How Glass is Recycled for Countertop UseMarch 4, 2011 // Posted in:
If budget cuts at home mean you had to forego the fancy wine cooler, but you still need a place to stash your bottle collection, look no further than the kitchen counter. Industrious DIY-ers aimed at creating eco-friendly home furnishings have been making their own recycled glass countertops for years now by mixing crushed wine bottles with a concrete base. Luckily, for those of us who consider popping a cork to be more than enough work for one day, commercial vendors have caught on to the recycled glass trend.
Recycled glass countertops are made using up to 72 percent recycled materials, allowing you to feel good about helping the environment while giving your old countertop a much needed upgrade. The same properties that make glass tough enough to last more than 4,000 years in a landfill are what make it strong and durable in your home. Today, glass from building demolition, windshields, traffic lights and pickle jars all find a second life as recycled countertops.
To create these dynamic and customizable surfaces, glass is collected from recycling centers and sorted by color. After being cleaned, glass is then crushed into a variety of sizes and mixed with concrete or a resin material to bind the mixture. Depending on the size of your counters, it can take more than one thousand bottles to create a panel.
Single colors of glass like white, beige, blue or black can be mixed into a matching concrete base for a uniform appearance that mimics the look of sandstone. To really take advantage of glass’ natural beauty, though, consider a blend of hues that can complement almost any home décor. The size and texture of glass pieces in your countertop will also dramatically affect its overall look. Slabs with finely ground glass pieces give a look similar to granite, without the same high cost. Choosing a more coarse mixture, however, can add texture to a bland room in your house.
These versatile countertops work equally well in kitchens, bathrooms or even outdoor spaces. Like granite, glass is heat resistant and can withstand high temperatures from cooking or grilling instruments. Recycled glass countertops require little to no upkeep, retaining their shine and durability under even the harshest household conditions. Because glass is waterproof and highly resistant to stains, you can feel confident that the counters you love today will remain just as bright and beautiful for years to come.