installation are simple; the same typical woodworking tools that are used to customize butcher-block surfaces are compatible with this green kitchen countertop material.
Composed of FSC certified fiber that is a 50/50 blend of sustainable bamboo and post consumer recycled paper, this material can contribute as much a seven points to a LEED certified project. A cutting-edge SCS certified fiber & resin process creates stable colors that won’t fade with UV exposure or discolor over time. EcoTop is currently available in ten standard colors - custom colors can be accommodated with sufficient volume.
Check out this link for more info: http://www.kliptech.com/ecotop.html
In 2003, veteran green investors Miranda Magagnini and Peter Strugatz purchased a failing company with a viable product and renamed it IceStone. The result: these lovely terrazzo-style slabs composed of recycled glass and concrete are now available as an option for installing a green kitchen countertop.
According to Magagnini, “Our customers like our story, but they love our product”. And what a story this is. IceStone walks the walk by not only using recycled (and recyclable) materials, they incorporate green practices such as day lighting and gray water recycling in their manufacturing plant. The machinery uses soy-based machine lubricants and the plant typically recycles over two million pounds of glass annually.
With a palette of two-dozen colors ranging from soft, earth-toned neutrals to richly saturated colors, IceStone is likely to compliment most designs. The slabs can also be installed on floors, walls and shower surrounds.
The company web site offers much more information: http://www.icestone.biz/new/
Taking cradle to cradle planning into consideration, this innovative company urges consumers to send back their materials should they decide to remove a Vetrazzo installation. Not that anyone will likely want to. This green kitchen countertop features a surface that is composed of 100% recycled glass, creating bold particulates that are sure to provide a wow factor from any viewpoint in the room.
Do you ever wonder what may have happened to that broken windshield? With Vetrazzo, it could very well have been incorporated into a stunning new surfacing material. Made in the U.S.A, this green kitchen countertop option may be a homeowner’s way of expressing their respect for the environment without sacrificing style. The company web site lists many public installations of Vetrazzo to allow potential purchasers to personally experience the look and feel of the product.
To read more, visit http://www.vetrazzo.com/
Alkemi countertops, produced in Baltimore, Maryland, are manufactured in part from post-industrial scrap generated from nearby industries. The SCS certified material contains 35% post-industrial scrap by weight and 60% by volume. In addition, the product can earn LEED credits in the categories of regional materials and recycled content.
Available in textured, honed and classic honed finishes, Alkemi countertops are a unique alternative to more traditional surfacing materials. Fabrication is similar to other solid surface materials and the product requires no additional sealing. The company offers three lines to choose from: Alkemi, Alkemi Anodized and Alkemi Opague. Each line is available in six different colors: some examples are Koi, Aegean, Lapis, Plum and Paprika.
Photos courtesy of Alkemi
We’d love to hear from anyone who installed one of these – or other – eco-friendly countertops. Or, if you have experienced a “green” kitchen remodel, please share your thoughts.