Recycled Glass Countertops: The New Kitchen Countertop Material of Choice
Marble Renovations Initial Thoughts
If you’re looking for a beautiful, eco-friendly countertop material for your kitchen remodel or new construction project, look no further than Recycled Glass Countertops. Made from recycled glass and available in an infinite array of colors, these counters are both stylish and durable.
They can be manufactured in any shape or size, making them the perfect choice for any kitchen. And once they are sealed, they do not absorb any liquid whatsoever – making them a great choice for busy kitchens!
So if you’re looking for a stylish, durable, and eco-friendly countertop material, Recycled Glass Countertops are a perfect choice.
How Recycled Glass Countertops are Made
Combining crushed glass chips with a binding resin or cement-based matrix creates recycled glass countertops. The method is similar to that used to manufacture quartz worktops.
The glass comes from a variety of sources, including industrial waste and post-consumer recycling programs for things like wine and beer bottles, windshields, and stained glass windows. Porcelain and seashells are also incorporated.
The proportion of glass to binder varies by manufacturer, but it’s generally around 80% glass and 20% binder. Some manufacturers use just a portion of new glass, whereas others utilize a percentage of recycled glass as well.
Recycled Glass Ratings & Best Maintenance Products
Recycled Glass Ratings
With over 35 years experience in the natural stone restoration trade we give Recycled Glass the below durability ratings.
Best Cleaning Product
By far the best product to clean Recycled Glass Countertops is Lithofin Power Clean. It’s acid free and suitable for all kitchen surfaces.
There are many products in the market designed to seal your natural stone. This is by far the best for Recycled Glass.
We only recommend products we have used ourselves and are happy to recommend to others. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to yourself.
Types of Recycled Glass Countertops
Recycled glass countertops (also called crushed glass countertops) are of two types. Most are made with chips of glass arranged terrazzo-style in a binder, but recycled glass can also be used to make solid glass surfaces.
Homogeneity Glass – This process converts recycled glass items into a single mass, which is then molded into solid slab glass countertops. So there are no scattered shards of glass in this arrangement.
Homogeneous glass surfaces may be any color, with custom textures and patterns added to make them glow. This design is less popular than the terrazzo style.
Terrazzo Look – The term “terrazzo” derives from the Italian word for “mixed.” In this case, it is made with glass chips and broken glass as a by-product or waste product of manufacturing and construction demolition.
Terrazzo style may be divided into two categories based on the kind of binders (cement or resin) used to create the countertops. Crushed and powdered glass fragments beneath each crystal offer a glistening dimension unseen in any other kind of surface.
Top Maintenance Tips For Recycled Glass Worktops
Cement vs. Resin Binders
Recycled glass countertops are formed from a cement or resin binder that is molded into the countertop slab. The binding matrix employed by each manufacturer varies, with each having its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
The concrete countertops are made of a cementitious matrix, such as Portland cement, to bind the crushed glass shards together. The finished surface has all of the same characteristics as concrete counters.
Cement-based recycled glass countertops are porous, and regular application of a sealer is required to protect against stains and preserve the surface from acidic substances such as vinegar, coffee, wine, or fruit juice that might etch it.
Many chemical compounds, including bleach and vinegar, can harm granite and resin surfaces as well. Also, many typical cleaners, such as acid-based detergent and ammonia-based products, can scratch, and cement is more prone to scratches than granite or resin surfaces.
Advantages of cement binders over resin:
Recycle – Cement may be recycled, but resins are not. Cement is a very common substance that opens the door for further recycling in the future.
Cost – Cement binders are less expensive.
Availability – Cement is more readily available than resins.
Heat Resistant – Although cement-based binders are also heat resistant, the sealers may not be.
Resin-based counters are stain and scratch-resistant and non-porous, but they do not withstand prolonged heat from hot pans or certain chemicals that may discolor or bleach the resin.
Advantages of resin binders over cement:
Non-porous – Resin is non-porous, so it does not require sealing.
Maintenance – No need to keep resealing. Much easier to maintain.
No Etching- Acids will not etch resin binders.
Very scratch-resistant – Will not scratch easily.
Eco-friendly – The binder can be made from renewable resources like corn.
Hygienic – Resin countertops are more resistant to penetration from microbes, making them easier to disinfect if needed
Movement – Resin allows a very small amount of movement without cracking, unlike cement.
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Pros & Cons of Recycled Glass Countertops
Naturally, each product has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Recycled glass counters are no exception. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of recycled glass worktops.
Pros of Recycled Glass Worktops:
Eco-Friendly – Reusing a lot of waste glass prevents it from going to landfills, and it also adds more green power to your home.
Beautiful Design – The glass’s depth and translucence attract the eye, creating fascinating visual appeal.
Easy Cleaning – It’s straightforward to clean recycled glass. Every time, hot water or a pH-neutral cleaner will do the job. It is possible to utilize soap if desired, but it will result in a dull film with regular usage. Depending on the type or brand of the countertop, some may need resealing once every few years.
Colour – It’s possible to produce any hue. During production, any color may be created by combining different pigments in various proportions.
Patterns – The glass chips are personalized to match your preferences.
Customization – The particular glass type and combination can be tailored to your needs. Some producers allow you to choose the glass chips’ makeup for the countertop. To match your kitchen design, you may choose the colors, mix them, or combine them with a matching matrix binder.
Cons of Recycled Glass Worktops:
Cost – Glass counters made of recycled glass are usually more expensive than granite. They are not a cheap alternative since they are more costly than granite and do not last nearly as long.
Glass fragments can become loose – Glass can easily be broken, but it may usually be mended. That’s something to think about while selecting an edge treatment. Some producers warn against applying edge treatments that create thinner cross-sections (such as an Ogee) since this raises the risk of glass chips being knocked loose.
Sealing – Cement-based materials require sealing to prevent stains from food and liquids.
Etching – Cement-based surfaces will be etched by acidic foods and chemicals.
Not Heat Resistant – Heat-resistant resin-based recycled glass countertops are heat resistant, but scorching can occur if the surface is exposed to prolonged heat or a hot pan.
Discoloration – Resin-based surfaces do not need to be sealed and are highly stain resistant, however certain cleaning agents and chemicals can cause discolored areas due to the type of surface. This damage is frequently irreversible.
Limited Availability – At the moment, you can’t just go to your local home improvement store and buy a recycled glass countertop.
It might be more difficult to find recycled glass for use in your remodeling project than if you were choosing a less common countertop material, but most people feel the extra effort was worthwhile.
However, numerous firms produce recycled glass surfaces and will guide you through the procedure of acquisition and installation.
How to Clean Recycled Glass Countertops
Regular Cleaning – Use hot water and a pH-neutral cleanser (such as for granite, marble, or quartz), and a soft cloth for rapid cleanings. Because most window cleaners include ammonia, which might etch and dull the surface, don’t use them. Of course, it won’t damage the glass; nevertheless, the binder can be damaged.
Ordinary Spills – Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. The countertop will be less likely to be damaged by acidic foods and beverages since you did this after the spill occurred.
Tough Stains – A poultice on a cement-based surface may help eradicate embedded food discoloration (dark areas). In some situations, a polishing powder can be used to remove etch marks.
Use Cutting Boards – Use cutting boards for food preparation, trivets for pots and pans, trays beneath coffee makers, soap dispensers or other bottles with liquids on the surface, and coasters for beverages to avoid acid etching and stains.
Sealing – Glass counters that have been recycled (cement-based) must be resealed every year or two. Even though glass is stain-free, the concrete matrix is porous. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply a sealer to your countertop.
Final Thoughts on Recycled Glass Worktops
Recycled glass countertops are excellent for the environment since they keep waste glass out of landfills and because the concrete-based countertops may be recycled. These kitchen worktops provide a distinct look and feel that can be customized in a variety of interesting ways.
Recycled glass surfaces are durable and sturdy, but they are not indestructible and do require special care to avoid stains and other damage.
Like all other surfaces, recycled glass countertops have their drawbacks, although their unique qualities and design features make them an excellent alternative for many homeowners.
If you are looking for a unique and environmentally friendly countertop option, recycled glass is a great choice. Recycled glass worktops and bathroom worktops are durable and easy to care for but should be sealed regularly to prevent staining. With a little bit of care, your recycled glass worktops will last for many years to come.
Don’t forget you can call us anytime if you have any questions or concerns about how to care for your kitchen worktops.