Green on the Surface
Consider countertops made with recycled material
As the green movement continues to expand in popularity, manufacturers are taking note and creating more eco-friendly products. When it comes to countertops, one of—if not the most—eco-friendly option is a recycled material. According to Courtney Cachet, designer and TV personality with Cachet Enterprises, this can mean recycled glass or a recycled concrete (Portland cement and ash mixture). Or one of the newest options in recycled countertops is made by a name brand many homeowners know and trust: ECO by Cosentino (the makers of Silestone).
“ECO by Cosentino is a new line of eco-friendly countertop and surfacing material composed of 75 percent post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material,” says Lorenzo Marquez with ECO by Cosentino. The countertop is made from:
• Mirrors salvaged from houses, buildings and factories
• Glass from windows and bottles
• Porcelain from china, tiles, sinks, toilets and decorative elements
• Industrial-furnace residuals from factories in the form of crystallized ashes
• Stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing and fabrication
All of these materials are bonded together with an eco-friendly, corn-oil-based resin to create the countertop, which mimics the look of granite or marble.
When choosing which countertop is best suited to your needs, Cachet recommends also keeping the return-on-investment value in mind. “You shouldn’t buy a countertop that is not in line with the scale of your home,” she says. “An expensive home should have comparable materials, and an inexpensive home with high-end materials is foolish—you would most likely lose money on that purchase.”
For most homeowners, installing a new countertop is only done once in the duration of their time in that home. This one-time-only decision puts a lot of weight on which choice is made, so be sure to research your options thoroughly and take your time making the decision. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be enjoying the countertop for years to come.
fast facts: ECO by Cosentino
The look: Similar to granite or marble
Design style: Versatile, can work with almost any design
Cleaning: Use soap and water or gentle house cleaners
Maintenance: A non-porous material, this countertop requires no regular maintenance beyond everyday wiping
Low-budget options: Available at Lowe’s stores nationwide for $68-$110 per square foot.
—Lorenzo Marquez, ECO by Cosentino
Page Rien, a designer on HGTV’s Hidden Potential and the owner of Rien With An Eye Design Consultancy, suggests considering the following when choosing what type of countertop to install in your kitchen:
• How much food preparation do you do everyday? “If the kitchen gets a lot of food-prep traffic and a lot of people in and out every day, eating or working on the surface, it means the surface will be cleaned often and will receive a lot of wear and tear,” Rien says. “This should be calculated, and a highly durable surface should be chosen.”
• How maintenance-averse are you? “If you’re someone who has a lot of traffic on the countertop, but you’re not as interested in keeping certain products off of the surface, I advise against a product that is fussy, requires sealing or is at all permeable,” Rien says.
• Plan ahead. “Think about how the countertop will be used over time,” Rien says. “Bar-top seating doesn’t work for small children, but they aren’t small forever. Think about how your family will grow and evolve over the next 10 years, even if you don’t anticipate being in your home that long.”