PaperStone, aka “the Earth’s Surface,” is quite popular in green building projects. It’s most commonly used for countertops and currently available in three eco-options. “Original” is made from 50% post-consumer materials, “Certified” is made from 100% recycled materials, and “Virgin” is made from virgin fiber sources.
PaperStone can also be used for a variety of other applications including partitions and exterior siding. It has a smooth, matte surface similar to soapstone. The Original series is available in 5 colors and the Certified series is available in 7 colors.
I prefer the colors in the Certified series — they are a bit more modern where the Original series has a country feel. PaperStone is highly heat resistant and almost impervious to water. Standard panels are 60″x144″ and you have the choice of 3/4″, 1″, or 1-1/4″ thicknesses. PaperStone costs about $60 /sf, although I have seen a wide range of prices online.
On PaperStone’s site you can find dealers in almost every state, as well as Handyman Specials, which are marked down pieces for the do-it-yourself person. PaperStone can be fabricated with traditional woodworking tools, and therefore, your local cabinetmaker or finish carpenter may be able to cut, finish, and install it for you (although if they have never worked with it before, they are recommended to speak with a dealer).
Overall, PaperStone is a simple, yet elegant product that will bring warmth to any room, especially the kitchen. It is a great alternative for those who don’t want the cool, modern feel of glass and concrete, which is very popular in the green countertop market.
Image Credit: PaperStone & Green Building Supply.