Kitchen Countertops / September 20, 2018 / Darrence Miller.
The basics: Marble is a natural stone composed of calcium carbonate; it’s in the same stone family as limestone and travertine. Color variations occur in marble due to mineral impurities in the stone. Slabs, rather than tiles, are typically used for countertops, where the dramatic veining can be displayed.
Countertops are typically fabricated from 14- or 16-gauge material, which is then glued to a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to form a rigid surface. Type 304 stainless steel is commonly used, due to its higher chromium content (and therefore corrosion resistance) and ability to be welded without affecting its durability or strength. Most common is a number 4 brushed finish, but stainless steel is also available in satin (smooth), antique matte and any number of specialty patterns.
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.
Bamboo’s best green feature is that it’s a rapidly renewable resource, plus it’s naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Teragren, one of the best-known producers, offers an FSC-certified product called FSC-Pure. Be aware, though, that almost all commercial bamboo comes from China, so a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the United States.
You MightAlso Like
Ours Editor Picks ofThe Week