Environmentally-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling
Green home design can help reduce homeowners’ carbon footprints without sacrificing style and comfort.
Green building products provide stylish and functional design options that are pleasing to the eye and to the environment. When remodeling a kitchen, homeowners can easily integrate eco-friendly materials into many areas.
Kitchen Flooring Options
Starting with the floors, homeowners can choose from a variety of renewable materials that provide modern and sleek flooring solutions.
Bamboo flooring has the look of wood, but is made from a material that can easily be farmed and replenished. Bamboo flooring comes in a variety of styles and stains, from light to a dark cherry. Flooring materials made of bamboo are very often installed using the same methods to install wood floors. Bamboo is durable and, with proper care, should last for many years in most homes.
Cork also provides an environmentally-sound option for kitchen flooring. Though most think of cork as being stuffed in the end of a wine bottle, cork can be manufactured in a range of textures and colours and can be just as durable as hardwood. Cork also provides excellent insulation for cold and noise. It is an extremely versatile flooring material. Because it can be harvested from a tree’s bark without cutting it down, cork makes an excellent green building product.
Though many specialty stores carry both bamboo and cork floors, most large home stores are now also carrying these supplies. Lowes provides a selection of bamboo and cork floors and most can be viewed on their web site.
Kitchen Countertop Materials
Counters may get as much traffic as the floors in a kitchen. Knives, mallets and hot pots all come into contact with countertops and they must be able to live up to daily ware and tear. Luckily, green countertops are just as durable as traditional countertops and they come in a variety of color choices.
Recycled glass countertops are created by combining resin with crushed glass. The finish is smooth and produces a subtle sparkle when the light hits the glass. Since glass can be made in most colors, these countertops have endless color possibilities. Most are made with a combination of two to three different colors of glass. Enviroglas and IceStone are the two leading manufacturers of recycled glass countertops.
Made in a similar way as the glass countertops, recycled metal countertops provide an eye-catching modern look. The shiny metal shavings are permanently suspended in a sturdy resin material. This material is a beautiful alternative for those who enjoy the look of stainless steel. Alkemi is the leading manufacturer of recycled metal countertops.
Green Design Ideas
Beyond using green materials, home owners can also limit waste by using design methods that utilize the existing materials.
Changing cabinet doors can dramatically change the look of cabinets without having to replace them completely. Even changing out the hardware or painting cabinets can go a long way in changing a kitchen’s look. Even if reconfiguring the cabinets, try to reuse any viable pieces to cut down on waste.
Appliances can also be refaced and sometimes painted using appliance paint. By refacing one or two appliances, it might eliminate the need to replace them for aesthetic reasons.
Create an Eco-Friendly Kitchen with Ease
Anyone can create a green kitchen by using renewable building materials and limiting waste. Since most home stores carry green materials, all home owners should be able to find solutions for their homes. Home owners can turn their old kitchens into sleek, stylish and eco-friendly spaces with some smart shopping and a design plan.