Question

I'm thinking of using recycled granite from a company called Granite Transformations. Is this a green and safe option for my kitchen counte

Asked by Amy
Leander, TX

thinking about the materials the countertop is made from and materials used to install...is it safe?

Answer

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

September 26, 2011

 

Dear Amy,

Your question is not as straight forward as one would think, so let me share with you what I was able to glean from Granite Transformations website.

1. I did not find any mention of recycled granite being used in their installations. However, I did see that many, if not all, of the granite product they use are guaranteed to be radon free and that they earned GreenGuard certification for indoor air quality – both important attributes.

  • However, nowhere could I ascertain whether or not the caulks and adhesives used to install their granite products render low VOC.
  • I was also not able to ascertain, from the website, if the sealant used on the granite is GreenGuard certified. Sealants are typically high emitting with respect to VOCs.

2. Recycled glass content.  A review of the company website did reveal a product that is a recycled glass (like a terrazzo) countertop and that it is manufactured from 72% post consumer waste.

Removing usable material for the waste stream is a good thing in general, but there are some caveats such as:

  • how far are they shipping the recycled glass and how much energy are they using to repurpose the recycled glass?
  • Is the recycled glass countertops manufactured in a single production facility and then shipped to points hither and yon rendering a potential big carbon foot print or is it made in several production facilities across the US effectively rendering short distribution runs?

3. Lastly, I was disappointed by the absence of a company environmental policy/mission statement.  

  • It gives the impression that their corporate culture does not embrace sustainability.
  • This disappointment was compounded by my inability to find any MSDS (Manufacturers Safety Data Sheets) on any of their products.

Check references!

As with the purchase of any product or service, you would be well advised to request a list of references from your potential franchise installer and preferably go and look at some of these installations. What you see in a showroom or Home Show does not necessarily reflect the actual appearance of a real installation.

Secondly, check for consumer reviews on Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and other similar listing services to learn more about the reputation of the installer in your geographical area.

Good luck.

 

For more information:

 

There is a multitude of archived Green Home Guide posts on how to select sustainable, green countertops – check the data base before you buy.

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