Recycled glass countertops are beautiful, durable, and earth friendly alternatives to traditional countertop materials. Made of approximately 90 percent glass mixed with resins, the surfaces are non-porous, easy to clean, and resist stains and bacteria. They come in a multitude of colors and designs, and because they are made from recycled materials, they are completely sustainable. A number of companies are making recycled glass slabs, giving you several options in color and style.
IceStone countertops are made up of just three ingredients: pre and post-consumer recycled glass, Portland cement, and resins. Their 3 cm thick countertops are completely non-porous and extremely durable. Styles range from brightly colored slabs with obvious, suspended chunks of recycled glass to muted, traditionally colored slabs that mimic the look of quartz counters.
Vetrazzo's zero VOC emission counters use more than 550 pounds of crushed recycled glass per slab. That glass comes from several sources, including traffic lights, windshields, and beverage bottles. Vetrazzo's slabs are made of 85 percent glass by volume, with each color blend made up of a signature palette that makes every slab a work of art. Vetrazzo's slabs are brightly colored, with large pieces of suspended glass and a high degree of variation within each slab.
Rather than using synthetic resins, Vetrazzo's counters use a blend of cements and pigments to suspend their glass in. Pricing varies based upon the color of each slab, but most slabs range from between $100 and $150 a square foot installed.
Eco, made by countertop manufacturer Consentino, is a unique countertop made of a blend of recycled mirrors, glass, ash, resin and porcelain. Eco's colors are muted and subdued, with only the sparkle of the glass helping to bring them to life. Subtle veining and flecking in each counter helps add detail.
Eco counters have received numerous certifications through LEED as one of the most sustainable countertop options available. Pricing for Eco is comparable to Consentino's other products, beginning between $100 and $150 a square foot installed.
With so many options for countertops available on the market, deciding on a relatively new product like recycled glass can be a challenge. These unique counters have some advantages over other materials, however, which can help make your decision easier.
Recycled glass is one of the only truly sustainable countertop options available today. Stone counters like granite must be cut from the earth and cannot be replaced. Quartz, solid-surface, and laminate countertops that are produced from man-made materials often give off high levels of VOCs or are made from non-renewable resources, making recycled glass one of the only green building options available for counters.
Recycled glass counters do not scratch, melt, burn, chip, or stain. They require no maintenance; clean them with your favorite products on your timetable. Unlike granite or stone counters, they do not require sealing or special cleaners, and unlike solid-surface or laminate counters, they don't show wear over time. In durability, the only product comparable is quartz, which often has high levels of VOCs.
Glass counters are a completely unique product. The exact mix of glass particles changes subtly with each slab, making each countertop's design exclusive to the buyer. The pieces of glass suspended in the counter may be dull, polished, jagged or smooth, as well as varied in color and size, making each counter a work of art.