Some homeowners who remodel or build new homes have an interest in recycled glass countertops instead of the more traditional granite countertops for environmental reasons. The choice between these two countertops is not always clear. If you are planning to install or replace your own countertop, you may want to compare some of the factors relating to both the glass and granite countertops.
While granite used for countertops is cut from blocks that come from granite quarries, recycled glass is manufactured from crushed glass windows and other glass products. This glass is then melted, colored, mixed with resins, and finally molded. The final glass countertop is good at resisting stains and scratches. One principal difference between the two products is in color choices. Since recycled glass is manufactured in a variety of colors and granite is more limited in color choices, you are more likely to find a glass countertop with a color that is more compatible with existing colors in your kitchen. Another difference relates to preserving natural resources. Once the granite block from which countertops are cut is cut out of the earth, it cannot be replaced. Glass, by contrast, makes use of recycled materials that would otherwise fill our garbage dumps and would more likely pollute our planet.
Granite color patterns from individual quarries are nearly unique in each quarry. Colors of granite you may wish to install as a countertop may not be available from quarries in the United States and may need to be imported from other countries.
Many colors and patterns of recycled glass, by contrast, can be manufactured domestically giving you a wider variety of colors and grain patterns from which to choose. Some manufacturers of recycled glass will take orders for countertops with custom colors. Glass used in manufacturing countertops can vary greatly in appearance because of the size of the glass pieces and particles used to manufacture the countertop. Another factor that determines the appearance of glass countertops is that some glass pieces used in these countertops are transparent, while others are translucent or opaque.
Durability and Care
Because granite is a natural stone product, it is more vulnerable to staining, scratching, and chipping. This means it will typically need to be cleaned with cleansers that are not gritty or harsh enough to scratch or mar the marble's finish. Nearly all granite countertops can be sealed to reduce the chances of staining or scratching, but they will usually require periodic re-sealing. By contrast, not all recycled glass countertops offer the same resistance to staining and scratching. These vulnerabilities will vary with each manufacturer. Some glass countertops will require the same care as do granite countertops. In purchasing your glass countertop you should check with the retailer or contractor you purchase your countertop from to determine the type of care it will require.
Recycled glass countertop prices will vary depending on the product and its manufacturer. The same is true of granite countertops, whose prices will vary depending to some degree on whether the granite is domestic or mined from a quarry in a foreign country. Some glass countertops can be purchased for approximately the same cost as a medium-priced granite countertop.