Published on May 19th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers0
Meet PaperStone: the Countertop with a Conscience
Material that was once paper now feels exactly like stone, which is exactly why it’s called PaperStone.
KlipTech Technologies, the Puyallup, WA-based developer of this product, has created a dense, hard, water-resistant, solid-surface composite material that is used for a variety of needs – from skateboard ramps to countertops.
As you may have guessed, PaperStone products are made from cellulose fiber (paper) and a non-toxic, non-petroleum phenolic resin created in part from natural phenolic oil in the shells of cashews.
The company’s approach top sustainability is evident on its website: “When materials are made with this principle in mind, an earth-friendly idea becomes a natural choice. Choosing green products means living, working, learning and playing in a healthier world.”
The company reports that PaperStone is one of a few architectural solid surface materials that are certified to FSC standards by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance. Accordingly PaperStone plays a role in enabling a project to acquire LEED points toward certification.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary standard for developing environmentally responsible, low emission, high performance, sustainable buildings. It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
The PaperStone line of products have and attractive look and feel. In addition, the weight and density of this material is substantial, even though it can be cut with a standard saw.
For those seeking products made from recycled materials, KlipTech offers a standard PaperStone containing at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Another version: PaperStone Certified is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.
The latter product is third-party certified by SmartWood to carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recycled-content label. Overall, the product is 60 percent paper fiber by weight and 40 percent resin.
PaperStone Certified is made of 100 percent FSC-Certified recycled paper, water-based phenolic resin with cashew nut shell binder and pigment. Heat and pressure transform this mixture into a thoroughly impregnated network of cellulose fibers that give PaperStone its hardness, density and strength in span or cantilevered designs.
For green builders and designers, and all sustainability champions, these products are worth the look.