Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen or bathroom? If so you might be interested in these materials, manufactured with sustainability and health in mind.
How it’s made: Sintered stone is created by taking natural minerals and exposing them to extremely high pressure and heat. It is non-porous, producing resistants to stains, mould and bacteria; making it easy to clean and maintain. It is 100% recyclable, colour stable, free of resins and petroleum derivatives.
Durability: Sintered stone is durable, waterproof and long lasting. It is resistant to heat, scratching, acids, alkalies, fire, frost and UV rays.
Where you can use it: Sintered stone is very versatile; it can be used indoors or outdoors, for kitchen and bathroom counters, internal or external cladding, interior flooring or external paving, stairs, and ventilated facades.
Look and feel: The countertop material is predominantly solid and neutral in colour. It comes in 9 finishes and a range of colours. The finishes range from smooth to rugged (like natural stone). It works with a variety of design styles.
Care and maintenance: It has an antibacterial, anti-fungal surface. Cleaning is as simple as soap and water. No sealing or special cleaning products are required.
Sizing/Producers: Lapitec, an Italian brand, was the first to produce a sintered stone slab. Their product comes in many colours and sizes.
Altrock Solid Surface
How it’s made: Altrock is a solid surface made with recycled marble dust, chips, and chunks which are then mixed and bonded with resin and pigment. It is sealed with a wax oil, creating a durable, waterproof and stain resistant surface. The slabs are custom made and cast by hand in all shapes and sizes.
Durability: It is a durable, waterproof, stain and heat resistant surface.
Where you can use it: Altrock can be used for kitchen and bathroom counters, flooring, and dining or coffee tables.
Look and feel: It can be made in a wide range of colors. The colour can be customized to match your palette. However, since the marble is reclaimed, some colors are rarer and subject to availability.
Care and maintenance: Altrock should be cared for like marble. Acidic spills, like lemon juice should be wiped up promptly. Use soapy water to clean; no bleach. The sealant is grease-and stain-resistant.
Durat Solid Surface
How it’s made: Durat is a polyester based solid surface which contains 30% recycled materials. The recycled post-industrial waste is granulated giving this this product its distinctive texture and look. It is a 100% recyclable and is tested not to omit any VOCs and is classified as an M1 low emissions building material.
Durability: Durat solid surface is resistant to wear, heat, humidity and various kinds of chemicals. Scratches and other marks can be removed with a quick polish. Deeper scratches can be lightly sanded, and cracks can be filled to make the surface look like new.
Where you can use it: It can be used to create large seamless surfaces. It can also be used to fabricate custom sinks, bathtubs, shower bases, backsplashes, shelves, tables and benches.
Look and feel: Durat has more than 300 colours, 7 different textures as well as different coloured speckles. Custom colours are available. It is suitable for modern and minimalist aesthetics or can introduce a bold element into a design.
Care and maintenance: Surfaces should be cleaned with mild soap. Normal cleaning cloths and coarse sponges can be used.
IceStone Recycled Glass Countertops
How it’s made: IceStone is a recycled glass surface made of 100% recycled glass, Portland cement and non-toxic pigments. The manufacturer is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Durability: While it is strong, it is not as durable as previous materials. Acids and alkaline cleaning products will etch it.
Where you can use it: It can be used for Kitchen and bathroom countertops, backsplashes, table tops, and fireplace surrounds.
Look and feel: It is available in 17 colours.
Care and maintenance: IceStone is porous and must be periodically sealed. Spills of coffee, wine, fruit juice and other acidic liquid should be wiped immediately with a damp cloth. Clean with a damp cloth.
Richlite Paper Countertops
Paper you say? What?
How it’s made: Richlite is paper that has been hyper-compressed and blended with phenolic resin; giving it extra durability and water resistance. It is made with 65% cerified recycled paper and 35% resin, resulting in a solid, stable material.
Durability: It works similar to a dense hardwood, is water-resistant, heat and fire resistant and has low moisture absorption. High-alkaline fruits or vegetables, cleaners and soaps left on the surface may stain it. It will show scratches and patina over time. However, the scratches can be sanded and the material can be resealed to restore its smooth finish.
Where you can use it: In addition to kitchen counters, it can be used for bathroom counters, for cabinetry and to make furnishings. It can also be used for wall panels, baseboards, moulding, trim, shelving, doors and stair treads.
Look and feel: Richlite has 17 colours and 3 finishes: Milled, leathered or honed. It well-suited for contemporary, modern, industrial and eclectic designs.
Care and maintenance: Wipe surfaces with warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth. Avoid bleach and abrasive cleaners and cloths, as these may scratch the surface. To lighten stains, apply plain yogurt, leave overnight, and wipe away in the mornings. Repeat as necessary.