Amanda is an intern at Postgreen and will be posting semi-regularly on products she is researching. Be sure to give her good feedback as any one of these products might find their way onto the Postgreen Homes site and into one of our houses.
Based in Tacoma Washington, Richlite® Company has released countertops which are derived from renewable or recycled paper resources. Their products are durable, heat resistant up to 350 degrees, stain resistant, and they look pretty cool too! The FSC-certified or post-consumer recycled paper is treated with resin, pressed and then baked to create solid sheets. It’s strength allows for long spans and cantilevers without any additional support. Isn’t the freedom of design amazing?! Also, who is to say that you just have to use their product for countertops? Their products are also great for use in the application of wall caps, stair treads, flooring, and columns and, many other architectural details.
Richlite currently manufactures two different styles available in a variety of colors. FSC surfaces, which has a matte finish and is offered in many warm colors, adds a sense of softness to a spaces aesthetic equation. Their offered color names reflect natural and historical landmarks located near their main headquarters; chocolate glacier, browns point, yellow island, blue canyon, green mountain, redstone, and black diamond.
Cascade was released as a modern twist on their FSC surfaces. They are created from a layering process of their matte finish solids. One is able to choose from their offered styles or simply customize their own! Their styles include names inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range; rainier, shasta, adams, hood, little tahoma and baker.
A percentage of the paper used comes from the pulp that is derived from trees located in managed and sustainable forests’. The other percentage is derived from recycled resources. But the materials are not the only portion which makes an item green. During the production process, 99% of the volatile organic compounds are incinerated and that heat from incineration is used for the drying process. This allows for minimal thermal pollution and no hazardous waste is generated.
The prices vary depending on the color, the thickness and style. The FSC surfaces (all colors excluding black diamond) will run you about $41.33 on average per sq ft. Black diamond will run about $32.85 on average per sq ft. Color, shade, and grain are known to vary from samples and from sheet to sheet.
The Cascade line varies in price depending on the colors used in the layers and the thickness of each of them.
We need to begin to appreciate innovative surfaces and to replace the more traditional surfaces that we have grown up on.
Let me know what you think of Richlite’s countertop product in the comments.