Whenever people ask me about what is the greenest stone counter top for a kitchen renovation, I suggest quartz as an alternative to granite, marble or soapstone. I’ve pointed out in a previous post the advantages of quartz over the other stone types, but now there’s an alternative material from Cosentino, the maker of Silestone quartz, that looks like quartz but is made from recycled materials. Eco by Cosentino is a counter top collection that was introduced in 2009 across the US through Home Depot and Lowe’s locations. In Canada, it’s harder to find, in fact I’ve only found two dealers in the Toronto area, but the material’s purported benefits warranted further investigation.
Eco is made from 75% crushed post consumer and post manufactured glass, mirror, ceramic tiles, porcelain, stone chips and crystallized ash. It’s bound together with a resin, part of which is derived from corn oil (my preference would have been a soy-based resin, but I might be being a bit picky…). Using recycled materials to make products has several benefits:
- Less energy is used in the production of the product therefore fewer CO2 emissions are produced.
- Material that was once destined for landfill now has another life left in it.
- Fewer raw materials are extracted from the earth.
These eco counter tops also have many of the same advantages as their quartz counterparts:
- They are as durable as quartz.
- They are non-porous which mean they won’t stain or carry bacteria in the counter top.
- They need very little maintenance and no sealing.
I spoke with Steve at The Creative Kitchen Gallery about the product. He told me it’s hard to price out exactly until an actual product is chosen, but it’s fair to say that it’s in the same price range as a mid-priced SileStone product (Cosentino’s quartz line of products).
Eco by Cosentino is available in giant slabs (63″x123″) or regular tile sizes, 10 colours, and two finishes — polished or leather. It’s been certified by Greenguard, Cradle to Cradle, NSF, and carries a 10 year limited warranty.
Right now the two dealers in the Toronto area are:
Creative Kitchen Gallery Inc.
6061 Hwy #7, Unit C
Markham, ON, L3P 3B2
Tel: 905-471-3500; Fax: 905-471-1300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sutton, ON L0E 1R0