Skip to content

Sustainable Material: Recycled Glass Kitchen + Vanity Countertops

August 10, 2009
Ice Stone Detail

Ice Stone Detail

Clients often ask about alternatives to the ubiquitous granite countertop material and one option is to use a recycled glass product.   Typically made of recycled glass and cement, glass slab countertops are attractive, available in many colorways and have a much fresher look than granite in my opinion.  They are also a sustainable material.   A common misconception is to believe that granite and other stones are ‘green’ because they are natural materials but almost 60% of all granite is shipped internationally at a tremendous energy cost and much of it imported from developing nations where it is quarried under unacceptable worker and environmental protection standards.  And when one considers the depletion of this natural resource, it hardly seems ‘green’.

Several companies manufacture a recycled glass product, with the most well-known being Icestone in Brooklyn, NY,  Vetrazzo in Richmond, California and EnviroGLAS in Plano, Texas.   All contribute toward LEED credits and Ice Stone has gone a step further by achieving the Cradle to Cradle certification which means that an independent third-party firm has evaluated IceStone surfaces for its human health, environmental health, lifecycle attributes, social responsibility, renewable energy and water stewardship characteristics against stringent criteria and has certified it as a Gold level ecologically intelligent product.

The properties of each recycled glass product vary slightly depending on manufacturer but, in general, the surfaces are comparable in strength, scratch resistance, thermal resistance, durability, and care and maintenance to granite.   They can be used in many applications in addition to countertops including backsplashes, bathroom vanities, table tops, bar tops, interior walls, and commercial flooring applications, shower and bathtub surrounds and kitchen sinks.  They can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

A downside of recycled glass is that it may be cost prohibitive and more expensive than granite.  Prices vary according to color, manufacturer, project scope and location.

Below are some detail and installation photos taken from the manufacturers websites.   Have you had an experience using recycled glass or another sustainable coutertop material?   Please share!

Ice Stone - Select Colorways

Ice Stone - Select Colorways

Vetrazzo - Glass House

Vetrazzo - Glass House

Vetrazzo - Floating Blue

Vetrazzo - Floating Blue

Vetrazzo - Hollywood Sage

Vetrazzo - Hollywood Sage

Vetrazzo - Margarita Flint

Vetrazzo - Margarita Flint

Vetrazzo - Martini Flint

Vetrazzo - Martini Flint

Vetrazzo - Cobalt Skyy Blue

Vetrazzo - Cobalt Skyy Blue

EnviroGLAS - Vanity

EnviroGLAS - Vanity

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 7:53 pm

    Love these countertops, Amanda! And your website is dreamy!

  2. John permalink
    October 9, 2009 3:14 am

    Have you been able to incorporate recycled glass into your projects? If so I’m curious to know who the vendor was and its installed price comparison to the common granites. Like decota mahogany.

    Here is a link to Yale. If you haven’t already, stop in, look ‘serious’ about a new range and they’ll possibly offer to give you a couple of tickets to chef Kurt von Kahle’s hosted cooking seminar. Its a drive but worth the trip to the demo kitchen.

    http://www.yaleappliance.com

    John

    • Amanda Reid permalink*
      October 10, 2009 3:54 am

      John – yes, I have used recycled glass counters in two previous projects – once in a fitness center locker room and another time in a corporate office kitchen. The product I specified was Icestone which is manufactured in Brooklyn, NY so contributes toward LEED credit for both recycled content AND regional material (within 500 miles qualifies). The cost may be more than granite but it depends on the color/manufacturer/quantity. A local source for Icestone is Terrene. Another green product that I’d like to use is Paperstone which may be more cost effective. Thanks for the Yale info.

Trackbacks

  1. Home Design Tips {7 Do’s and Don’ts} « MANDARINA STUDIO
  2. Sustainable Recycled Glass Countertops | Mandarina Studio
  3. Sustainable Recycled Glass Countertops | Mandarina Studio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: