Sustainable products have become very popular as homeowners today are more concerned with their ecological footprint than ever before. At Modernize, we understand that homeowners can find it challenging to decide on materials that are beautiful, functional, and eco-friendly. If selecting eco-friendly products is a priority for you, there are a lot of high-quality, stylish options available.
Many countertops on the market are derived from non-renewable resources. Some solid surface materials are composed with plastic, while engineered quartz products contain petroleum-based binders. Alternatives to these products include concrete, recycled glass, and—believe it or not—paper.
Concrete is a beautiful and versatile material composed of sand, rock, and cement. There is some debate about whether concrete is completely eco-friendly since it does require a lot of energy to produce. For a greener concrete countertop, some fabricators replace some of the cement with fly ash or other byproducts yielded from manufacturing plants. When sealing a concrete countertop, there are green seals available to reduce the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be present in many seals on the market.
For a modern and unique look, consider Recycled Glass countertops. These tops are created with broken bottle and jar pieces sourced from recycling programs. The glass is combined with a cement binder and pigment is added to create many color selections. These tops add an exotic flash to a kitchen without using precious resources.
Paperstone is a solid, non-porous countertop material composed from post-consumer recycled paper. The product is saturated with the fabricator’s proprietary phenolic (organic compound) resins, and natural pigments are added. Heat and pressure fuse the sheets into a non-porous top. This innovative way to recycle paper is also a long-lasting product to complete a kitchen or bath project that complements any style.
Choosing an eco-friendly floor that is durable and attractive is easy today with so many options available. Bamboo, linoleum, and cork flooring will leave eco-conscious homeowners happy.
Bamboo is an abundant, renewable plant, growing much faster than the trees required to make hardwood, but when used for flooring, bamboo looks and feels similar to hardwood floors. Stunning and moisture-resistant, bamboo is a top trending choice for contemporary kitchens.
A more traditional material for traditional kitchens, linoleum has been around for ages. Many older homes on the market may have original linoleum floors which is a testament to it’s durability. Because this product is so long-lasting, it is considered an eco-friendly alternative to hardwoods or vinyl floors. While linoleum is available in a lot of patterns and colors, it may be best to stick with neutral colors that will last for the long haul.
Cork flooring is gaining popularity because of it’s warmth, sustainability, and endurance. This spongy material is shock-absorbent, unlike most hard flooring. This floor will feel especially comforting for cold, tired feet during winter months. There is little maintenance involved with this floor that is available in many different colors. Be aware that sunlight can cause the floor to discolor, so if a kitchen has a lot of natural light, this floor may not be the best choice.
An abundance of choices exist for eco-friendly counters and floors. The kitchen and the bathroom are high-traffic areas where a lot of spills, splashes, and crashes can occur. While some of these products can be expensive, in the long-run, it is worth the investment to have products that will stand the test of time, not to mention the low cost to the environment. Discuss all of your options with your builder to find the right fit for your countertop and flooring needs.