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La Jolla Mom

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodel: Recycled Countertops

BY La Jolla Mom

Recycled countertops can absolutely make a room. There are almost too many to choose from these days. I love granite and I saw an onyx slab that was so unique, I almost scrapped the eco-friendly bathroom remodel idea. Granite and most natural stone slabs for a number of reasons, don’t totally fit the eco-friendly profile. Those are out. So is engineered quartz, at least for my purposes.

My attention turned to recycled glass countertops. If you’ve ever been to Cups La Jolla for a cupcake, their countertops are recycled glass. You can even see writing on the glass shards in some places. Very cool. I saw online that the pricing was roughly the same as granite. I know about what granite costs so…ok fine.

Vetrazzo: This is by far, my absolute favorite recycled glass countertop for La Jolla Girl’s eco-friendly bathroom remodel. It’s unique, very durable, beautiful and a little bit weird all wrapped into one. It’s 85% recycled glass and there is a story behind every countertop.

The pattern Cobalt Skyy is made from blue recycled Skyy Vodka glass bottles. Cubist Clear, my favorite for our purposes, has prisms that reflect light in a cool way. That’s because it’s made from tempered glass from windows, windshields and shower doors. It’s the post photo above and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t capture the awesomeness of it.

Vetrazzo recycled countertops are expensive. I was quoted about $6000 for one slab (not including installation) and it wasn’t even the most expensive pattern. I would need almost two slabs for La Jolla Girl’s bathroom. Do the math, that’s expensive.

IceStone:  The chunks of recycled glass in IceStone slabs are smaller and less vibrant than Vetrazzo. It’s a more muted effect. I didn’t “speak” to me and the sales rep told me it’s about the same price as Vetrazzo.

IceStone comes in 29 different colors and is made from 100% recycled glass and concrete. The surfaces do not contain petrochemicals which means it won’t fade in direct sunlight. It’s an award winning product and definitely worth a look.

Paperstone:  This countertop is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper. I could not figure out where I could take a look at Paperstone near my house.

So I called someone that I saw online that installs it. I’m very enthusiastic about the zen look and thought my husband would like it. It reminds me of Caesarstone. Well, the installer said that he actually hates it. He doesn’t feel that it’s appropriate for wet surfaces, which knocks out a kitchen or bathroom application. It’s very prone to water rings. He would consider putting it in an office where water isn’t likely to touch it.

Eco by Cosentino:  Cosentino is the same company that manufactures Silestone. Eco is 75% recyled content composed of post-industrial or post-consumer materials and is bound by an environmentally friendly resin which comes in part from corn oil.

I saw on their website that it’s sold at Home Depot so was prepared mentally to not like it. Which would have been a bummer, since I was frustrated by the cost of the Vetrazzo and IceStone and trying to figure out how to make one of those two options work.

La Jolla Dad was with me at Home Depot. We both loved (seriously) the Eco. I asked the price including installation, of one color I liked. $60 per square foot installed. Say what? That seems practically free.

Then I discovered La Jolla Dad would actually not like the Vetrazzo very much as it’s too busy. So it worked out in the end. At least our bathroom will likely have Eco by Cosentino. I still will see if I can make the Vetrazzo work in La Jolla Girl’s! Better shop around.

Caesarstone has a few recycled options also but they aren’t the right color for me. I’m happy to see there are so many eco-friendly options and I ordered a ton of samples. But when it comes time to put it all together I’m going to need some help with the colors. I’m terrible at that.

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11 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodel: Recycled Countertops

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodel | Recycled Glass & Paper Countertops -- Topsy.com
  2. Oh, isn’t that Vetrazzo gorgeous?

    We just bought our first home, and the updates are finally done! We were very eager to go green, whenever possible. Here are some pics of our newly renovated kitchen, complete with eco-friendly FreshAire no-VOC paint, sustainable bamboo flooring, a 93% recycled content cast-iron sink, LED lighting, and my favorite, our Staron Encore 30% recycled content solid-surface counter top. The kitchen turned out exactly how we wanted it, and it’s now our favorite family gathering spot 🙂

    http://www.greenorganicmama.com/2010/05/green-organic-familys-new-eco-friendly.html

    We lucked out, as we were one of the first people in line for Staron’s new Encore line of recycled content counter tops. Our installer gave us a great deal. the wraparound counter, peninsula, backsplashes, and window ledge came to $3,500. It’s so amazingly family-friendly. I managed to buff out minor scratches with a “Magic Eraser”, and the whole thing can be re-sanded and polished again, and again. No worries about water stains, cracks, or burn marks. We love it 😀

    Good luck with your reno’s 🙂

    Faye @ GreenOrganicMama.com
    .-= Faye @ GreenOrganicMama.com´s last blog ..The Green Organic Family’s New Eco-Friendly Home – Part 2- Switching to a Tankless Hot Water Heater (And Manufacturer’s Giveaway!) =-.

    1. Thanks Faye. I’m off to go read your blog! We just started looking at recycled sinks. The price on your countertop is amazing. Lucky you’!

  3. I just had Vetrazzo installed as part of a kitchen remodel. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is worth every dime of the admittedly high price. It’s truly a “get what you pay for” item.

    Thankfully my kitchen is small, so I decided to make this my one big splurge. I chose the Charisma Blue with Patina, which I learned is the same color that Vetrazzo’s CEO has for his office desk. I had another color in mind originally looking at the online samples, but La Jolla Mom is SO right… you have got to see it in person. California Countertops in La Mesa carries Vetrazzo and has a display with the Charisma Blue with Patina. It’s stunning. People who I never thought would notice have stopped in their tracks when they see this counter in my kitchen. After six months I’m happier than ever with it. It’s beautiful, durable, cleans up in a flash, and when I can’t clean up it STILL looks good – it will hide anything. What a transformation from nasty old white tile and grout, yick. The fact that it’s a green product and no minerals were mined out of the earth to make it is a huge plus. I thank every beer and vodka drinker who helped to empty the bottles that created my gorgeous kitchen! I’m even cooking more and that’s a miracle.

    1. Gayle! Thank you SO MUCH for your comment. I love hearing from people that actually have and have used aproduct. It IS stunning. I’ll look out for Charisma blue next time. I’m seriously still considering it and can swing it in one of our bathrooms. I just think it’s so unique and I’m glad you’re happy with it. I emailed for permission to use Vetrazzo’s high resolution photos but got tired of waiting so used the one I took in the showroom!

  4. We offer IceStone and we find that customers love the overall look of the material but sometimes the price tag can scare them away. As we say “It takes green to go green”

  5. Squak Mountain Stone & Trinity Glass Products: Pacific are 2 other great GREEN options for countertops manufactured in Seattle,WA and available nationwide.

    Tiger Mountain Innovations, LLC has recently made some great product improvements to their Squak Mountain Stone product. The coal fly-ash previously contained in the material has been substituted out with more recycled glass. Furthermore, the slabs are available in a nominal 56”³x96”³ size at 1-3/8”³ thickness. Slabs are gauged on the backside to ensure consistent thickness and ease of seaming for fabricators. A state-of-the-art vibration technology is used to minimize pinholes and give a more consistent character from slab to slab. Every Squak Mountain Stone concrete slab is hand-finished so it has a unique character similar to that of natural stones such as marble, travertine, and limestone. Squak Mountain Stone is generally used in kitchens and bathrooms as a counter top, table top or vanity top. If you haven’t seen the “new” Squak Mountain stone you really don’t know what you are missing out on!

  6. By the way, Home Depot now has their own line of glass recycled countertops!!! It’s called GEO and they’re beautiful and more affordable than Vetrazzo….

    1. Cammy, that’s exciting news. I’m going to check it out – perhaps it will inspire a new project. My master bathroom could use a facelift some day soon.

      FYI, nearly two years in and I still love my Vetrazzo as much as the day it was installed, probably more. Still looks amazing, I do little to no cleaning or maintenance. I don’t even see small things like stray blueberries or argula, so I have to wipe down the counter every so often to make sure there isn’t any food debris. This is the kind of problem I like to have.

      Thanks again for the GEO tip!

  7. Pingback: 5 Eco Considerations for a Full Bathroom Refurbishment | Planetsave

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