Paper Composite Countertop Review
Paper composites are manufactured with high contents of paper, bamboo fiber, recycled wood fiber, salvaged wood fiber and renewable, wood-sourced cellulose fiber from managed forests which is then compressed and held together with a binder. Most commonly know as PaperStone, Richlite and EcoTop.
Binders can be a petroleum-free phenolic resins made from raw materials like cashew nut shell liquid to a completely water based binder.
Both the fibers are coated with the binder, heated and compressed to form a very rigid material with high tensile strength.
If your looking for a “Eco-Friendly” counter material, this may be the solutions. Paper composites age over time creating a wonderful patina. Although not as heat and scratch resistant, they are very durable. The material should withstand hot pots up to about 350 degrees and many of the manufacturers recommend a trivet. Light scratches can be removed with a Scotchbrite pad. It is manufactured in larger panels reducing the number of visible seams. Although seams are not invisible, they are inconspicuous. Cleaning is a breeze with Simple Green or a simple wipe with soap and warm water.
Some drawbacks are staining, scratching and recommended sealer be applied periodically. Staining is usually more noticeable on the lighter colors. Minor scratches can be removed and the application of the recommended sealer tends to make the scratches blend to a nice patina. Most manufacturers recommend a sealer to not only protect, but to enhance the natural depth of the material.
Overall, paper composites offer a great way to have a high end, luxury surface and be environmentally friendly. It offers a smooth texture with a refined, timeless appearance.
Paper composites work well in both residential and commercial applications.
PAPER COMPOSITE COUNTERTOP MANUFACTURER:
PROS – Recycled paper content, in many cases, is extremely high, impact and heat resistant, easy to clean.
CONS – Scratches easy, can show stains on light colors. May be susceptible to UV light.
CARE & CLEANING – A simple wipe up with soap and warm water on a regular basis will maintain its beauty.
WARRANTY – 7 years to Lifetime depending on manufacturer.
COST – $70 – $125