You will be redirected to your destination in 15 seconds.
Kitchen Renovation – Dilemmas and Decisions
The before shot with granite counters
My kitchen renovation is in full swing and I’m living in a construction site – ugh! But I’m already beginning to see my new space take shape, reflecting both the dilemmas and choices I initially made. First the easy part. As I wrote in my prior post, I liked my old kitchen plan and made just a few layout changes. I knew I wanted a whole new look and it wasn’t hard to zero in on style and color.
The struggles were almost all about green. Here’s a good example. I had beautiful Dakota Mahogany granite countertops in perfect condition and I was determined to reuse them. Granite is, after all, a non-renewable resource that claims durability as its greenest asset. It lasts forever, if it’s left in place. It is the perfect kitchen countertop material – heat, scratch and stain resistant – and contrary to what many fabricators tell you, needs no sealing. I was determined to reuse them and for that reason put a lot of effort into keeping the existing floor plan intact.
It was my contractor who burst my best-of-intentions bubble. Safely removing stone counters is difficult; in my case, he convinced me, almost impossible, and it would be more expensive in the end because of the bracing necessary to keep them stable. Practicality and budget won out and off they went to the salvage yard.
Choosing an alternative countertop posed another dilemma. The product I selected – ECO by Cosentino – has admirable environmental attributes beginning with the raw materials. 75 percent are derived from post industrial or post consumer recycled materials: mirrors salvaged from houses, building and factories; glass from windshields, windows and bottles; granulated glass from consumer recycling practices; porcelain from china, tiles, sinks, toilets and decorative elements; and, industrial furnace residuals from factories in the form of crystallized ash. The remaining 25 percent natural material is stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing and fabrication.
It is manufactured in Europe, however, and carries a larger carbon footprint than domestically produced products with similar attributes. But it had the same performance characteristics as granite: high performance against staining, scratching and scorching – and unlike competing products, no sealing required. Plus I preferred ECO’s color choices.
Did I go with the greenest possible solution? No, but I’m comfortable with my decision making process and trust that my granite is finding a new life – perhaps as scrap in a composite product. Happily it’s not in a landfill.