Recycled Glass Countertop Prices
Countertops designed from recycled glass bound with cement are a relatively new product. A materials scientist first created them in 1995. Recycled glass countertops use a minimum of 85% post-consumer recycled glass materials. In order to create a solid and flat surface, the pieces of recycled glass are mixed into cement, resin or melted to form a new sheet of solid glass. The recycled glass may come from a variety of sources including commercial and residential recycling. Because glass accounts for 5%-10% of consumer waste, recycling the glass into other materials such as countertops for homes helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and also saves energy. Recycled glass countertops can be custom designed or purchased from a manufacturer's stock. Installation of recycled glass countertops must be done by a professional, so as to not damage the surface, finish or polish of the materials.
The average minimum cost of recycled glass countertops is $75.09/sf.
The average maximum cost of recycled glass countertops is $106.03/sf.
In addition to the cost of the primary materials, there are some other expenses associated with the installation or recycled glass countertops. Supplies such as adhesives, sealants and screws add an average of $2.71 per square foot for the installation of recycled glass countertops. Installing recycled glass countertops is a labor-intensive process that should be done by experienced professionals. The average price for the installers is $82.55 per hour. The installation of recycled glass countertops on areas where more than two seams is required will take longer. Countertops with sculpted edges or complex shapes also cost more to install.
Recycled glass countertops are composed mostly of recycled glass along with a binder that creates a solid surface and holds the pieces of glass together. Alternatively, some recycled glass countertops are solid glass that has been melted and made solid without additional materials to bind it.
Homeowners can select from different types of recycled glass countertops. The types of recycled glass countertops are determined by the type of binder and construction of the surface. Understanding which binder is used is essential, so the homeowner knows how to care for the countertop. The three types of recycled glass countertops are:
Cement Bound Recycled Glass Countertops: This type of countertop is created like cookie dough. The pieces of recycled glass are like the chocolate chips while the cement binder is like the dough. Portland cement is the most common type of cement used in countertop production. This process forms a terazzo or chip finish.
Resin Bound Recycled Glass Countertops: This type of countertop is created in the same way as cement bound, but instead of cement, a resin binder created out of plastic is used. Plastic is less porous and lighter in weight than cement.
Homogoneous Glass: In this process, recycled consumer or industrial glass is melted and poured to create a flat surface. In this type of recycled glass countertop, 100% of the material can be from recycled sources.
Recycled glass countertops do not have specific grades but can be rated by how "green" they are. While all recycled glass countertops use recycled materials, some are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than others. The green rating of these countertops includes:
100% recycled materials: Only homogenous recycled glass countertops achieve this distinction.
85% or more recycled materials: This can include countertops that are created with cement or resin binders. In the case of cement, recycled ash and slag can be used in the production of the binder. Diverting these materials from the landfills adds to the eco-friendliness of the material. Resins can be created from recycled plastics.
75% or more recycled materials: In this type of recycled glass countertop, only the glass has been recycled. The binders are created from new materials.
Some of the most popular brands of recycled glass countertops include those made by Vetrazzo, The Green Building Center, EnviroGlas, Resilica and Bottle Alley Glass. Homeowners can also find a local company to create a recycled glass countertop out of glass from their own collection or from locally sourced materials. Creation of a custom recycled glass countertop typically costs the same amount of money as choosing one that from a manufacturer's stock, unless the homeowner desires a complex design or special effects.
Advantages of Recycled Glass Countertops
There are many advantages to installing recycled glass countertops in a home's kitchen or bathroom. The leading advantage of this material is the unique look it provides. No two slabs of recycled glass are identical. The recycled glass countertops can be created with one tone of glass such as shades of blue, green or brown to create a synchronous color effect. Homeowners looking for an eclectic finish can choose a countertop that includes a rainbow of colors of glass. Recycled glass countertops are easy to maintain. Spills can be easily wiped off with a clean towel. Glass does not stain. Disinfecting the countertops is easily done with a bleach solution that will not harm the glass. Recycled glass is highly durable and can withstand the heat of a pan. This material is eco-friendly and comes from a range of sources including traffic lights, drink bottles, old residential windows and automobile windows. Recycled glass countertops are more affordable than many other popular materials such as granite.
Disadvantages of Recycled Glass Countertops
Because recycled glass countertops are a relatively new invention, they have not been time tested for longevity and reliability. As in the case of 1970s harvest gold, recycled glass is trendy and may make a home look dated in a decade or two. The glass can unexpectedly chip or crack during use. Recycled glass countertops may be difficult to find as there are few manufacturers of the product. Even though they use reclaimed materials, recycled glass countertops cost more than laminate or countertops.
Last updated on Oct 24, 2014
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