Recycled countertops have come a long way: The latest design options seamlessly incorporate recycled glass, concrete, bamboo, paper and more. In fact, these materials are so handsome, they're as much a design element as they are a green-lifestyle statement. The new eco-friendly options also offer a lot of flexibility with many manufacturers offering a handful of options to select from.
Whether you reside in a downtown high-rise or suburban bungalow, there is probably more than one option to fit your home's decor. Here are five of our favorites green countertops for the kitchen:
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #1: EnviroGLAS terrazzo countertops (above) are right at home in a contemporary-style kitchen. Glass that's been recycled from consumers and industrial companies is converted into these stunning pieces of art. "Fire Engine Red" (left) would compliment a hip loft whereas a style like the blue and white "EnviroMODE" design might play off of a home's waterfront setting.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #2: Created out of recycled glass and concrete, IceStone Durable Surfaces are built in a Brooklyn, NY, factory. These eco coutners are VOC-free and come in 29 different colors, which range from a funky mustard yellow to a calming "cobalt ice," which merges pearl-white and cobalt-blue. More traditional gray and white shades – but with a little bit of color "pop" – are also available.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #3: For a more rustic look, turn to Smith & Fong Plyboo bamboo countertops. Not only is bamboo a 100-percent renewable material, it's also FSC-certified – and better still the company's Plyboo is the world's only formaldehyde-free FSC-certified bamboo. PlybooSquared, shown above, is available in amber, natural, Sahara or Havana shades. To install, use the same materials and fasteners for wood products by either gluing or mechanically fastening.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #4: Eco by Cosentino countertops are sold at Lowe's stores around the country. Containing 75-percent post-consumer or post-industrial raw materials -- all at the end of their life cycles -- these counters are bound together by corn oil. The company draws from a variety of suppliers to come up with the raw-material mix, so that it includes porcelain, mirror, glass, scraps of stone and corn. Within the 'Green' and 'Revive' collections are three distinct stylee; the PolarCap style (above), is a stark-white beauty with barely noticeable flecks of gray and black. Yet it's those flecks that introduce a unique, hand-crafted look.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #5: Lots of junk mail -- ahem, post-consumer recycled paper -- is set inside a petroleum-free resin base for PaperStone countertops, from a Washington company. Teh usage of 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper products in the 'Certified' line lead these counters to become the only architectural solid surfaces to be certified by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance to FSC standards.
PaperStone's selection of six fun colors, from a rich plum to an industrial-chic gunmetal, is guaranteed to jazz up any kitchen.