Eco-Benefits of Concrete Countertops
Concrete is one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly materials on Earth. Below are seven strategies for making sure your countertops maximize their green potential, adapted from ConcreteNetwork.com's Going Green with Concrete Countertops. These items can be great discussion topics with your contractor when hiring and selecting someone to build your countertops.
- Use an Eco-Friendly Mix: Replace some of the cement in the countertop mix with industrial waste byproducts such as fly ash, slag cement and silica fume.
- Use Materials from Local Sources: Eliminate the consumption of fuel required to truck in concrete countertop materials and products. Ask your countertop contractor if they make products using materials produced near your home.
- Make Sure Your Countertops Are Made in a Green Manner: Other strategies for protecting the environment include reusing molds and form making materials, using water-based products, reclaiming and recycling water, and more.
- Put Recycled Decorative Accents Into Your Countertops: Use recycled or salvaged materials as decorative accents for creating eye-catching inlays.
- Use Nontoxic Form-Release Agents and Sealers: Choose more “earth-friendly” products made from biodegradable vegetable oils. These products can be odorless and won't affect indoor air quality.
- Go with a Functional, Timeless Design: In his video Sustainable Kitchen Countertops, Fu-Tung Cheng says the sustainability of concrete countertops depends on good, timeless design. "In countertop making, design is one of your most important tools," he explains. "Good design is sustainable. It means people will appreciate something over a long period of time."
- Consider GFRC Countertops: Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) uses considerably less portland cement than regular concrete, and often has more quantities of recycled materials.