For countertops exposed to splashes and steamy shower humidity, durability is the name of the game — and recycled material adds to their green authenticity. Thankfully, neither of those attributes mean having to compromise on appearances. Whether your taste runs toward sophisticated or sassy, traditional or modern, there’s a sustainable countertop for your bath.
Recycled Glass With Cement
Vetrazzo. Made of 100 percent recycled glass with a binder of cement, additives, pigments, big and bright chunks of glass, and other recycled materials, Vetrazzo is no shrinking violet. Fun options abound, including ‘Alehouse Amber’ made of recycled beer bottles and ‘Cobalt Skyy’ made of recycled Skyy® Vodka bottles. Just like with any cement-based counter, it’s porous, so you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for ongoing sealing.
Heavy cement-based slabs like Vetrazzo can absorb a good deal of transportation-related energy, therefore it’s worth knowing where the item is manufactured. Vetrazzo is manufactured from Georgia.
Cost: $100 to $160 per square foot installed
IceStone. Countertops made of recycled glass with cement vary greatly in appearance. IceStone, manufactured in Brooklyn, New York, has smaller glass particles compared to Vetrazzo and provides a more subtle and elegant character. It boasts 100 percent recycled glass, to which blossoms and cement are added.
IceStone has earned among my favorite certificates, Cradle to Cradle, thanks in part to its reutilization possible. Cradle to Cradle’s industry-independent endorsement is given to products which are safe for both people and the world, and are also made for a long life cycle.
Cost: $40 to $54 per square foot for the substance only
FUEZ. Manufactured in a wind-powered facility in Portland, Oregon, FUEZ is a mix of low-carbon cement, 100 percent recycled glass and organic aggregate. The organization’s products offer a remarkably broad assortment of aesthetics, thanks to four distinct product lines featuring either large or small glass chips, stone or a brightly colored cement. With 50 unique products and choices for customization, you’re guaranteed to discover a countertop that fits with your style.
Cost: $20 to $50 per square foot for the substance only
Asian Jade, BioGlass
Bio-Glass. Bio-Glass, made of 100 percent recycled glass, achieves Cradle to Cradle certification and contains an ethereal, translucent appearance. A very simple but thoughtful application of Bio-Glass elevates this bathroom with its showstopping glow. Beyond glass is nonporous, so the countertop is more sterile and requires no ongoing sealing and maintenance.
Cost: $85 to $115 per square foot for the substance only
ThinkGlass. Our Canadian friends are supporting the lovely and luminous ThinkGlass, an all-glass counter made in part of recycled glass. In addition to ThinkGlass’ recycled material, the organization works hard to green the manufacturing line, like utilizing rainwater to run their glass cutting equipment.
Cost: $200 to $400 per square foot for the substance only
ECO by Cosentino. ECO, made by the very same people behind Silestone, is your go-to for sustainable solid surface countertops. Many solid surface countertops utilize a petroleum-based binder, whereas ECO has replaced that binder with a corn oil-based item. And the remainder of the makeup includes 75% recycled material from postindustrial and postconsumer sources: porcelain, mirrors, glass, stone and crystallized ash.
Once installed, ECO’s kindness continues with a nonporous surface that is sterile and needs significantly less maintenance over time. With certificate from both Cradle to Cradle and GreenGuard, which certifies construction products for low chemical emissions, you can be certain that ECO is your real green thing.
Cost: $68 to $118 per square foot installed
3-Form. My stash of 3-Form’s samples, together with innumerable colors, finishes and patterns, is a toy box to get design-minded grownups. Their recycled-content, resin-based goods are PVC free, and GreenGuard has accredited the Varia EcoResin, Chroma, 100 Percent and Alabaster lines. The company walks their green talk by working toward zero waste and also being neutral.
Cost: $28 to $105 per square foot for the substance just
Squak Mountain Stone – Hazel
Recycled Glass, Paper and Cement
Squak Mountain Stone. Squak Mountain’s countertop replicates the heat and natural flaws of stone with a matrix of recycled paper, cement and glass. It is a stout and durable countertop; however, like concrete, it’s susceptible to staining and etching. Either use extra maintenance or embrace the patina.
Cost: $30 to $40 per square foot for the substance just
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