Green Solutions for Kitchen and Bath Decor: Consider these Earth-friendly options for your next remodeling project
Whatever the style and color scheme of your kitchen or bath remodel, it's getting easier to add a little green. Products that incorporate recycled materials and are free of harmful, off-gassing chemicals are increasing in availability and offer beautiful solutions for interior design. Following is a selection of products to consider for your own project.
WallsSherwin-Williams now has two lines of environmentally preferred GreenSure interior paint in its product palette. Duration Home? Interior Latex is a low-VOC (volatile organic compound), lower-odor waterborne formula with superior washability and resistance to burnish marks and mildew. Harmony® Interior Latex is completely VOC-free, as well as anti-microbial, low odor and silica-free for quick occupancy of newly painted spaces. Also a waterborne formulation, Harmony is available as both a primer and topcoat in flat, eg-shel and semi-gloss finishes.Add unexpected texture and a contemporary twist with Jelly Bean Rocks tile, a new creation from Fireclay Tile. The Jelly Bean Glass style makes use of tumbled recycled glass pebbles, which are mesh-mounted in a field of semi-transparent glass. Varieties featuring natural stone pebbles in different colors and patterns are also available.
CountertopsCreate a custom countertop or luminous vanity with selections from Oceanside Glasstile. The beautifully handcrafted result of sustainable manufacturing practices, all Oceanside tiles are composed of silica sand, an abundant natural resource, and 86 percent recycled material --in fact, that soda bottle you dropped into recycling months ago could wind up in your home again, as Oceanside uses over two million pounds per year of glass collected from curbside recycling programs. Finishes range from shimmering irridescents to matte that mimics cast ceramics, and all eight collections can be mixed and matched to suit your style.IceStone transforms glass from computer screens, crushed windshields and more into VOC-free cast countertops available in a spectrum of appealing colors. This durable material can also be used for flooring or wallcovering.Make surfaces sleek and unique with recycled aluminum countertops and tiles from Eleek. Thanks to a non-toxic, non-reactive sealing finish that creates a resemblance to weathered stone, they don?t fingerprint like stainless steel, and are stain-proof, heat resistant up to 300 degrees, and durable.
FloorsOld wood finds new life in reclaimed flooring from TerraMai. From their Northern California base, the company's reclamation team travels around the world to rescue rare, old-growth wood from structures slated for demolition. The resulting flooring products range in style, tone and finish, but all have incomparable beauty in common.Teragren actually grows its own flooring products, transforming a rapidly renewable species of bamboo into solid strip, strand and wide-plank varieties. Their new Synergy product provides extra toughness by combining bamboo fibers, an environmentally safe adhesive and extreme pressure for a result that?s 100 percent harder than Red Oak -- not a bad option for high-traffic kitchens.
Cabinetry and trimGreenway Cabinetry's Breathe Easy? line allows you to do just that with systems designed with indoor air quality in mind. Cabinets are constructed from responsibly harvested solid wood, formaldehyde-free plywood boxes, and non-toxic water-based glues and finishes. A range of door styles are available, as are custom designs.Among BioShield's many paint and finish offerings is Aqua Resin Stain Finish, a water-based, solvent-free, zero-VOC, low-drip product that's resilient enough for use outdoors or in. Eight wood colors and ten vibrant accent shades are available for application to windows, doors, wood paneling and architectural woodwork.
Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show's podcast or sign-up for Tom's free weekly e-newsletter, visit the program's Web site.