There are several different commercial formulations of concrete on the market for countertops, flooring and other interior architectural uses. Some are aerated or mixed by varying but mostly-similar techniques, some are molded or installed in different ways, and some are aerated, or treated with dyes or special sealants. But one in particular is as attractive as real stone, is made in a range of mineral shades and has a natural texture from inclusions such as recycled paper, glass and coal fly-ash.
Squak Mountain Stone's fibrous-cement material is beautiful and just as visually appealing as real stone - but it's a truly environmentally-friendly countertop that makes great (re)use of some otherwise-ignored ingredients. It is available both in slabs and as tiles, and the maker is happy to work with clients on custom applications and mixtures. In that respect, it's even more appealing than real or manufactured stone!
According to developer and owner Ameé Quiriconi, the ingredients list reads like a how-to book for those interested in establishing a truly green, environmentally-friendly business:
- Fly-ash is generated at a Washington-state coal-fired electrical generation facility. It's collected and bagged for sale in Seattle.
- The mixed waste paper comes from a small home-based document destruction business staffed by four young women with developmental disabilities (with the help of a job coach and the women's parents.)This business is located in Issaquah, WA.
- The recycled glass is mainly waste from local window manufacturers that is collected and processed by a local glass recycling company.
We've put together a whole Flickr album of high-res images showing the product in use - if you are planning a kitchen or bath remodel, you really should take a look at this material before you finalize your countertop material plans.
It is available from retailers up and down the west coast, including Green Sacramento, Ecohome Improvement in Berkeley, Greenspace in Santa Cruz, Eco Design Resources in San Carlos as well as EcoSpaces in Telluride, Colorado.