How expensive are terrazzo countertops?
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We need eco-friendly countertops and we've heard Terrazzo is the way to go but how expensive are they? Is going green worth it if they are too pricey?
Terrazzo countertops are a great choice for a green kitchen, and I love the way they look. Terrazzo usually refers to marble chips cast into a slab, tile or flooring. Lately a lot of products have entered the market that substitute recycled glass chips for the marble.
- Both are very durable -- longevity is an important consideration in a green material. If you do not need to replace it, you are not using raw materials to create the replacement product, and not adding anything to the landfill.
- These materials are very easy to clean, and do not need harsh chemicals to clean or seal them.
- Both use recycled components for the bulk of their volume. In the case of traditional terrazzo, most of this material is marble chips that are a byproduct of marble processing, thus making it a postindustrial recycled product. Glass terrazzo uses a combination of postindustrial recycled waste (from glass manufacturers) and postconsumer glass such as bottles and windshields.
- The cement-based terrazzos feel more like stone, and like stone they need to be sealed. Although the glass or marble is pretty impervious to staining, the cement between the chunks of glass is porous and can show a red wine ring or similar stain.
- The resin-based countertops are more resistant to staining but do not feel as much like stone, and are made from a petrochemical material.
If you love the look of these materials, but are quietly having fits about the price as you read this post, there still is another option for you. Wausau tile makes large-format terazzo and glass terrazzo tile, sold through Dal Tile showrooms, which can be used as countertops. I know most people want a slab rather than a tile counter, but their tiles are available up to 24" by 24", which means you would only have one grout line every two feet. These tiles have a top price of about $35 a square foot, without labor, and thus are an affordable way to get a terrazzo look.