By Ilyse Diater. Kitchen Countertops. Published at Thursday, March 01st, 2018 - 12:21:24 PM.
The basics: Recycled paper countertops are composed of postconsumer wastepaper, nonpetroleum-based resins and pigments. This mix is heated and compressed into a dense, monolithic slab with a feel that’s often compared to a warm, soft stone — like soapstone. The primary manufacturers, PaperStone, Richlite, ShetkaStone and Kliptech, all offer several colors, though the material typically is available only in medium to dark hues, all in a smart-looking matte finish.
Plastic laminate, once the standard surface for postwar home kitchen countertops, still has a big market share due to affordable and maintenance-free options in loads of colors and patterns. Check out the basics and special considerations here to see if a plastic laminate counter might be right for your kitchen.
Disadvantages: The material is heat resistant only to 350 degrees, so — as with many kitchen surfaces — it’s best to keep trivets nearby. The color palettes tend toward medium to dark hues, though Kliptech (the maker of RecycleTop) has solved that in its similar recycled paper and bamboo product, EcoTop, which comes in lighter colors, including Snow White.
Advantages: The dense, durable, nonporous construction makes recycled paper surfaces stain resistant and easy to maintain. And because this material is a lighter weight than natural stone, slabs can accommodate longer spans without additional support. Richlite’s Stratum and Cascade lines turn the composition into a design feature with fun striped edges, as shown here.
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