Kitchen / September 13, 2018 / Anthony Williams.
Paperstone, one of several recycled paper countertop materials, is FSC certified and made of 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper, petroleum-free resin and pigment. It has a handsome monolithic appearance, and its feel is often compared to a warm, soft stone, like soapstone. The material is only heat resistant to 350 degrees, so you should exercise care with your hottest pans.
Concrete counters can be a terrific green choice if they are sourced locally or cast in place (transporting heavy slabs great distances consumes a lot of energy). Also, look for low-impact aggregates, such as increased coal fly ash, and recycled glass or paper.
Add appliances. Incorporating sinks or stovetops into the surface of the island is one way to spread the workflow throughout the kitchen. Installation can be tricky, so pay attention to details like ventilation and plumbing. This will require running downward (most common in islands) or overhead venting (which can be expensive), and allocating extra space to in-cabinet pipes.
While countertops, flooring and cabinets are generally places to keep it simple, the backsplash is a good place to inject some personal style, whether that’s with a mosaic feature or a bold color. And since that wall literally connects the countertops with the cabinets it’s also a place to tie everything together.
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