The February edition of GreenBuilder Magazine was titled The Hot 50 Products – showcasing the best green products available for homes today. There was a great spread on countertops and I would love to share some of the highlights with you.
One of the things I found interesting was the affirmation of Quartz as a great green countertop.
We used Cambria Quartz in our kitchen display at Rooms by Tagg 2 here in downtown Northfield
not only for its beauty but because it is scratch resistant, is twice the strength of granite, cleans easily with soap & water, does not need sealing, resists bacterial build up, is stain resistant, is local (Le Sueur MN), is sustainably mined, does not off-gas, and will give you a LEED point – if you are trying to obtain LEED certification. How many reasons is that? Enough for us. Granite has been done and overdone so much that we were looking for something different, but still with a wonderful rich look. And Cambria Quartz has really come far from other Quartz products with their clarity and movement (you can stop by our showroom for a comparison to other products).
Other things to note: look for recycled content in your countertop. Paper, glass bottles, stone scraps, mirrors, and even porcelain toilets…? hmm. I’m not sure I could get over the past life of that countertop, but bravo for getting some of the millions of water-guzzling toilets out of the landfill!
People also talk a lot about concrete countertops being green, but it is still really a gray area. There are very few, if any, countertops that are completely sustainable.
The thing to consider when choosing any product is the embodied energy – production, transportation, life-cycle.
Where is it coming from, what was involved in its production, does it off-gas, what will happen to it when you are done with it?