Paperstone Countertops: A Durable and Beautiful Option Made From Recycled Paper

By: | October 17th, 2015

PaperStone®

The company rightly refers to its product as a “countertop with a conscience.” And, certifiably so! They’re waterproof, heat-resistant, and super strong, as well as Earth-friendly and beautiful.

PaperStone® is certified to meet the high standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), per the Rainforest Alliance. This strict adherence to sustainability can also help to provide points toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) certification of buildings where installed.

It’s hard to imagine that a countertop made from paper could actually be all it’s touted to be. Who doesn’t remember particle board that first expands and then disintegrates into sawdust with the least bit of moisture? But, the company swears their proprietary “Petrofree phenolic resins” combined with the manufacturing processes are what make the difference in this composite’s durability.

What about the resins? Do the countertops outgas formaldehyde and other toxins? Absolutely not! The Earth-friendly Paperstone countertops are free of all VOCs, including formaldehyde, and do not emit the lung cancer-causing radon gas. They are certified “food safe” by the NSF.

According to the website, the manufacturing process is what gives their product its strength and durability. “Resin-saturated sheets are stacked together and moved into a press where they are consolidated under heat and pressure. The number of paper sheets pressed determines the finished thickness.” It is strong enough to be cantilevered up to 18 inches for a 3/4-inch thick slab. And, it is heat resistant to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

PaperStone®

PaperStone®

The surface is literally waterproof and, if marred, can be lightly sanded and coated with a natural finish.

It is priced within a typical market range and comes in a variety of earthy tones. Installation is comparable to, if not easier than, other types of countertops. An experienced do-it-yourself carpenter with carbide-tipped woodworking tools could do the installation.

The countertop material can be used in home kitchens and baths, as well as more commercial applications such as conference tabletops. It can also be used vertically as partitions, and even cabinets.

The core values of the company revolve around “collective creativity” and environmental sustainability. “We intend to tread lightly on the earth by being both innovative and environmentally aware…. Collectively, we can change the economic landscape and make a difference in the world.”

If you’re thinking of a kitchen or bath remodel, or maybe starting a new business, and you want your choices to leave a light footprint on the earth, Paperstone might be just the eco-friendly surface you’ve been hoping for.

Carol Mosley is a social ecologist, freelance writer, human rights activist, mini-farmer, and educator.

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