The benchtop material you choose for your kitchen at home will be very important, as this material needs to stand up to constant abuse from food prep, hot pans, and the rough bottoms of plates and glassware. While granite and natural stone are still popular choices for benchtops, note a few unique materials you might want to consider, and especially for those who are looking for the most eco-conscious choices for the kitchen.
A paper product may sound like a very poor idea for a kitchen benchtop, but this type of cellulose is mixed and pressed with adhesives that make it strong and solid. There is also a colour or tint added, so the finished product may resemble wood, glass, or just a solid, coloured surface. Using recycled paper reduces the amount of virgin materials that need to be harvested for benchtops, and keeps this trash out of landfills as well.
Zinc is a very versatile metal that is usually used to coat everyday items like paperclips and safety pins, as the metal is strong and durable and won't rust and corrode. It can be expensive for benchtops, but unlike steel, zinc darkens over time and soon has a very rich, shiny patina finish. This can make for an attractive kitchen area and one that is more unique than if you used everyday dull steel for the benchtops.
Copper is also a somewhat expensive metal, but like zinc, it can offer a rich finish that makes it much more unique than everyday stainless steel. The surface of copper reacts differently to different temperatures and substances, so the overall colour will eventually be a mix of reds, browns, and greens. Copper is easy to clean and very durable, so it can last for decades if not even the life of your home's kitchen.
Recycled cement and glass
A glass benchtop that is set in one long piece can give your kitchen a very modern look, but if you prefer something a bit more traditional, you might consider recycled cement and glass. Cement is very easy to recycle; pieces taken from an old driveway or foundation can be mixed in with new cement, and this can create a base on your benchtop for glass pieces. Those glass pieces can be any colour and shape you prefer, and they are set with grout when installed, so the benchtop has a smooth and even surface for food prep.