Greener Lives loves to share ideas about healthy and sustainable interior design, creating greener homes, discovering amazing eco-friendly products and exploring a bit of all things green.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Countertops tell stories

Once upon a time, there were only four types of countertops, or so it seemed. Granite, laminate and solid surfaces (aka Corian and friends), plus marble for bathroom vanities, were the popular choices. But no more. We are living in the most exciting time ever for countertop options. Yes, I really do get excited about countertops - sustainble countertops, in particular.

Now it seems that almost anything - wine bottles, paper, post-consumer toilets, metal shavings and more - can be recycled into countertops. Some of my favorite countertops are made by Vetrazzo out of recycled glass. Vetrazzo wasn't the first manufacturer of recycled glass countertops, and they're not the only one now.

Part of the fun with Vetrazzo is that every countertop comes with a story - as Vetrazzo promises. This brilliant, cobalt blue countertop is made of Skyy vodka bottles. If wine or beer are more in your line, Vetrazzo uses their bottles to produce countertops in lovely greens and browns.

Of course, Vetrazzo countertops are not just about liquor bottles. They are made of glass drawn from many sources, including soda bottles, olive oil containers, pickle jars, lemonade bottles, water bottles, stemware, window glass and even stained glass from lamps.

Vetrazzo's look is based on traditional terrazzo, a mosaic flooring invented by Venetian construction workers who used marble chips from high-end jobs to create inexpensive flooring for their own patios. The workers typically set the chips in clay and sealed the surface with goat milk, which gave the terrazzo flooring the wet look of marble. Later terrazzo production dropped the goat milk and polished the mosaic to mimic that high sheen.

Vetrazzo's contemporary version is a combination of recycled glass (85% of the content) and a binder made of cement, additives, pigments and other recycled materials. The end result of installing Vetrazzo is a striking countertop that can be the centerpiece of a room's design or a beautiful addition to an existing room palette.

More about those other beautiful, recycled glass countertops later....


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