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Though many people still think of concrete as being used for foundations and sidewalks, this amazing material is now commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms in the form of concrete countertops.

When you make a concrete countertop with your own hands, you are doing yourself and the earth a small favor. It’s greener, more affordable, potentially healthier, and a lot more fun than buying monotonous granite countertops that are mined, fabricated, and shipped by boat from faraway countries. Other countertop choices, such as stone composites, are manufactured in factories from mineral particles and epoxies and trucked hundreds of miles to a fabrication shop, and then, finally, to you.

Nothing is wrong with those other countertop materials. Each has benefits and limitations. In fact, combinations of dissimilar materials can make them more interesting while spicing up what can be a relentlessly uniform array of surfaces. But, by making your own countertop [or having it done by a local contractor or fabricator], you have fun, create something unique, save lots of money, and shrink your carbon footprint to boot.

Excerpted from Concrete Countertops Made Simple Book & DVD Guide.

 

Q1. Which Countertop is Greenest?

In nearly every class at CHENG Concrete Training Academy, someone asks “What type of countertop is the greenest?” Despite the innumerable discussions on the “greenness” of countertop materials, the unequivocal answer without debate is that the...

#1 Greenest Countertop You Could Possibly Own: The One You Already Own.

Which countertop is the second greenest?

#2 Greenest Countertop You Could Possibly Own: The One Someone Else Already Owned.

This would make it a recycled countertop—not a countertop made up of recycled materials. There’s a big difference. The first already exists and would probably be destined for the landfill if not reclaimed. The second, while recycled, still needs to be created and transported, and has some embodied energy. In our research, we have found that green is literally not a black or white issue. There are degrees of green, particularly with concrete as a countertop or any other decorative concrete application. Every countertop material has pros and cons when it comes to the delicate balance of environmental responsibility, style and performance in the home. Let’s rephrase the original question.

If I’m in the market for a new countertop and want to make the smallest possible impact on the environment while still choosing a functional and captivating material, what choices are available?

Consider concrete. While not the only responsible choice, it is local, durable, sustainable, recyclable, and uniquely beautiful with its earthy appeal combined with the personalization and nuances you can customize to your style and functional needs. By choosing concrete as a decorative building material, particularly for countertops, you affirm your consideration for the earth as well as a desire to be a little different, casting your own unique character in concrete.

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