All About Recycled Glass Countertops
If you are considering making changes in your kitchen, and those changes will include swapping the old counter tops you have, for something new, then there are a great many different options available for you to choose from. Granite and quartz countertops have been very much the fashion in recent years and while both choices are indeed very beautiful they are also very expensive options. There is an alternative that is even more beautiful though and slightly more affordable – recycled glass countertops.
What is Recycled Glass?
The need to be more environmentally friendly in everything we do has led to the introduction of a host of different products and innovations that canbe considered “green”. The idea of recycling glass is not really a new one, the practice has been going on for years, but the concept of using that glass to create some truly spectacular and yet very durable bench tops for everyday kitchen use is a relatively recent development.
The raw materials used to create recycled glass counter tops are quite literally taken right out of the garbage. Old bottles and scraps of glass, reclaimed glass, are mixed with a binder- usually concrete -, various pigments for extra color and baked in a kiln to form large slabs of material that will later be formed into extraordinary kitchen work surfaces.
Recycled Glass Countertops Pros and Cons
While most people, when they first see them, agree that recycled glass counters are beautiful to behold they do wonder just how glass is going to stand up to all the wear and tear that the average kitchen will put them through. The answer to that question however is very well. They have a long, long life expectancy, at least 50 years and are heat resistant, easy to clean and while not scratch proof they are very scratch resistant. They have a non porous surface which extends their life even further.
Like with anything else though, glass counter tops do have their pros and cons. On the plus side these counters are:
- Great to look at. If you think that granite is attractive in the kitchen wait until you see a selection of recycled glass. Because the addition of the pigment in the manufacturing stage they can literally be made in any color and with any patterning effect. The glass light diffusers also help create a very unique look that you simply will not get with any other material.
- Easy to care for. Some work surfaces, wood countertops for example, are not the easiest things in the world to take care of. Cleaning recycled glass in the kitchen is as easy as it gets, simple soap and water will get the job done every time. Some may need resealing once every few years, it depends on the brand, but that is the case for most granite and quartz counters as well.
- A responsible choice. If you are one of the many people looking to add more green power to your home then recycled glass scores big points in this category!
On the downside:
- Not the cheapest choice. Recycled glass counters are usually ever so slightly less expensive than granite but they could not really be called a budget choice. They will last half a century or more though, so it should be a one time only investment.
- Availability. Although recycled glass as a kitchen (or even bathroom) counter option is gaining popularity at the moment you cannot simply walk into your local home improvement store and order them. Sourcing recycled glass to use in your remodeling project may be harder than if you were opting for a more commonly used material but most people find that in the end the extra effort was well worth it.
Recycled Glass Countertops Pricing
If you want to add recycled glass into your home the price to do so is somewhere in the region of $55-$80 per square foot, costs that are on a par with granite, quartz, soapstone and similar materials. Shopping around can save you money though, as can considering opting for floor samples or off cut pieces.
Eco Friendly Recycled Glass Countertops
Aside from their stunning looks and the fact that they offer a sustainable durable surface to work on recycled glass work surfaces are also a very eco friendly choice, something that those trying to embrace green living will really appreciate. And for those trying to construct a new home that is LEED certified they can earn about seven LEED points. Another recycled material used in counter tops these days, Paperstone, which is made of recycled paper, only earns up to five.
There are a number of major, and becoming more well known, manufacturers of recycled glass counters working today. Icestone, Enviroglass, Vetrazzo recycled glass and Gilasi to name just a few.
These manufacturers and others all do things just a little differently but all produce stunning work. Some of the glass surfaces they offer are recycled glass counter tops terrazzo type offerings while others have extra elements added during the manufacturing process like mother of pearl fragments for extra visual appeal.
Recycled Glass Countertops Reviews
Everyone likes to read other people's opinions before they buy something and a purchase as large as a recycled glass counter set up is no exception. Shopping around is always a good idea and although most manufacturers offer reviews and testimonials about their recycled glass products on their website it is worth checking out some independent opinions on other sites and forums as well.