kitchen design with stainless steel

Top 10 Eco-Friendly Materials for Kitchen Countertops

One of the most important features of your kitchen are the kitchen countertops. Your kitchen countertops are not only useful when chopping, kneading and doing other cooking tasks, they also are a large part of the aesthetic of the room. 

If you are shopping for new kitchen countertops, one of the big things on your mind is most likely wondering what is the best kitchen countertop material. Many variables can be used to decide the best material for kitchen countertops, and in the end it mostly comes down to personal taste.

One variable to measure types of kitchen countertops is to examine which ones are the most eco friendly kitchen countertops.  So many people these days are looking for ways to be good not just to themselves, but to be good to the environment, and choosing eco- friendly kitchen countertops materials is one way of doing that.

In this blog post we will be going over the top ten eco- friendly materials for kitchen countertops. We will give you a summary of each so that you can make a well informed choice about the types of kitchen countertops you want to have in your home.

Quartz Kitchen Countertops

Did you know that quartz kitchen countertops are not only one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, but that it is a much more eco- friendly choice than materials like granite or marble? What makes quartz kitchen countertops more sustainable and eco- friendly is that it is made from an extremely abundant material.

Quartz kitchen countertops are made from crushed quartz, which can be found in abundance all over the world, while granite and marble has to be quarried from specific locations, mostly in Brazil and India. This makes it easier to find quartz countertops that were mined and manufactured closer to where you live.

One thing that makes quartz more eco- friendly than other choices on our list is that it is so durable that it will last in your kitchen for longer than you will. Without a lot of care, countertops made of other eco- friendly materials will most likely wear out during your lifetime. This creates more waste so a quartz countertop may be the most eco- friendly of all.

Kitchen countertops made from quartz can also be partly made from recycled material like glass. This is a way of reusing materials that would otherwise be taking up space in landfills.

Salvaged Wood Kitchen Countertops

You can get salvaged wood from old houses, barns, or commercial buildings that are being torn down. This makes it a recycled and eco- friendly material for kitchen countertops. There are a few companies that make special kitchen countertops from reclaimed wood, but using salvaged wood can often be a labor intensive DIY project that is not for everyone. 

This is a great look for kitchens that have a homey feel, like those with farmhouse décor. The richness of wood adds warmth to your cooking space. Combine this with wooden cabinetry and you have yourself a heartfelt kitchen. 

Just keep in mind that wood is more prone to water and heat damage, so consider not using it near the sink, range or dishwasher. Wood countertops will need some maintenance because they can scratch and stain easily, you may need to re-seal them every few years. 

Butcher Block Kitchen Countertops

This material is trending right now for kitchen countertops, people love the warmth it brings to the space. Not all butcher block is eco- friendly though, and you will have to do some investigation to see if the wood is harvested from a certified sustainable source.

Butcher block is made from smaller pieces of wood, which are laminated together with the side grain facing up. This makes it a good candidate to be made from salvaged wood, but you will have to find a reputable source to ensure that it is truly a recycled product.

Bamboo Kitchen Countertops

Another sustainable material that can be made into butcher block is bamboo. This grass is super fast growing, so there is no deforestation involved in harvesting it. You should do some investigation to make sure you are buying from a certified sustainable bamboo grower though.

When made into kitchen countertops, bamboo is durable and has a warm appearance like real wood. It will also be susceptible to staining and scratching, so will require extra care and periodic maintenance.

Recycled Paper Kitchen Countertops

A somewhat surprising material being used for eco- friendly kitchen countertops uses a mixture of resin and recycled paper to create a countertop material that is durable and non- porous. It may seem strange to think that paper can become a kitchen countertop, but the process is a totally sustainable one that turns out to be a beautiful product.

There are several companies manufacturing recycled paper kitchen countertops. This material is loved because it is easy to maintain and can be made to look a lot like a real stone kitchen countertop.

Recycled Glass

Another recycled material that can be mixed with resin to create a great kitchen countertop is glass. You can choose different colors of resin to get a different look for your kitchen countertop.

These countertops are non porous, making them easy to clean and almost impossible to stain. Several companies are manufacturing different brands of kitchen countertops made from recycled glass.

Recycled Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops

Considered a high end kitchen countertop material, stainless steel can be made entirely from recycled steel. Stainless is especially valued in kitchen countertops because of its anti- bacterial properties that keep your food safe and it will not hold onto any smells from things like garlic.

Stainless steel is just about the most expensive material you can choose for countertops, so it might be out of reach for the average homeowner. It is possible to find a used stainless steel countertop that you might be able to incorporate into your kitchen design to keep the price down.

Concrete Kitchen Countertops

Being made from up to seventy five percent recycled materials, concrete can be an eco- friendly choice for your kitchen countertops. Smooth finished concrete is great for an industrial or modern themed kitchen, and is a fairly trendy choice right now.

Concrete is made primarily from natural materials, gravel cement and sand, so it is considered a natural and low net emission product.

Mix and Match Kitchen Countertops

Shopping for used kitchen countertop materials can be difficult because it is not likely you will find materials large enough to be worked into your kitchen as a single material. This is why you may be able to get away with piecing together different materials to make recycled kitchen countertops.

For example, on one side of your sink you might use a beautiful piece of marble, on the other side you might use some good, used laminate and on your kitchen island you might have butcher block. Kitchen countertops don’t have to all be made of the same material, and this practice might just not be sustainable.

Recycled Aluminum Kitchen Countertops

Looking a lot like stainless steel, but with a lower price tag, recycled aluminum is a great choice for your kitchen countertops. Aluminum is actually more resistant to corrosion than stainless steel, so it is a product you can expect to have for your entire lifetime. 

Recycled aluminum is a great look for a modern kitchen and will be a real talking point when you entertain guests. The drawback is that it is harder to manufacture and so it is harder to find a supplier of recycled aluminum kitchen countertops.

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