Upgrading kitchens is one of the best ways to increase value in your home. Deciding to remodel the kitchen using green recycled materials can add extra appeal. It also gives homeowners a good feeling knowing that once-wasted materials that are generated from glass manufacturers are now being put to good use.
"A lot of people are deciding to go green and this is definitely a green-certified product because it is 85 percent recycled glass," says Cody Nosko, President of CCM Enterprises.
She's talking about Vetrazzo -- a slab of material made from recycled glass and concrete and used mostly in residential homes for kitchen and bathroom countertops although it can go anywhere natural stone is commonly used. The glass comes from many sources such as windows, drinking glasses, automotive glasses, laboratory glass, and even decommissioned traffic light lenses. The product is frequently compared to granite.
"It has the same good qualities as granite as far as being heat resistant, scratch resistant, and stain resistant," says Nosko.
The product grew from a very small offering of colors to a large variety of choices. "It's much more readily available today to meet the needs of people who are looking for green recycled products," says Nosko.
What's making it so popular? Its high-end vibrant look, durability, and easy maintenance.
The product comes with a 10-year warranty. It's sealed after it is installed. Nosko recommends, "To keep it looking just like new, we recommend using a marble wax and you wax it once a year—similar to what you would do to your car." The frequency of waxing really depends on if you use your kitchen a lot, whether you have children in the house, and how much overall wear and tear is done to your kitchen.
"All the chips that are in there are actual pieces of glass so, like granite, it can chip and it can get scratched but it is repairable. If you chip it, and you have the piece of glass, it can be put back in," says Nosko.
But perhaps, the story that goes along with each countertop installed is yet another reason that homeowners are choosing Vetrazzo. It's where the glass comes from that makes the product look so intriguing and unique.
"They have a color called Alehouse Amber which is obviously made up of the green Heineken bottles and the regular amber-colored beer bottles," says Nosko.
"They have another color that's called Cobalt Skyy which is nothing but Skyy Vodka bottles," says Nosko.
"They have one that's called Glass House. The glass comes from any factories that get torn down, the glass gets taken out, crushed up, and recycled," says Nosko.
Manufacturers even came out with a limited-edition called Firehouse Red.
Nosko says the Vetrazzo color palette continues to evolve as new sources for recycled glass are found.
"There are certain colors that I would not recommend putting in a home if you are going to resell the home. Of course, it depends on the location of the home and the market of buyers that you're going to have looking at the home," says Nosko.
"There's one that looks like confetti which you might want to put somewhere for fun like in a bar or in a game room or something like that but I wouldn't recommend it for your main countertop in your kitchen," says Nosko.
She says Alehouse Amber, Palladian Grey, and a Bistro green are good colors that homeowners likely won't tire of and will be aesthetically pleasing to future buyers.
You'll pay more for Vetrazzo than you will for granite. "With our company you could get into an entry-level slab of granite [for approximately] $50 a square-foot installed. The Vetrazzo will probably cost you double that to get an entry-level Vetrazzo because the material is that much more expensive and it still comes in slab form just like granite does," says Nosko.
It's a green product that offers a sense of pride to homeowners just knowing that as they sip a glass of wine at the kitchen countertop, the glass from the empty bottle will someday appear in another home somewhere in the world.