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Eco Friendly Concrete Countertops – 5 Pointers

concrete-countertopsConcrete and paper countertops are some of the hottest trends in environmentally friendly design.  However, not all concrete is made the same.  Some can be more eco friendly than others.  Here are some ways to make sure your concrete countertops are green.

1.  Make sure there is as little portland cement in the mix as possible.  Portland cement takes a lot of energy to produce, and thought the end product may be green, the process is not.

2.  Use industrial waste byproducts such as fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume.  This is all waste from steel mills, and coal-fired power plants.  These materials can also add wonderful color to the cement as well.  According to concretenetwork.com, fly ash makes cement  more durable, stronger and easier to work with.

3.  Use recycled glass and/or stone as aggregate substitutes.  This can also add a lot of visual appeal instead of having just a plain grey countertop.

4.  Consider using glass-fiber reinforced concrete or GFRC.  It uses far less portland cement than traditional concrete, and it has a lot of recycled material already in it.  Depending on the thickness it can be more expensive, however, since GFRC is stronger than traditional concrete, it can be poured to .75 to 1″ rather than the industry standard of 1.5-2″.  Less material is needed so the cost is comparable.

5.  Watch what goes on top of the concrete as well.  Make sure the sealer is not petroleum based.  There are many vegetable oil based products out there that to a wonderful job such as Bio-Release EF from Dayton Superior and Farm Fresh from Unitex.  There are also water-based sealers like V-Seal 101 (www.vseal.com) and Pro-Seal US II-A (www.prosealproducts.com) that are also environmentally friendly and, like the vegetable oil based sealers, will have very low VOCs.

via concretenetwork.com

image via truformconcrete

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