Eco friendly countertops are growing in popularity because they do as much for your kitchen or bathroom as they do for the environment. Today, a myriad of choices is available, made from sustainable materials like bamboo and post-consumer materials like recycled glass, paper and wood.
Here is an overview of the exciting eco-friendly countertop materials now available for use in your home, green countertop trends are always changing so check back often!
Bamboo End-Grain Countertops
Thin rectangles of end-grain bamboo are glued together in Butcher Block style. Bamboo is a grass that grows extremely fast, so it is quickly renewable. This naturally attractive material is also fairly affordable, with prices from $35 to $50 per square foot installed.
Recycled Paper Countertops
Believe or not, these countertops are made from 100% post-consumer paper. The material is compressed into sheets and covered in a natural resin. The result is a durable counter that can be produced in a rainbow of colors and then recycled when you remodel. Eco-friendly countertops made from recycled paper cost $40 to $80 per square foot, installed.
Reclaimed Wood Countertops
As wood buildings are torn down, environmentally-conscious innovators are turning the wood into bathroom and kitchen counters. Reclaimed wood countertops are easily recycled too. The products have a natural, appealing look that works well with traditional, country, French country, Mediterranean and a variety of other kitchen styles. Costs range from $50 to $100 per square feet.
Recycled HDPE Countertops
HDPE is a common plastic found in a wide range of consumer and construction products. Most of it ends up in landfills. That’s changing, as it is recycled into useful and attractive products like worktops for the home. HDPE is shredded, compressed and bound with a resin to form slabs used to form countertops.
Palm Wood Countertops
Rather than simply cut down and burn palm trees that are beyond the fruit-bearing stage, they are now being converted into attractive, natural wood countertops. The wood is stronger than oak, quite beautiful, and also very affordable. These eco-friendly countertops are fully recyclable. Palm wood counters cost $40 to $75 per square foot installed.
Recycled Glass Countertops
Millions of tons of glass are being saved from the waste stream yearly and turned into attractive counters for the kitchen and bathroom. The glass chips are embedded in a base of concrete, cement or resin. Prices for these innovative and attractive eco-friendly countertops range from $50 to $125 per square foot, installed. See our page on Recycled glass countertops in the Countertop Materials section for more details.
These are just the most popular eco-friendly countertops currently being produced. But right behind them is coming a wave of exciting options. For example, other materials being made into countertops include reclaimed wine vats, recycled aluminum, agricultural waste such as sunflower seed hulls, and a substance called Fuez that is made from recycled glass, stone and shells. This innovation is a win-win situation – the environment is cared for and consumers are offered wonderful new options for the countertops throughout their homes and work places.