Unlike the kitchen cabinet industry, the countertop industry has a diverse offering of different products that range in environmental value and affordability. The cheapest type of countertop, laminate, puts the biggest burden on the environment. Laminate countertops are constructed with the cheapest materials, that contain a wide array of chemicals like formaldehyde and acetone that can be hazardous when it is off-gassed. Laminate is very sensitive to heat on its surfaces, easily warps and in general is not as durable as other options. Although the initial price for laminate might seem very affordable and reasonable, the lack of durability of laminate means replacements occur much more frequently than countertops of other materials, which adds up to a significant cost.
The next step up from laminate is granite. Granite is still harvested abroad, but is quite durable and heat resistant. Very cost effective, granite has been calculated to be around $30 per square foot for delivery and installation from L&T Granite in Daly City.
A more sustainable option for apartment kitchen renovations is CeasarStone. This product is made with up to 35% post-consumer recycled glass, is low-VOC, recycles 97% of its water in the manufacturing process, and offers a lifetime warranty for its product. CeasarStone is Greengaurd and ISO14001 certified. For delivery and installation by Sincere Hardware in SF the price for this product comes to $55 per square foot.
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