Materials

Materials


Material Green Rating Expense Range Pros Cons Maintenance
Stainless Steel Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Can be made with an integral sink
  • Won’t fade, rust or chip
  • Fresh modern look
  • Professional kitchen
Scratches can be apparent though are easily removed with a Scotch-Brite pad
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • Stainless Steel Magic works well
  • Use a Scotch-Brite pad to manage scratches
Copper Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Can be made with an integral sink
  • Develops a rich patina
  • Living, changing, finish
  • Matte or mirror polished
  • Use a trivet and cutting board
  • Not scratch proof
  • Reactive to lemon or acidic foods
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • Patina may easily be removed with a metal polish
Zinc Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Can be made with an integral sink
  • Develops a lite patina
  • Matte or mirror polished
  • Use a trivet and cutting board
  • Not scratch proof
  • Can be made with an integral sink
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • Patina may easily be removed with a metal polish
Bronze Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Can be made with an integral sink
  • Develops a rich patina
  • Living, changing, finish
  • Charming country look
  • Matte or mirror polished
  • Use a trivet and cutting board
  • Not scratch proof
  • Reactive to lemon or acidic foods
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • Patina may easily be removed with a metal polish
Pewter Totally Recyclable Very High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Develops a gradual patina
  • Matte or mirror polished
  • Use a trivet and cutting board
  • Not scratch proof
  • Very soft material
  • Reactive to lemon or acidic foods
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • Patina may easily be removed with a metal polish
Nickel Totally Recyclable Very High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Extremely durable
  • Great Nickel color
  • Matte or mirror polished
  • Price prohibitive
  • Solid metal is extremely costly
  • Keep surface dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
Steel Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Great for furniture
  • Great for a bar top under a clear finish
  • Not recommended for a kitchen countertop
  • Water makes steel rust
  • Can be sanded clean to bare metal and re-finished
Glass Totally Recyclable High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • May be edge lit
  • Colored back painting
  • Cutting edge design element
  • Can scratch
  • Use trivets
  • Towel-dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with Windex or other mild cleansers
  • Do not use abrasives
Fusion Glass Totally Recyclable Very High
  • Heatproof
  • Stainproof
  • Various colors and textures are available
  • May be edge lit
  • Cutting edge design element
  • Striking material for upper bar tops
  • Can scratch
  • Use trivets
  • Towel dry to prevent water spots
  • Clean with Windex or other mild cleansers
  • Do not use abrasives
Wood-
Premium Wide Plank (Face-Grain)
A Renewable Resource. Recyclable Moderate-High
  • Wide variety of hardwoods available
  • Hand-selected wide boards
  • Artisan Crafted and finished
  • Warm appearance and renewable surface
  • Undermount sinks work well
  • Hand-rubbed stainproof "Marine oil finish."TM
  • Use a trivet and cutting board
  • Clean with most household cleaners including Windex or Fantastik
  • No additional sealing is necessary. May be scrubbed.
  • Weiman’s wood crème every few months
Wood-
Standard Plank (Face-Grain)
A Renewable Resource. Recyclable Moderate
  • Wide variety of hardwoods available
  • Artisan Crafted and finished
  • Warm appearance and renewable surface
  • “Waterlox” waterproof finish
  • Has a thin finish that needs periodic recoating
  • Boards are thinner and random and may not be pleasing in pattern and color. Can be uneven and include sapwood
  • Clean with mild detergents
  • Recoat after cleaning and sanding with Waterlox brand wood finish
Wood-
Edge Grain (Butcher Block)
A Renewable Resource. Recyclable Low-Moderate
  • Wide variety of hardwoods available
  • Made to be used as a cutting surface
  • Warm appearance and renewable surface
  • Too easily recognized as a “budget” material
  • Not heatproof so use trivet at the stove
  • Shows wear over time
  • Will split and stain if not maintained with oil
  • Must be oiled regularly
  • Use Butcher block dressing oil regularly
  • Clean after food prep with mild detergent
  • May be sanded down to a fresh cutting surface
Wood-
End Grain (Butcher Block - Checkerboard Style)
A Renewable Resource. Recyclable Moderate-High
  • Thickness can range from 2” to up to 24” thick
  • Charming and traditional
  • Made to be used as a cutting surface
  • Warm appearance and renewable surface
  • Not heatproof so use trivet at the stove
  • Shows wear over time
  • May change counter height due to thickness
  • Will split and stain if not maintained with oil
  • Must be oiled regularly
  • Use Butcher block dressing oil regularly
  • Clean after food prep with mild detergent
  • May be sanded down to a fresh cutting surface
Marble Recyclable As Aggregate Moderate-High
  • Many colors and choices
  • Heatproof
  • Waterproof
  • Somewhat stain resistant
  • Prone to etching and staining from acidic foods
  • Can scratch if used for cutting
  • Edges can chip
  • Difficult to repair in field
  • Use mild cleaners without vinegar, lemon or citric acid, which can etch it
  • Wipe with penetrating sealer periodically
Granite Recyclable As Aggregate Low-High
  • Many colors and choices
  • Heat proof
  • Waterproof
  • Can be used with undermount sinks
  • Somewhat stain resistant
  • The surface is very hard and cold
  • The hard surface is tough on breakables
  • May stain
  • Can easily look monolithic
  • Samples may not match slabs in stock
  • Blot spills quickly
  • Wash with mild detergents and water
  • Use a penetrating sealer regularly
Solid Surface (Corian, Fountainhead, Surrell) No Low-High
  • Sanitary work surface
  • Wide selection of colors and textures
  • Integral sinks and drain boards
  • While scratch resistant, use a cutting board and trivets
  • Not a natural look
  • Use mild detergents
  • Scotch-Brite pad
White Glass Recyclable As Aggregate Very high
  • Great color and look
  • Mitered epoxy edges chip easily
  • Scratchable soft glass from China
  • Clean with Windex or other mild cleansers
  • Do not use abrasives
Limestone Recyclable As Aggregate Moderate-High
  • Beautiful soft colors and low sheen
  • Easily stains
  • Requires re-sealing
  • Soft material, chips easily
  • Reactive with acidic foods
  • Absorbent surface
  • Not heat-resistant, hot pots can leave a shadow
  • Blot spills quickly
  • Wash with mild detergents and water
  • Use a penetrating sealer regularly
Soap Stone Recyclable As Aggregate High
  • Resistant to stains and low heat
  • Smooth to the touch
  • Darkens with time
  • More likely to crack or chip than harder stones. Use a trivet and cutting boards.
  • Blot spills quickly
  • Mild cleaners
  • Re-oil with mineral oil to prevent drying out
Quartz – (Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq, CaesarStone) No Moderate
  • Stainproof
  • Variety of colors and textures
  • Nice tactile feel
  • Can be monolithic if used throughout
  • A synthetic made to look like stone. Not natural. Not Green.
  • Use a cutting board
  • Use mild detergents
  • Scotch-Brite pad