An international study by Unilever revealed that one-third of consumers are now buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact. Oftentimes, eco-friendliness is also a major factor when it comes to which home improvement projects homeowners are tackling as well as which materials they’re choosing. Kitchen remodels are among the most common, and many homeowners want to upgrade to eco-friendly countertops but don’t quite know where to begin. Here are just a few materials to consider for eco-friendly countertops.
Believe it or not, recycled and reclaims woods are starting to be embraced by eco-conscious homeowners nationwide. They’re typically referred to as ‘butcher’s block’ and are made of smaller pieces of wood. As a great way to use repurposed materials, butcher’s block often comes from very unique and diverse sources. A few examples include reclaimed shipping pallets, and, perhaps most interestingly, deconstructed buildings. When you invest in butcher’s block, not only are you making a better choice for the environment, but you’re getting a one-of-a-kind countertop with a rich history and character. Plus, butcher block’s are perfect for knives, and when it does start to show noticeable signs of wear and tear, you can simply resand the wood and refinish it using a food-grade natural oil.
Steel is the most recycled material on the planet, with 90% recycled content. This makes it perfect for a number of home-based applications such as kitchen countertops. Its durability makes it suitable for some of the busiest residential and even commercial kitchens. It’s also a completely solid and non-porous surface, which means that unlike some other countertop materials, you won’t have to worry about liquids or other substances leaking through and causing permanent damage. The one small drawback of stainless steel countertops is that they can easily appear smudged and watermarked, so keeping them looking brand new and shiny can be a bit of a chore.
If you want to give your kitchen a truly modernized and even futuristic feel, consider investing in eco-friendly bio-glass countertops. They’re made with Cradle to Cradle certification and have a translucent appearance. This makes them a versatile addition that will work with virtually all existing color and style schemes. However, since it’s made with 100% glass, it’s not suitable for knives, so you’ll have to exercise caution and always use a cutting board. Plus, while homeowners typically spend an average of $2,912 on installing countertops, that number can vary depending on the materials and size of the countertop, and bio-glass tends to lean toward the pricier side when it comes to materials.
When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to make the right decisions for your kitchen renovation needs, and while there are countless countertop materials that have become popular over the years, eco-friendly materials are ones that will never go out of style. Regardless of your budget, there’s certain to be an eco-friendly option that’s right for your kitchen.