Engineered Quartz is manufactured by combining 93% natural quartz with 7% resin and a small amount of colour under extreme pressure to create a slab that is non-porous, extremely durable, and resistant to stains, scratches and heat. Quartz never needs a sealer and is cleaned with water and a mild detergent.
There are many different types of stone countertops that are offered on the market. One of the most popular nowadays is limestone. In the past couple of years, limestone has become an increasingly popular material to use in home countertops for many reasons. However, as with any type of home renovation, there are both pros and cons to having a limestone countertop installed in your home.
One of the biggest advantages to the limestone countertop is that there is an incredible amount of adaptability to this stone. The deluxe appearance of limestone makes it a popular installation for kitchens and bathrooms. Many home designers, as well as potential home buyers, find limestone to be a very sophisticated building material and the presence of it in your home can only help the sale.
In terms of the stone itself, limestone is highly durable. Limestone countertops have an incredible amount of heat resistance and are known for being very sturdy. Limestone bears a remarkable resemblance to marbleanother reason it is so well liked. The natural colour is typically a white or other sandy like colours. The colour of limestone makes it highly popular for professional chefs and other serious cooks. This is because the natural colour of limestone looks particularly good with the stainless steel features of professional grade kitchenware. Another reason many people choose to buy limestone for their countertops is because of the unique origin of limestone.
The stone is made over time from shells and fossils and is shaped by sand and aquatic life. Because of its origin many people choose limestone as their stone countertop due to the fact that it has a unique story and many homeowners value that origin. Despite the aesthetic pros of limestone countertops, there are several disadvantages of limestone that need to be considered before you purchase it. One such disadvantage is that limestone is fairly fragile compared to granite counter tops. In fact, limestone is known for being extremely easy to scratch. Also, since the stone is so pliable, limestone is easily discoloured, grazed, or otherwise etched.
We recommend applying sealant once every year, and cleaning with water or a cleanser specifically manufactured for natural stone.
Recycled glass countertops are gaining popularity in home design, and if you’ve seen them you understand why. From solid glass countertops that evoke images of the ocean or Georgian Bay, to spectacular counters of glass chips embedded in concrete, recycled glass countertops are nothing short of stunning. IceStone is available in Ontario (there are two other kinds of recycled glass countertops, Bio-Glass and Vertrazzo, but neither are commonly available in Ontario yet).
The glass used in recycled glass countertops is sourced from both post-consumer and pre-consumer sources. Post-consumer recycled glass sources are numerous, but the most common sources are curbside recycling and salvaged glass from demolished buildings. Curbside recycled glass from homes and businesses are the largest source of post-consumer recycled glass (California recycled 79% of its glass bottles in 2008), but salvage glass is an emerging new source.
Where the recycled glass countertops are made is another variable that is taken into account when determining the sustainability of a recycled glass countertop. At this time most of the companies manufacture their products in the United States, but recycled glass countertops have gained international interest. Now some foreign companies have begun to export recycled glass countertops to the USA.
Several recycled glass countertop manufacturers have committed to providing green jobs to the low-income neighbourhoods surrounding their manufacturing facilities. Some but not all of the manufacturers use facilities that are solar powered and/or day-lit by south facing skylights. These manufacturers will also incorporate some degree of water recycling in their polishing process.
IceStone is made in Brooklyn, New York. The glass used is either post-consumer (think Perrier bottles and Skye Vodka bottles), or post-industrial glass depending on the colour of the final product.
A few facts about IceStone:
- It’s available in 29 different colours
- Cost varies on style chosen, but a rough guide is between $80-$160/square foot installation
- If sealed properly, it will not stain easily
- It does not chip easily
- The product is a mixture of 80% recycled glass and 20% concrete (no fillers in the concrete). It’s made by binding the glass in tinted concrete (to match or complement the glass chips) and polished to a high gloss. Countertops can be honed, if you prefer
- Lifespan: the same as natural stone if installed and cared for properly. End of lifespan: IceStone can be crushed and used to make paving materials and other similar items
- It’s received the C2C Gold certification from MBDC an independent third party certification design firm