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Recycled Wood Chip Countertop

October 10, 2009

countertop 2

I recently posted on my green kitchen remodel.  After being featured on Green Your Decor and Apartment Therapy, I received quite a few inquiries on the countertop that we had installed.  Here are some details concerning the wood chip material.

I originally purchased the product through Canopy, a local showroom of sustainable home building materials. It was a material that was only being used for decorative purposes at the time, but I was drawn to its eco-friendly qualities and cost-effectiveness.

The wood chip based material, made just 30 miles south of Portland,  is comprised of recycled chips and a water-based polymer.  Offered in different colors, I eventually chose the ebony tinted material.

To seal the surface, four coats of a natural finish were applied.  The clear coat was a product we purchased from Ecohaus, along with a water-based adhesive we used to glue the countertop to the plywood base.  To finish the edges, a walnut wood trim was installed that matched the rest of the kitchen cabinetry.

wood countertop 1

It’s been three years since we installed the countertop, and I’m still really happy with our choice. Although durable, we have found some challenges with the countertop.  For one,  the finish scratches easily. Fortunately, the texture of the wood masks any fine scratches.  There are also grooves in the surface design, so I wouldn’t recommend doing much food preparation directly on the countertop.  And lastly, like any natural wood material, it is prone to water damage.

For more information on the wood chip material, you can check out one of the manurfacturer’s websites, Torzo Surfaces.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2009 9:32 am

    I guess after reading your review, I wouldn’t have one installed in a kitchen. I’m not a very tidy and careful cook so I WILL scratch and I don’t want to obsess over water damage. It may work in an an area that wont take so much abuse (from me). I do love how it looks though!

    • cathy permalink*
      October 11, 2009 11:52 am

      Yes, every material has its pluses and minuses. Again, the wood chip board wasn’t being sold as a countertop when we purchased it three years ago, and the company may have tweaked its composition since then.

      It is a beautiful material, and a fraction of what other materials cost. If not the countertop, it could be used as an alternative material for other home projects, such as flooring, cabinetry, etc. At our store, our stairs were made out of a similar product, and it looked great! You can see what it looked like on this post: http://oliounited.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/113/

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