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Earth-Friendly Countertop Options

by: Sara Brown | Country's Best Log Homes BAMBOOA smart choice for strong, long-lasting countertops, bamboo countertops are 16 percent harder than traditional butcher block. Starting price: $26 per square footCheck out: www.totallybamboo.com LAVA ROCKAvailable in an unlimited amount of colors and finishes, this ultra-resilient material is made from enameling natural volcanic rock (aka lava) […]
by Sara Brown
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by: Sara Brown | Country's Best Log Homes

Earth-Friendly Countertop Options BAMBOO
A smart choice for strong, long-lasting countertops, bamboo countertops are 16 percent harder than traditional butcher block. Starting price: $26 per square foot
Check out: www.totallybamboo.com

LAVA ROCK
Available in an unlimited amount of colors and finishes, this ultra-resilient material is made from enameling natural volcanic rock (aka lava) at more than 1,000 degrees. Starting price: $250 per square foot
Check out: www.pyrolave.com

JERUSALEM STONE
Native to Israel, this natural stone is actually dolomite-limestone. It's easy to work with, highly dense and has a very low water-absorption rate. Starting price: $8 per square foot
Check out: www.jerusalemusa.com

SOLID GLASS
No longer just for dishware, glass countertops are available in a variety of colors and textures. Plus, it's surprisingly sturdy. Starting price: $60 per square foot
Check out: www.thinkglass.com

TEAK
Crafted from trees harvested in the forests of Mexico, teak offers the traditional warmth and durability of wood, while lending an exotic feel. Starting price: $45 per square foot
Check out: www.proteak.com

TIP
Can't choose just one? Don't be afraid to mix and match your kitchen's surfaces. Think about using a different material for your island than the rest of the surrounding countertops. Another option is to inset a different material into a countertop for specific tasks (think butcher block for chopping or marble for kneading dough.)
New & Improved
The "old faithful" countertop materials of yesterday get a facelift, thanks to a few of today's ahead-of-the-curve companies.

Butcher block has long been a fan favorite in log-home kitchens, but isn't it time it changed its look? Enter Qwinique, a hardwood-countertop manufacturer, focused on bringing both domestic and exotic species into the kitchen. In addition to aesthetically matching the look of logs, Qwinique countertops are incredibly hard and are constructed with finger-jointed ends that create a more stable top. Available in 13 species, plus additional offerings like koa (a Hawaiian hardwood) and bubinga, also called African Rosewood. (866-449-8677, www.qwinique.com)

When fabricators Ken Truder and Evan Kruger set out to create a new countertop material, they decided to take the "bigger is better" approach. It worked. With their new product, Eos, consumers get a rock-hard surface that's 3 centimeters thick—3/4-inch thicker than standard solid-surface countertops. So, in addition to the substantial look of natural stone, Eos offers counters that are stronger and more heat resistant, while still easy to install. Available in 21 colors. (800-719-3671, www.eos-surfaces.com)

If you're going to try to improve on a traditional countertop material, you might as well go with one of the strongest ones, right? That was the thinking of the folks at CaesarStone, a company dedicated to making top-of-the-line countertops out of one of nature's hardest materials—quartz. Made from a blend of 94 percent quartz plus color pigments and polyester resins, CaesarStone is low-maintenance, strong and available in more than 60 different colors, including some that wouldn't be available if you opted for natural quartz. (Shown above. 877-978-2789, www.caesarstoneus.com)

Beyond the Surface
The latest countertop options for saving the planet without sacrificing style.

1. DURAT: Recycled Plastic
From the sleek look and feeling, you'd never guess that it's generated from recycled plastic and is itself 100% recyclable.(781-662-1110, www.europeanhome.com)

2. RICHLITE: Paper
Layers of paper (salvaged from renewable or recycled resources) are mixed with resin to form this highly stain-resistant material.(888-383-5533, www.richlite.com)

3. BLAZESTONE TILES: Recycled Glass
Crafted entirely from post-industrial and post-consumer glass, each tile is handmade, giving it its distinct appearance and subtle color variations. (206-283- 7625, www.bedrockindustries.com)

4. ECO-TOP: Bamboo & Recycled Wood Blend
Based on the ultra-durable material used for skateboard ramps, this high-quality material is made from 50 percent bamboo fiber and 50 percent post-consumer wood waste (think recycled wood from torn-down buildings). (360-538-9815, www.kilptech.com)

5. ICESTONE: Recycled Glass & Concrete
Strong like granite and heat-resistant like stone, but manufactured via a low- emission process in a day-lit factory. (718-624-4900, www.icestone.biz)


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