Glass is upcycled into gorgeous countertops from EnviroGlas in a rainbow of colors. Photo: Jason Woelfel, EnviroGlas
Recycled countertops have come a long way: The latest design options seamlessly incorporate recycled glass, concrete, bamboo, paper and more. In fact, these materials are so handsome, they're as much a design element as they are a green-lifestyle statement. The new eco-friendly options also offer a lot of flexibility with many manufacturers offering a handful of options to select from.
Whether you reside in a downtown high-rise or suburban bungalow, there is probably more than one option to fit your home's decor. Here are five of our favorites green countertops for the kitchen:
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #1: EnviroGLAS
terrazzo countertops (above) are right at home in a contemporary-style kitchen. Glass that's been recycled from consumers and industrial companies is converted into these stunning pieces of art. "Fire Engine Red" (left) would compliment a hip loft whereas a style like the blue and white "EnviroMODE" design might play off of a home's waterfront setting.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #2:
IceStone's countertops, which contain recycled glass and concrete, come in an array of colors, including this classic gray shade. Photo: IceStone
Created out of recycled glass and concrete, IceStone Durable Surfaces
are built in a Brooklyn, NY, factory. These eco coutners are VOC-free and come in 29 different colors, which range from a funky mustard yellow to a calming "cobalt ice," which merges pearl-white and cobalt-blue. More traditional gray and white shades – but with a little bit of color "pop" – are also available.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #3:
Inside the U.S. Green Building Council's Washington, DC headquarters, where a lot of innovation and planning about eco-friendly design occurs, are these bamboo countertops from Smith & Fong. Photo: Smith & Fong
For a more rustic look, turn to Smith & Fong Plyboo
bamboo countertops. Not only is bamboo a 100-percent renewable material, it's also FSC-certified – and better still the company's Plyboo is the world's only formaldehyde-free FSC-certified bamboo. PlybooSquared, shown above, is available in amber, natural, Sahara or Havana shades. To install, use the same materials and fasteners for wood products by either gluing or mechanically fastening.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #4: Eco by Cosentino
The PolarCap style, from Eco by Cosentino, contains 75-percent post-consumer/post-industrial materials. Photo: Eco by Cosentino
countertops are sold at Lowe's stores
around the country. Containing 75-percent post-consumer or post-industrial raw materials -- all at the end of their life cycles -- these counters are bound together by corn oil. The company draws from a variety of suppliers to come up with the raw-material mix, so that it includes porcelain, mirror, glass, scraps of stone and corn. Within the 'Green' and 'Revive' collections are three distinct stylee; the PolarCap style (above), is a stark-white beauty with barely noticeable flecks of gray and black. Yet it's those flecks that introduce a unique, hand-crafted look.
Green Kitchen Countertop Option #5:
Who wouldn't want a countertop made of junk mail? Photo: PaperStone
Lots of junk mail -- ahem, post-consumer recycled paper -- is set inside a petroleum-free resin base for PaperStone
countertops, from a Washington company. Teh usage of 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper products in the 'Certified' line lead these counters to become the only architectural solid surfaces to be certified by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance to FSC standards.
's selection of six fun colors, from a rich plum to an industrial-chic gunmetal, is guaranteed to jazz up any kitchen.
Want more counter intelligence?
We tell you what you need to know about all different kinds of countertops: