From Jennifer on August 20th, 2009 in Green Remodeling
Paper countertops? For real? Against all odds, a company in Hoquiam, Washington developed a solid surface material out of recycled paper. PaperStone by Paneltech International is made from recycled cardboard and office paper. Unlike particleboard, PaperStone is held together by natural resins that contain zero harmful chemicals, which for you, equals no VOCs or outgassing. The resin that holds the panels together is actually made from Cashew nutshell liquid (didn’t see that coming either). Purely organic and eco-friendly, PaperStone can earn you LEED points in your building or remodeling project.
According to Paneltech, the cost is comparable to granite, but the installation should be a bit less because the product is so easy to cut (do you suppose they use recycled scissors?). Paperstone is made by taking the recycled paper products and manufacturing them into new sheets, which are then soaked into the nutty resin and compressed into nonporous panels. These panels will never de-laminate and can stand the test of time (or at least rigorous lab experiments). They come in a standard 60” x 144” sheet, but can be cut down and applied to many projects, such as kitchen countertops, windowsills, doorway thresholds, tabletops, wall partitions, wall cladding and rain screens.
And best of all, it sure doesn’t look like recycled paper. PaperStone’s appearance is similar to a solid surface countertop (like Corian) but with a slight wood grain. It’s only available in a handful of colors, but my guess is that as the product grows in popularity and other green companies catch on, it’ll become more diverse in hue.
Although the product is still a bit of a green secret, there are PaperStone dealers all over the United States.
The next time you look at a cardboard box or the paper recycling bin at work, you’ll look at it a little differently, won’t you?