If you have a big concern on the carbon footprint, there is no better reason than to use eco-friendly countertops. They are the solution if you want to protect the environment. A sustainable countertop is perfect for kitchen remodel. Of course, it is not easy to choose the right countertops, since the options are countless.
It does not mean that there is no countertop with zero contribution to the environment. Some options are available to reduce the impact. This is what you need to make sure that you have no severe issues with your health. We can say that the eco-friendly countertop means it goes with less energy, fewer minerals, and less water during and after the construction.
A sustainable countertop is what you need since it brings significant impact on human health. The technology development also helps environmental friendly countertops come in various options. Your concern is how you can consider some things carefully before purchasing, especially the label. In some cases, if you purchase countertop with ‘greenwashed’ label, don’t think too quickly that it is one of the eco-friendly countertops. The fact is many companies use “Green Sheen” which means not eco-friendly.
Reasons To Let Go Of The Common Countertops
We do not say that the ordinary countertops on today’s market are so wrong and dangerous to our health. There are some common problems to deal with them. When we hear the word of ‘kitchen countertops’ we expect that they are durable. Nevertheless, the strongest model has problems for sure. What we dislike when it comes to the common countertops are the issues you cannot avoid, even though you installed and maintained them regularly.
We think some problems below can be the reason why you should let go of the conventional countertops. It is better to start having countertops made from recycled materials.
1. Ruptured Countertop
This problem only makes your countertop looks too bad although it only affects a small portion. Our big fear is replacing the entire counter to fix the damage. It can happen because we installed the countertop over an uneven surface or the glue that does not dry correctly during the installation. Ruptured countertop may happen because the poorly constructed joints or the counters cannot deal with the weight in a particular area.
2. Crack On Edge
It is important to stabilize everything when you use your countertops to hold your appliances. Once you did not install your countertops with the proper reinforcements, the weight of appliances and features may break down the materials. Therefore, the sufficient support is the thing to consider so your countertops can support cabinets, appliances, and others. Cracking can occur due to the exert heat from the devices. It is better to place vents to prevent cracking.
Water can damage your countertops. For smaller kitchens, the risk of water damage is greater than the big one. Water is also the big enemy for laminate or wood countertop. The sign of water damage is when the door to the dishwasher cannot close properly. Another sign is when counters uneven with the cabinets in a sudden old Granite Countertops & Chemical Stains
4. Old Granite Countertops & Chemical Stains
It is not easy to care for your countertops. Once you pick the wrong cleaner, it can damage your countertop. You cannot use harsh cleaners for your marble counters since it will lead to the devastating effects. Granite somehow is okay at first, but its quality is fading by the time because of the exposure to the cleaning products.
5. The Stains
Although kitchen countertops can deal with heat and force, they still can damage. The hot pans may leave a mark behind. What thing you need to know is that all stone countertops can crack or discolor when they cannot deal with too high of heat.
6. The Build Up Water
Another reason why you should leave the common countertops and move to eco-friendly kitchen countertops is the build up water. It is a white crusty buildup on the counters. It is because water, especially the mineral-rich hard water sits on the countertops and creates the circular stain.
7. Scratches and Chips In Surface
You use the counters every day with pans, knives and other utensils. This later brings another issue to deal with; chips and scratches.
A stunning countertop surely can be a great focal point of your home. When you go with the not eco-friendly countertop, it does bring health risks. Granite is the example of the non-renewable resource, take a long distance to travel. Concrete and other unsealed woods have the porous surface that can be the place for bacteria to grow.
Why Eco-Friendly Countertops Are The Most Better
We do not want to claim that sustainable countertops will not give you the problems above. However, some considerations make us agree if the eco-friendly countertops are better than the common. If you seek for any building material with the concern on its sustainability, the options are quite many.
For example, eco-friendly countertop now is available with the certification. They have some necessary certifications to help you consider.
1. GreenGuard is a certification that tells you if the building products designed for low chemical emissions. Therefore, all the eco-friendly countertops are better than the conventional products on the market since they can improve the quality of indoor air.
2. Cradle to Cradle concerns on the products that are safe for human and the planet. If you want to buy a countertop, make sure that it has this certification. It also means that the product has a long-life cycle.
3. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guarantees that wood product comes with the high responsibility of the harvested forests.
Any eco-friendly countertops with those certifications mean they are ready to go. In the end, they are more than just providing a great statement to your kitchen. It also offers a non-toxic solution, recycled to safe human and earth, and the quality is even better than the conventional options.
The List Of Eco-Friendly Countertops
It is easy to find eco kitchen countertops that can catch your attention. Below, we provide you the list, in different materials, colors and styles.
Recycled Glass Countertops
Recycled glass countertops offer great appearance. It can be a cute addition to your kitchen. IceStone comes with Cradle to Cradle certified as the example. It has the opaque and refined character with the quality of glass particles in the pigmented cement. Why is it one of the green countertops? Aside from the recycled glass, the factory use skylights as its day lit to reduce the energy consumption. They also have amazing water recycling system filters for the manufacturing water. Their goal is to offer a zero-waste facility and currently, they recycle more than 90% of waste. Note that recycled glass countertop has porous material, so you have to seal it twice a year and maintain it. COST: $40-$54 per square foot (material only).
Another example of recycled materials countertops is Bio-Glass. It comes with Cradle to Cradle certification with the ethereal, translucent look since it is 100% made of glass. However, since it has all glass-based counters, we can say that it is not knife friendly. Therefore, you should ensure that you have your cutting boards around you. COST: $85-$115 per square foot (material only).
There is also Grenite 1.0 as the finest surface from Grenite.
It answers all questions about the use of recycled glass countertop for kitchen remodel. It provides better, stronger, and prettier option. Besides, it has great resistance to scratching, staining, scorching or wear and tear.
Wood countertops offer personality and richness of the natural look, even though it is easier to damage by heat and water. When you choose wood countertops, make sure that you place it a little bit away from your sink, dishwasher, and other. It ‘s nice to have an island. For wood countertops, there are some options available as below:
You can have salvaged countertop from the iconographic building. Some salvaged wood countertops are also from the project remodel.
It’s constructed from the smaller pieces of wood, and it is ideal for those who love the reclaimed wood material. It comes from different sources such as deconstructed buildings or even reclaimed shipping pallets. Butcher block is great to those who have to deal with knives every day. It also shows some ages which are good for those who need eco-friendly countertops. The maintenance is simple because you only have to sand the wood and apply a food-grade natural oil to refinish. COST: $30-$85 per square foot (material only).
Bamboo is the renewable resource that even stronger and harder compared to other hardwoods. You can take a look at Teragren products, which offers the FSC-certified product known as FSC-Pure. Such we are aware that most commercial bamboo comes from China, which means that there will be a big deal on the transporting matter to the United States. COST: $26-$36 per square foot (material only).
Recycled Paper Countertops
One of the recycled paper countertop materials is Paperstone, which FSC certified and 100% of the post-consumer recycled paper. The material does not contain pigment and petroleum resin. It comes with a handsome monolithic look. However, it only has heat resistant to 350 degrees. Therefore, you should not put hottest pans on it carelessly. COST: $18-$30 per square foot (material only).
Another example is Squak Mountain that offers you a beautiful and natural look of stone with the combination of recycled paper and glass, work with cement. It is a durable and stout countertop. However, it is like stone or concrete that is susceptible to etching and staining. Therefore, you need extra care for the patina. COST: $30-$40 per square foot (material only).
Many people love to go with resin-based counter since it provides high color options as well as finishes and patterns. Most of them are PVC-free with the GreenGuard certification, such as Chroma, Varia EcoResin, Alabaster, and others. Any company goes in this field has a significant concern about zero waste and talk about being carbon neutral. COST: $28-$105 per square foot (material only).
The example is Avonite Studio Collection. They are the specialty surface, constructed from resin blend to offer a unique product and luminous characteristics. Nevertheless, it still goes on the solid surface: safe, durable, repairable, and thermoformable.
Many buyers move to Studio Collection as the alternative to porcelain, glass, recycled glass, and other high-end surfaces. It gives a great alternative for those who need seamless look, durable, repairable and unique look. Their countertops are LEED-certified, GreenGuard-certified, NSF certified, and SCS certified.
Stainless Steel Countertops
One of the eco-friendly countertops is stainless steel. It is constructed from 60% of recycled content. Since it is recycle-able, it goes with a more useful life. This material offers high-quality design and very durable to deal with the commercial kitchen. Even stainless steel countertop can be the best choice when it is all about the cleanliness. To have stainless steel, it means you need to keep it free of smudges and watermarks. COST: $45-$65 per square foot (material only).
If we have to choose, the countertop that is safe for the environment is stainless steel. Stainless steel countertop also has no adverse effects on the human and environment. It is the perfect option because it is recyclable. It also does not contain any pollutants. We think it is the right choice for individuals with the great concern on the chemical sensitivities.
Concrete countertops are the last choice of green countertop materials. If you go with this option, it is better to look for the low-impact aggregates including the recycled glass and paper, or the increased coal fly ash. COST: $60 to $75 per square foot (material only).
The Final Words About Eco-Friendly Countertops
Eco-friendly countertops are one of the examples on how to save human health and the planet. The options are quite many such as the styles, the materials, and the colors. It is entirely possible for you to make a great addition to your home while going green.
Each countertop material comes with its own maintenance and care. Most of the eco-friendly countertops are very recyclable and durable. Therefore, we have no better recommendation for you than to use eco-friendly countertops and leave the standard option.