Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House. It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.” The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil. Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.
Viridian Reclaimed Wood, a company we first mentioned in relation to their shipping pallet flooring, recently introduced a new range of FSC-certified, reclaimed, old-growth Douglas Fir tabletops. Co-owner Joe Mitchoff said the tabletops come from an inventory of beams reclaimed from abandoned warehouses, decrepit docks, and old gymnasiums.
Elements by Durcon is officially launching in the DFW market in Texas, where it is also manufactured (about 200 miles from Dallas in Taylor). The eco-friendly surface is made with a proprietary blend of at least 10% post-consumer recycled glass, natural quartz minerals, and resin to create a low-VOC material that’s solid, non-porous, and “never requires sealing,” according to Durcon.
So, what do you get when you sandwich a plywood bamboo material called PlyBoo with two sheets of a paper-composite called Richlite? Stratum, a new countertop material made through a venture between Smith & Fong and Richlite Company. The material was inspired by nature and the majestic basalt cliffs of Palouse Canyon in eastern Washington.
North Carolina-based Meld USA, maker of several materials we’ve mentioned including ecoX, Micro, and Plus Plus, introduced a new material in the last year called Luxe. Luxe is made in Raleigh with up to 74% pre-consumer recycled-content material and can be used with various products, including countertops, tiles, and wall paneling. Meld offers six standard colors — Natural, Cement, Graphite, Saddleback, Caper and Southern Mud — and basically infinite custom colors.
It seems like manufacturers are turning to third parties to validate environmental claims with increasing frequency lately. For example, I just learned that DuPont expanded their Corian Terra line of solid surfaces and five colors have at least 20% pre-consumer recycled resin content, according to Scientific Certification Systems. Several other colors have at least 13% and the rest have a minimum of 6% pre-consumer recycled resin content. In addition, all colors are GREENGUARD certified; they’re non-porous and do not promote the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria, according to DuPont.