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When it comes to kitchen countertop materials, homeowners have a wide range of options from which to choose, including wood, butcher block, ceramic tile and laminates as well as marble, granite, quartz, engineered stone, soapstone, solid surface, concrete, stainless steel and recycled-glass terrazzo. Now you can add two new materials to that list - bamboo and recycled commodes.
That's right, a company called EnviroGLAS, based in Plano, Texas, has developed a way of taking crushed porcelain from recycled toilets, sinks and tubs and mixing it with resins of various colors to create a terrazzo called EnviroMODE, a durable, eco-friendly material homeowners can use as countertops. The material is heat- and scratch-resistant, highly resistant to common household stains and easily cleaned. It's also free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and does not require a seal.
EnviroMODE was developed by Tim Whaley, principal of EnviroGLAS, who was approached by the City of Dallas and asked if he had any ideas for using old toilets the city wanted to recycle. Having had experience in creating terrazzo surfaces using recycled glass, Whaley saw a way to use the crushed porcelain to create a similar material. The crushed porcelain used in the countertops has "a beautiful pearl-like finish," notes Sherlyn McAnally, recycling manager for the City of Dallas. EnviroMODE is also available in planks for use as flooring.
Speaking of flooring, bamboo has become a popular flooring option in the last few years, thanks to its beauty and durability as well as its sustainability. Now, after conducting extensive research, Totally Bamboo has introduced its new solid bamboo kitchen countertops.
The bamboo countertops are constructed with cross-band laminates called Multilam, which greatly reduce twisting and warping and result in a countertop that is 16 percent harder than maple, according to the company. In addition, the countertops are non-toxic and formaldehyde-free. They are available in standard lengths and thicknesses, at a cost of about $30 per square foot. For more information: EnviroMODE: 972-276-9451 or http://www.enviroglasproducts.com ; Bamboo countertops: 818-765-9000 or http://www.totallybamboo.com .