Kitchen Countertops / September 26, 2018 / Anthony Williams.
Bamboo’s best green feature is that it’s a rapidly renewable resource, plus it’s naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Teragren, one of the best-known producers, offers an FSC-certified product called FSC-Pure. Be aware, though, that almost all commercial bamboo comes from China, so a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the United States.
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.
Sustainability: The cement in concrete is derived from heating limestone, which is a carbon-intensive process that creates gas emissions. However, slag cement, fly ash and silica fume — all industrial waste by-products that are carbon neutral — can replace more than 50 percent of the cement, reducing emissions and improving the concrete’s ecofriendliness.
Squak Mountain’s countertop replicates the handsome and natural irregularities of stone with a mix of recycled paper and glass combined with cement. This is a stout and durable countertop; however, like stone or concrete, it is susceptible to staining and etching, so either use extra care or embrace the patina.
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