When it comes to sustainable interior design, countertops might not be top of mind. The words “environmentally friendly” probably make you think about duvets, sheets, and linens, but don’t forget about recycled materials, responsibly sourced stone, or low-impact manufactured surfaces. For those of you planning—or daydreaming about—a new look for your countertops, I’m sharing some of my favorites man-made options.
1. Neolith Sintered Stone
If you’re looking for an option that brings performance and style together, I think you’ll love Neolith countertops. Granite minerals make this material super strong, so wear-and-tear or structural integrity won’t be a problem, and added glass and silica give it a beautiful and natural finish. When it comes to sustainable countertops, Neolith is definitely my first choice for any kind of outdoor kitchen or entertaining area. UV resistance and near-zero absorption levels mean you won't need to worry about weather damage—from your sunniest summers to your rainiest winters. Available in slate, natural stone, wood grain, and even “river-washed,” you can find a gorgeous finish for just about any space.
2. Durat Solid Surface
For larger areas, like extended bathroom vanities or long kitchen countertops, I’d recommend checking out Durat. Made with recycled materials from medical and cellphone industries, Durat has a beautiful speckled look that can be combined seamlessly in side-by-side sheets. It’s definitely the most versatile of these sustainable options…. Durat comes in more than 300 standard background colors, from inky black to hot pink. If you need a pop of contrast or you’re looking to make a bold statement, Durat’s the one to beat.
Made from 50-100% recycled paper and natural pigments, PaperStone is one of the most beautiful and sustainable options. It’s also less brittle than stone or artificial quartz, heat- and stain-resistant, and easily repaired if you wind up with scratches or dings. Like most manufactured countertops, PaperStone can be made to fit almost any area or surface size, sometimes with fewer (or even zero) seams compared to other alternatives.
4. IceStone Recycled Glass
For something more reminiscent of granite or speckled rock, IceStone would be a great fit. Made from Portland cement, recycled glass, and nontoxic pigments, this material combines the best of sustainable and stylish design. It’s not as durable as the options above, so I’d probably avoid kitchen countertops or islands (and be very careful with strong cleaning products or acids). With 17 different color options, you’re sure to find the perfect shade—my personal favorite is Gotham Grey.
Even if you aren’t designing your home with sustainability in mind, these eco-friendly options offer more than a warm and fuzzy feeling. Flexible color palettes and superior durability make any of these options a fantastic choice for almost any space.