Manufacturer recommendations suggest that sealing be completed at least once a year. Surface cleaning can be done with a damp cloth and specific cleaners.

The company bases its development of countertop surfaces on the well-being of its employees, customers and the planet in general. To maintain maximum protection, several applications of a sealer that penetrates are suggested as is an application of topical wax to gain even further protection. Any other products used should not contain chlorine bleach, acid, citrus based scents or ammonia.

Also, the use of trays or other protective dishware can be used under coffee makers, soap dispensers and other items where heat or water can leave scratches, water marks or food stains.

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Fabrication and installation techniques are similar to working with natural stone.

The surface is very dense, but still porous so it does need to be sealed. However, all fabrication techniques should be tested by the individual fabricator as installations may have varying parameters that can affect the performance of joints and/or laminations. It is recommended that an initial sealing finish be applied to your new countertop to enhance the natural color of the panel and protect against possible spotting from oily foods left on the surface for prolonged periods. After the oil is absorbed, the surface can washed with a mild soap solution. Due to its low porosity it is resistant to staining from food products or household cleaning products.

While heat and scratch-resistant, as with all surfaces, trivets and cutting boards should be used. A damp cloth or paper towel, in combination with a mild detergent, is all that is needed to maintain its beauty. As with all surfaces, use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface. Standard slab sizes are 5’x8’, 5’x10’, and 5’x12’ and thicknesses range from ⅛” to 1-¼”. Panels can be cut and routed with traditional high-quality carbide-tipped woodworking tools. Due to its low porosity it is resistant to staining from food products or household cleaning products.

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Durat can be cared for daily with a damp cloth or paper towel and a mild detergent. This allows specifiers to make informed decisions on product purchasing, as it pertains to sustainability. It is recommended that an initial sealing finish be applied to your new countertop to enhance the natural color of the panel and protect against possible spotting from oily foods left on the surface for prolonged periods.

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Any other care/maintenance differences between the two countertop materials for a kitchen that we should know about? You can choose one of these excellent granite surfaces simply by water testing samples. Granite will not etch with acids, can take high heat, will not scratch or dent. It requires sealing (once a year is recommended by the manufacturer).

It can also stain, but like marble or granite, you can most often remove the stain. If you didn’t know, “quartz” which comprises 93% of all quartz countertops is a natural mineral resource that must be mined, transported and processed to get and use. And the production of cement (if you didn’t know) requires an enormous consumption of energy, relies heavily on the use of coal, along with emission of very toxic pollutants that are not only damaging to the environment but are a direct threat to human health.

For all practical purposes they do not stain and don’t need sealing. Also, quartz cannot be used outdoors or even indoors if exposed to heavy sunlight– the resin will turn yellow. Both granite and quartz surfaces score very well (nearly identical) as one of the cleanest surfaces you can buy. That said most dark granites don’t show stains and pretty much all granites can have the stains removed.

Those varieties that don’t need sealing are so dense, they are practically stain-proof. Many types of granite counter top slabs will need sealing, though generally not as often as commonly recommended. The best, most durable and easiest surface to maintain is a granite countertop (that assumes you install a good granite — some are so porous they shouldn’t be used). This product is a great idea but the surface does not work where any moisture will be on it of any kind.

So, just as bad for the environment and certainly not renewable or at all “eco-friendly”. Which is why cement is considered one of the worst polluting products in the world. Quartz stains like water stains on wood from some bathroom products. The most current one shows granite and quartz rated almost exactly the same.

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It is formulated with a small amount of formaldehyde, which becomes inert and non-detectable once it has cured.

The main toxic element to this countertop may be silica dust from the installation that can be easily controlled and contained.

Steer clear of epoxy-based grouts, as these may have harmful chemicals.

Paperstone seems to be environmentally friendly, but does the product contain formaldehyde? Their product consists of recycled glass suspended in a proprietary cement blend. Another green option is visiting local granite fabricators to see if they have remnants left over from previous jobs.

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That prevents contaminants and moisture from seeping through the stone.

This implies that stone sealers makes it harder for stains to form over the surface, therefore maintaining the durability and toughness of the stone. Allow approximately four minutes for the sealer to seep into the stone. If the area where water stood has become darkened, then it is time to reapply a layer of sealant.

Sealing natural stone countertops protects them from the wear and tear associated with most household surfaces, by adding a protective layer over the stone countertop. Stone typically has fine pores through which water and acids can percolate through and cause damage to its color and its structural integrity. Once this is done, disinfect the countertop using a cleaner and then clean the surface with a cloth. When it is nearly dry, apply another layer of sealer and wipe it off with a clean cloth. An easy way to test the effectiveness of the sealant is by placing a few drops of water on it, allowing the water to sit for half an hour and then wiping it away. When using a sealer for your surface, make sure window cleaners are not applied, because many of those are vinegar based and can dull the finish of the stone, and break it over time.

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That’s because most of these products are made with environmentally sustainable products and/or manufacturing methods as well as recycled materials. Styles range from muted colors with the paper-based products to bright and visually interesting terrazzo patterns made from recycled glass and epoxy.

In other words, even though they may be made from recycled paper or glass they’re still hard, smooth and durable work surfaces. Recycled countertops are not old countertops that have been reprocessed into new ones, but rather, made from recycled and reused materials. Now that it’s clear as mud, perhaps some specific examples will help clarify things. Some products are paper-based using new or recycled paper or a combination of both. Still others use scrap aluminum chips resulting from the milling process in the production of other products. Regardless of what you call them, the appeal of recycled countertops is that they offer a more eco-friendly alternative to standard countertop choices.

If you’re looking for a kitchen countertop that’s “greener” than the standard fare, a recycled or composite countertop may be what you’re looking for.

To do that requires you to move everything off your countertop to seal the surface and let it cure. A countertop whose surface area is made up of 80-90% of recycled glass might chip if something hard enough is dropped on it.

If you don’t think this type of surface is right for your kitchen, check out these other kitchen countertop surfaces.

They’re broken down into loose categories based primarily on their main ingredients. It comes in solid colors and the color is consistent throughout the thickness of the material, similar to solid surface countertops. Some recycled paper is used in the process however it’s not a specific requirement of the specification. It has a warmer feel than natural stone and the black color option looks very similar to slate. However that’s typical with any countertop other than the hard stones. That allows it to be used on some kitchen islands without the need for seams. Seams are not totally invisible like you see with solid surface countertops although the nature of the material allows for tighter seams that you can achieve with stone. The nice thing about the samples is that the you can see how the color is consistent throughout the material from the unfinished edges. The material can be cut, sawn, drilled and nailed similar to the characteristics of wood. The resultant effect is a multitude of short swirls in a sea of either light or dark opaque resin.

You can even choose the glass colors and chip sizes for a truly customized countertop. The combination of these ingredients produces a hard surface, similar to granite. Seams are small but they can also be filled in with a color-matching epoxy and polished for a virtually seamless look. This makes it possible to use single pieces with no seams for an island top, provided it’s not too much wider than 4 feet.

The end result is a surface with a look similar to engineered stone because of the way the glass chips mimic the quartz elements in engineered stone. The company is committed to green building practices, using recycled ingredients in their products and operating a daylight-lit factory. Because it’s a concrete-based product it will require some care to avoid stains and etching. The materials are formed by hand into 1-1/2 inch slabs and finished with a sealer to prevent staining and damage from acids. Since the slabs are hand made each one will have slight variations compared to the next. A natural by-product of the fabrication process is the inclusion of small air pockets or holes on the edges of the slabs.

The sealer also won’t stand up to hot pans being placed on it because it will melt the sealer. The fact that it’s made with an epoxy and doesn’t need the sealing and care that cement-based products do is appealing.

Not only are they made from different (or should we say, less conventional) materials, but they have an eco-concious element to them as well.

There’s a range of products that fall into this category and while there are a number of different brands and specific products you can choose from, they fall roughly into 3 categories based on the materials they’re made from. From a look and feel perspective, they’re just the same as the more traditional countertops. If you’re looking for an alternative to the more conventional countertop materials and also want to use green materials in your kitchen or bathroom, these countertop choices are worth a closer look. Composite means that they’re made from the combination of several distinct materials but don’t really fall under the other standard countertop classifications like laminate or solid surface. In most cases, the terms ‘recycled’ and ‘composite’ are used interchangeably since many composite countertops use recycled materials. The materials used in composite and recycled countertops are an eclectic bunch. In most cases, these materials are combined with a “glue” binder made from resins, epoxy or cement that holds the ingredients together and results in a countertop you can ultimately make a sandwich on.

They make productive use of materials that otherwise would be destined for landfills or the incinerator.

As with any material however, there’s always some strong points and weak points. Because 80% to 90% of the surface area is glass, which is non-porous, most of the countertop will be impenetrable to staining. If you’re looking for products with a high environmental impact, look closely at what goes into their makeup and production. Most product makers eventually develop means for repairs but newer products may not achieve that level of market maturity for a while.

Most manufacturers ultimately want to sell you their product and will find a way to do that, either directly or through a local dealer/distributor. As the green building movement becomes more mainstream there’s a likelihood for more development of composite and recycled countertop surfaces. This combination is baked to produce a smooth hard surface with a consistency similar to a hard wood. The paper used to manufacture the product is made from tree pulp, harvested from managed forests. Richlite® material is not new as it’s been used in the aircraft tooling industry as well as for skateboard parks so it’s safe to say that it’s durable. It’s heat resistant up to 350 degrees, and stain and scratch resistant but it can be scratched or gouged if enough force is used.

The material is offered in ¾ inch and 1½ inch thicknesses and sheet sizes up to 5 feet wide by 12 feet long. Richlite® must be installed by factory-certified fabricators, similar to solid surface installations. Richlite® composite countertops come with a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser provided they’re installed by a certified fabricator. The samples are small 3″ x 2″ squares but they’re sufficient enough to get an appreciation for the texture and hardness. Some of the colors exhibit a mottled look with variations in the intensity of the color.

These materials are combined with water to form a pulp and through a patented process, are made into hard slabs for use as recycled countertops. The use of cardboard results in a brownish hue whereas gray results from the use of newsprint. With the clear resin the aluminum chips are plainly visible beneath the surface. The surface can be finished in a matte or gloss appearance. Rather than seeing all the aluminum chips through the resin, you see only the edges of the chips that meet the surface.

Post-consumer and industrial glass otherwise intended for the landfill is crushed and sorted and then combined with the cement. Slab sizes are 52-1/2 inches wide by 96″ long and 1-1/4 inches thick. Because it’s absorptive however, it should be sealed with a topical sealer similar to what’s used on stone or concrete. This type of cement has the look of concrete or some stone types yet is stronger than concrete. Different color combinations allow for veining and marbling effects and decorative inlays can be placed in the surface too. The tiles sizes are equivalent to standard cabinet dimensions. They even sell the cement mixture itself if you’re so inclined to try your hand at some creative endeavors. Like stone countertops, seams will be visible but the random nature of the glass aggregate tends to make them less conspicuous. If the product is installed by an authorized fabricator it will be sealed ahead of time. The end result resembles a stone or concrete countertop surface.

Seams between adjacent slabs will be visible but can be filled with a color-matching caulk. Since they’re on the edge of the countertop and not on the surface they can be filled or left alone depending on your preference.

The material is sealed with an acrylic sealer which will wear off over time, depending on the type of traffic it endures and how it’s maintained. When that happens it’s usually because it creatively meets a need or just ‘fits the bill’, sort of like the way the perfect tool effortlessly gets the job done.

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After you spend some time learning about these products, give our experts a call or stop by and see for yourself how we can help you get your project done correctly and under budget. Wood counters absorb sound, making them quieter when working in the kitchen.

Glass countertops are made of recycled glass, making them an eco-friendly choice. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, and is very versatile.

We also carry a wide variety of cabinetry, custom millwork, appliances and much more! Caesarstone has many advantages over all other surfaces, including marble and granite: it does not chip, crack or discolor. Bamboo countertops provide a beautiful visual accent to any kitchen, bathroom or workspace.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you learn about the quality products we sell. Cut from solid rock, no two slabs look exactly alike, ensuring that your countertops have their own unique look, with a surface that is stunning and easy to care for. Acrylic countertops resist stains, and spills are easy to clean with just a cloth, soap and water. Food preparation is a breeze when you have the right tools and space to do it in. Rout it, carve it, sandblast it, even thermoform it to create a masterpiece that reflects any style. Because it has to survive in your everyday world of spills, burned casseroles, accidents and whatever other chaos life throws at you. Resistant to scratches and stains and that offers outstanding performance over time. It offers beauty similar to natural stone in a wide range of colors and extraordinary textures.

Sprague’s wide plank, butcher block, reclaimed and live edge countertops provide a traditional feel unmatched by any other countertop product.

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Use hot pads and trivets to keep hot pots and pans off the surface as their heat will compromise the integrity of the sealer. Leave on until stain clears, which can take from 15 minutes to 7 hours, depending on the severity of the stain. The liquid carries the absorbent material down into the pores of the concrete. Carefully wet only the stained area with a cotton ball or wet paper towel. Make sure the surface is dry for at least a half hour before sealing the surface.

Depending on the minerals in your water, standing water and soap scum can cause the surface to feel rough. Cutting on the surface will not damage the surface, but it could damage the sealer and dull your knives. Severe stains may require a poultice appropriate to the stain, which is covered in the next section. The re-application time depends on the sealer on your surface and how much use the surface receives. A poultice is made by mixing an absorbent material, like talcum powder, with a liquid.

While the poultice dries, the stain is absorbed out of the concrete and into the poultice.

The wax barrier provides additional time to wipe up spills before they can stain. If your surface begins to stain, it is also time to re-seal the surface after the stains are removed. Use a coating remover to remove any sealers or waxes on the surface.


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