Kitchen Countertops / September 26, 2018 / Alfred Johnson.
Advantages: The dense, durable, nonporous construction makes recycled paper surfaces stain resistant and easy to maintain. And because this material is a lighter weight than natural stone, slabs can accommodate longer spans without additional support. Richlite’s Stratum and Cascade lines turn the composition into a design feature with fun striped edges, as shown here.
The basics: Recycled paper countertops are composed of postconsumer wastepaper, nonpetroleum-based resins and pigments. This mix is heated and compressed into a dense, monolithic slab with a feel that’s often compared to a warm, soft stone — like soapstone. The primary manufacturers, PaperStone, Richlite, ShetkaStone and Kliptech, all offer several colors, though the material typically is available only in medium to dark hues, all in a smart-looking matte finish.
Recycled glass countertops vary greatly in appearance. IceStone, which is Cradle to Cradle certified, provides an opaque, refined character with its fine glass particles set in pigmented cement. Because the material is porous, recommendations call for sealing twice a year, so make sure you’re up for the maintenance.
Advantages: Stainless steel offers top-notch durability that stands up to even commercial kitchens and their rigorous standards for cleanliness. It is nonporous and nonstaining, resistant to heat and easy to clean. It also has a life expectancy of nearly a century. Design purists will enjoy its potential for integral sinks and backsplashes.
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