When Eco Friendly Countertops Counter Environment Hazard
Aside from the fixtures, one of the elements that define the interior design of a house are the designs and color of countertops. Be it found in kitchens and mini bars, a countertop definitely gives an edge to any interior design. Countertops, however, are usually made from marbles and other expensive stones that need to be mined, thus, contributing to the depletion of natural resources and poking holes on most pockets. Luckily, there are eco friendly countertops available in most hardware stores today.
Many stores nowadays are teeming with variety of environment friendly countertop materials that most consumers can choose from without necessarily sacrificing style and elegance. Wooden countertops, for one, give a warm and earthly ambiance to any home while eliminating the need to use mined stones. Wood used in making countertops, however, can only be said to be eco friendly when the trees are grown in forests under sustainable management program as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organization that aims to protect and manage forests around the globe.
Most consumers had their money's worth guaranteed from purchasing wooden eco friendly countertops because they can be easily reused and recycled. In fact, antique wooden countertops can have an increased value as they age. Wooden countertops are also sealed and coated with natural and organic oils to make them water-resistant that preserve the wood's beauty.
Interior decorators may also opt to settle with terrazzo countertops which are textured with stones, binders, and high amounts of recycled glass acquired from landfills. Most terrazzo are also made from concrete, making indoor countertops benign while maintaining indoor air quality because the cement used is mixed with fly ash – a bi-product of coal-burning. This technology beats the hazardous manufacturing of concrete that emits greenhouse gasses.
Paper composite countertops can also be trendy and highly eco friendly as they are made from basic ingredients of paper and resin binder, along with recycled materials and organic chemicals such as shredded paper, naturally-grown bamboo, cashew nut oil and beeswax.
These countertops can look more like textured soapstone which can give off a warm and neutral ambiance. Thus, they claimed a spot in the latest fad of interior designers because of their unique, stylish look while being low maintenance and having a high heat resistance.
For a modern oriental interior, decorators can resort to eco friendly countertops made of end-grain bamboo which are made from chopped slender rectangular pieces of bamboo glued into panels. Bamboo, being a good substitute for wood are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals when they are grown, thus, bamboo is a certified organic material. Also, bamboos only take three to six years to mature. Their fast regeneration qualifies them as a renewable and sustainable source. Bamboo countertops also do not compromise indoor air quality because producing these only need low amount of gassing glues.
The common factor of these eco friendly countertops lies on the materials used, as most of these are made from recycled and organic materials, and their sealants which are free from volatile organic compounds or VOC, formaldehyde and adhesives. Aside from being uniquely stylish, they are also highly recyclable and biodegradable so they are certified environment and interior decorator friendly.
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