Thursday, May 11, 2017

Made in Maine: New Countertops From Recycled Material

I've been wanting a Beachstone countertop for a long time - and this project seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Why?  I love that they're 85% recycled materials.  I love that they're made right here in Maine.  I love that you can customize everything about them.  And I LOVE that they're beautiful!

Aron Butterbaugh, the owner of Beachstsone Sustainable Products, was kind enough to let me tag along as he created our countertop.

The first step, deciding what color we wanted.  This was really tricky!  There are lots of glass colors to choose from, all from post consumer recycled glass (for example, think Sky Vodka bottles, for that deep blue color).  And there are a lot of base colors as well.  That's a lot of options.  And for added variety, we could also include other things, like sea shells.  But ultimately, we decided that simple is better for this project, so glass it is.

Since we want a beach glass look for the house, we tried a couple of different ideas.  And ultimately decided on 3 different combos to play with.  Aron made samples for me and I posted them on Facebook.  Thanks so much to everyone that voted.  The winner is a mix of a color called Tiara Blue, green glass (like old fashioned Coca Cola bottles) and clear glass.  And we're using a color called Tuckerman White for the base material.
And the winner is...... far left!  
Once we had that done, we could start the top.  Aron created a mold, to fit the exact dimensions of our bathroom vanity and the undermount sink I had purchased.  Then we randomly sprinkled the the glass bits across the base of the mold.






Next, he mixed up the slurry.  This includes the clear, sparkly bits of glass and the rest of his mixture - so it was a really noisy process!




He carefully poured on the slurry, so the glass bits don't get pushed to one side in the mold.  

And after the initial layer was complete, he went back with a second layer, to give it more structural integrity.

























After letting it cure up for a couple of days, he carefully popped it out of the mold.  Thankfully he warned me that it's not much to look at, fresh from the mold!  Otherwise I would have panicked.
Fresh from the mold - and not a sparkle of glass to be seen!!
Then he started the process of grinding and polishing away the top layer - to expose the beautiful glass bits below.  They started to shine right away, but as he moved to a higher level of polishing, they really started to sparkle.

Finally, he filled any voids with a slurry mix and sealed it for protection.  He installed it yesterday - and it looks fantastic!
Who knows....your old bottles could be in this countertop!!  




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4 comments:

  1. Very pretty. This sounds a lot like how they used to make Terrazzo floors.

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  2. That is so beautifully innovative!

    ReplyDelete

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