Lower Your Carbon Footprint with Natural Stone Countertops
Looking to lower the carbon footprint of your upcoming kitchen or bath redesign? Natural stone countertops make for a green investment, with minimal environmental impact and none of the pollution-inducing off-gassing of commonly fabricated products.
Natural stone such as granite, marble, quartzite, limestone, and soapstone, mined from solid rock, are sliced with diamond-tipped blades, then polished. Unlike man made laminate countertops and some engineered stones, the amount of energy used to craft the natural stone slabs for use as countertops is far less, producing relatively few carbon emissions.
Beautiful, safe, and relatively easy to maintain, stone countertops have many lasting attributes. With an enviably long lifespan of 30-50+ years, a natural stone counter is likely the last countertop you’ll ever have to buy – especially when compared to the frequent replacement, waste, and exponentially increased carbon footprint of downtrodden laminate. Changing tastes? Upcycle your stone and let someone else put it back into action.
Unlike the pollutants found in a wide range of building materials including laminate countertops, natural stone countertops won’t negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality, and concerns over radon have long since been debunked.
How Can You Ensure the Greenest Natural Stone Purchase Possible?
- Shop local.
Ask your premium stone retailer about countertop options sourced closest to you. Choosing a slab sourced closer to home minimizes the impact of carbon from transportation, making natural stone an increasingly green investment.
- Make use of ‘waste.’
Consider natural stone tile, which is made from the production remnants or natural stone slabs, resulting in less energy use in production, and minimize waste for disposal. If you opt for slabs instead, don’t toss off-cuts. Instead, repurpose waste cuts for other applications, such as seating, tabletops, or matching cutting boards.
- Use a non-toxic sealer.
Talk to your natural stone fabricator about low-VOC, non-toxic sealer options suited to your installation that won’t off-gas harmful pollutants into your home (and ultimately the environment).
If your tastes changes, don’t toss your countertops. Keep them out of the local landfill by selling or donating them, allowing someone else to give them a new life.
Shop local. View the stunning natural stone collection at your area Granite Imports today.
Searching for the best stone for an outdoor kitchen addition? Outdoor kitchens materials require careful selection and attention to detail to ensure they not only stand up to frequent use, but also the rigors of the outdoor environment. Which stones are capable of taking on such a gargantuan task?
The toughest natural stone countertop option for your outdoor kitchen, granite offers both looks and durability, coming in an array of color and pattern options. Though the stone does require regular sealing, it won’t fade or lose it shine. Granite also readily stands up to stains as well as the abuse of weather, and does not scratch or etch as easily as other natural stones.
Another great countertop contender for your outdoor kitchen, quartzite slabs bear similar qualities to granite, offering a hard, durable surface that can stand up to heavy use and the outdoor environment with very little fuss.
NOTE: Be careful not to confuse this stone with engineered quartz, which is a manmade stone that is not compatible with outdoor use.
Porous, like other stone options, soapstone slabs can make a beautiful addition to any patio kitchen when properly maintained. What does soapstone maintenance involve? Whether it is used inside or outside, keeping this natural stone properly oiled or sealed is recommended to prevent darkening from spills and fingerprints. Another plus: Soapstone stands up to heat and staining well. It does, however, scratch a bit more easily than other stone options, though these blemishes can be easily sanded out.
On par with soapstone, limestone slabs function well as an outdoor kitchen countertop. Like other stone options, it likewise requires regular sealing to guard against darkening from oil and fingerprints, as well as to improve resistance to staining and etching.
Though it feels hard to the touch, marble slabs are actually softer than other outdoor stone options, such as granite, and will develop a natural patina, weathering over time. This does not have to be a negative thing, as the stone will last for many years to come, however, if you’re looking for a continuously shiny surface, there may be better options to suit your style. Love the patina of weathered marble? Look to honed or tumbled finishes from the start and embrace the aging process, which this rougher finish will help camouflage. Don’t forget regular sealing, however, to ward off etching and stains on this classically beautiful stone.
Ensure a lasting return on your outdoor kitchen addition. Shop the selection of beautiful, durable, premium natural stone at Granite Imports today.
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