Kitchen Countertops / September 22, 2018 / Anthony Williams.
Pros: Engineered quartz has many bragging rights. Thanks to the quartz content, it’s tough like granite, and the resin makes the material malleable and impact resistant. Both materials offer stout durability. Engineered quartz is also nonporous, making it resistant to stains and scratches. And this material has a leg up on natural stone when it comes to large installations: Because it can flex, engineered quartz can be fabricated in larger pieces and with fewer joints.
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.
Countertops are typically fabricated from 14- or 16-gauge material, which is then glued to a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to form a rigid surface. Type 304 stainless steel is commonly used, due to its higher chromium content (and therefore corrosion resistance) and ability to be welded without affecting its durability or strength. Most common is a number 4 brushed finish, but stainless steel is also available in satin (smooth), antique matte and any number of specialty patterns.
Bio-Glass, another recycled glass countertop material with Cradle to Cradle certification, has an ethereal, translucent appearance, as it’s made of 100 percent glass. As with all glass-based counters, it’s not knife friendly, so keep your cutting boards handy.
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