Recycled Materials + Concrete = Cool Countertops

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Looking for a modern, green countertop for your kitchen or bath?  Many durable, eco-friendly options are now available that will transform the look of your space.  Some forward-thinking manufacturers, here in the U.S., are adding a waste product, fly ash, to increase the green quotient of concrete and cement (most of which is not energy-intensive portland cement which emits large amounts of greenhouse gases).  In addition, they are mixing the concrete and cement with recycled materials such as glass, wood, metal and plastic, as well as reclaimed granite and marble chips. 

  • MeldUSA (based in Raleigh, North Carolina) offers cool countertop slabs consisting of up to 75% recycled glass and concrete available in numerous colors.
  • Coverings, Etc. manufacturers Eco-Cem® and Eco-Terr surfaces.  Eco-Cem® is made from concrete and wood pulp with a 20% post-consumer recycled content and 40% pre-consumer recycled content (cellulose fiber and fly ash).  Eco-Terr® pre-cast terrazzo tiles and slabs are made of marble and granite aggregates with a cementitious binder and contain a pre-consumer recycled content of 85%.
  • IceStone is a concrete and recycled glass slab surface material manufactured in Brooklyn, NY.  Available in 29 colors, it consists of 70-75% recycled content, of which 80-100% is pre-consumer waste, with the balance being post-consumer waste.  This product has received the coveted Cradle-to-Cradle certification.
  • Lithistone, a custom-made, handcrafted product, consists of a natural mineral binder, different grades of sand and stone, 25-75% recycled material, and organic mineral pigments.  This Colorado-based company offers its product in 18 colors.
  • Squak Mountain Stone (pictured here) is hand-made in Washington state.  It is a fibrous-cement material comprised of recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and cement.  It is available in slabs or tiles and in 5 colors, and resembles soapstone or limestone.
  • Syndecrete is a cement-based composite surface material containing natural minerals and up to 41% recycled materials, such as metal shavings, plastic regrinds, recycled glass chips and scrap wood chips.  It is manufactured in Santa Monica and is available in 11 standard colors, but custom colors are also possible.
  • Vetrazzo is solid surface material with up to 85% recycled content.  It’s made in Richmond, California, with recycled glass mixed with a binder of cement, additives, pigments and other recycled materials.  The color palette is constantly evolving, but currently consists of 14 colors.
  • VitraStone combines cement with regionally sourced, post-consumer and post-industrial recycled glass.  It is hand made in Durango, Colorado and is available in 12 colors, yet custom colors are available as well.

Tag(s): Greening the Home, Kitchens And Baths, Reclaimed Materials, Recycling


3 Responses to “Recycled Materials + Concrete = Cool Countertops”

  1. Kitchen Islands: Making the ordinary extraordinary! =AB Kitchen Details « Kitchen Countertop Options on March 10th, 2009 5:20 pm

    […] Recycled Materials + Concrete = Cool Countertops : Green building … By Joyce Benson Looking for a modern, green countertop for your kitchen or bath? Many durable, eco-friendly options are now available that will transform the look of your space. Some forward-thinking manufacturers, here in the U.S., are adding a waste … greenstrides – […]

  2. austin on March 31st, 2009 1:05 pm

    Fly Ash is not used for it’s “green” attributes — it has certain pozzolanic qualities that make it great as an additive in concrete. It just so happens that it also is a by product of another industry, and therefore makes concrete a little more green.

  3. Justin on April 21st, 2010 2:02 pm

    Every Squak Mountain Stone concrete slab is hand-finished so it has a unique character similar to that of natural stones such as marble, travertine, and limestone. Squak Mountain Stone is generally used in kitchens and bathrooms as a counter top, table top or vanity top. If you haven’t seen the “new” Squak Mountain stone you really don’t know what you are missing out on! Tiger Mountain Innovations, LLC has recently made some great product improvements to their Squak Mountain Stone product. The coal fly-ash previously contained in the material has been substituted out with more recycled glass. Portland cement was substituted for low-carbon cement over 2 years ago as low-carbon cement releases much less co2 into the atmosphere during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, the slabs are available in a nominal 56″x96″ size at 1-3/8″ thickness. Slabs are gauged on the backside to ensure consistent thickness and ease of seaming for fabricators. A state-of-the-art vibration technology is used to minimize pinholes and give a more consistent character from slab to slab.

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