Eco-friendly building materials have gained popularity in recent years. The sourcing and manufacturing of these materials are generally better for the environment. If you are replacing the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, there are plenty of eco-friendly countertop materials that you may not have considered. These types of countertops are not traditional, but they still look great and lower your carbon footprint.
Eco-Friendly Countertop Materials From Salvaged Materials
One eco-friendly method for replacing countertops is by upcycling salvaged materials. There are stores that sell building materials that have been removed from older homes but are still perfectly usable. It takes a little more effort to source used materials because you’ll have to search at secondhand stores and find the right dimensions, but you’ll save money by going this route. Any flat and durable material can be used for a countertop. It should then be properly treated to make it safe for food preparation.
Bamboo provides a classic wood countertop look using more sustainable materials. While trees grow for 30 or more years before harvesting, bamboo only takes 3-4 years to grow to maturity. This material is durable like wood and is naturally non-porous, which prevents bacterial growth. It should still be treated with a food-safe sealant to protect it from water. You’ll pay more for this eco-friendly material than wood.
Recycled glass offers a stylish and distinctive look. Recycled glass chips are set in a concrete or acrylic base. You can find this countertop material in a variety of colors to match the rest of the decor in your kitchen or bathroom. These countertops are scratch-resistant and easily wiped clean.
Concrete Eco-Friendly Countertop Materials
Industrial styles in houses are gaining in popularity, and concrete countertops provide this look. You can add a decorative touch by stamping patterns into the concrete or using colored stains. Concrete is a heavy material, so the cabinets underneath will need to be reinforced before installation.
Refurbishing Current Countertops
The most affordable option that does not require purchasing new countertop material is refurbishing your current countertops. This may mean refinishing butcher block or resurfacing laminate counters. Your countertops will look new while having the least impact on the environment.