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Any ideas on best/greenest counter top materials?

hyler3 | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Cost per square foot, if available, would be appreciated.

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  1. jinmtvt | | #1

    Most natural stone products are pretty green.

    Some artificial stone like products use high content of recycled glass/rocks .. still binders are usually heavy chemical stuff.

    Wood is certainly a good green choice!

  2. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #2

    I have two kinds of counters:

    Soapstone- about the same cost as granite, a bout $100-125 per square foot. It is highly stain resistant. It can be scratched, but is repairable with a random orbital sander. You can put hot pots on it. Doesn't need sealing. After 8 years of heavy use, it still looks great. Will use in my new house. Limited colours, just various greys. Matte finish.

    Wood. I built cherry cabinets for our kitchen. Used #1 &2 common and just cut out the good pieces for drawer fronts and face frames. From the scraps and unusable pieces (knots or other defects), I ran the boards through a thickness planer, then cut strips 1 3/8" wide and glued them on edge into pieces about a foot wide and a few inches longer than the desired counter. Ran them through the planer to 1 1/4"thickness. Glued the result together into the desired finished width. Finished with many coats of Waterlox.
    Cost was zero, since I used scrap. Took quite a while. Looks great, but I'd hesitate to use wood around a sink. Can't put hot pots on it. Easily fixable. Green, carbon neutral. Plan to do something similar on island in New house. You can buy from John Boos for about $40-50 per square foot.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Here is a link to a GBA article on the topic: The Green Countertop Dilemma. Don't forget to read the comments posted on the bottom of the page.

  4. Joseph Rice | | #4

    My island is topped with a 1.5" thick rock maple countertop that I ordered from ($40 per sq. ft.) I finished it with 7 coats of tung oil. I've only been using it for about three months but so far it's holding up very well and has been surprisingly resistant to staining. I say that because even with all the tung oil, it looks somewhere between finished and unfinished - probably because tung oil isn't film-forming so it doesn't give the surface a shine. It's a bit weird to spill beet juice on what looks a bit like unfinished wood and have it wipe up without leaving a stain.

    Besides being green, I chose wood because it feels warmer to the touch which I find more comfortable when sitting around the island.

  5. wjrobinson | | #5

    My vote, wood.

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