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August 08, 2007

Modern Kitchen Design Plans


Last night I dreamed I was midway through a luxury kitchen renovation - at my own house. Everything was going smoothly. The cabinets were in, I had a new floor and, this I remember specifically, a white and gray Carrara marble countertop and backsplash. 

Of course, this would never happen. Even if I were getting a new kitchen, it wouldn't go smoothly. And Carrara marble, I'm not sure about that.

It's beautiful, and I love the serenity of the colors. But is that even a green material? Sure it's natural, and it just comes out of the ground, but the process. The process is serious business. Cutting it, hauling it, shipping it, processing it. These activities do major environmental damage each year. 

Lucky for me, I happen to know my parents have a big unfinished slab of the stuff in their basement. It's left over from when the builders put in the marble thresholds sometime around 1900, and I'm sure they, like us, had no interest in trying to move the thing up the stairs once they were done. I'm remembering this piece to be 3.5 to 4 feet long by 2.5 feet wide  and 5 inches thick, which could be enough to be sliced and diced into some mighty fine countertops for my kitchen or bathroom. And since it's just sitting there, wouldn't it be worse to order an entirely new surface, even if it were more green? I think so. And clearly my dreams are telling me to soldier on, but how do I get this thing up, out and made into countertops? Please give me your tips below!

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Comment on This Article Here! Modern Kitchen Design Plans:

You're right. Quarried stone is hardly a sustainable choice. Most stone is quarried in the third world where environmental legislation is weak at best. And the energy cost of shipping it internationally is steep. Clear cutting forests is an outdated process. Quarried stone will one day be, as well.

There are more an more "green", sustainable materials on the market. Everything from recycled glass countertops like Vetrazzo to recycled paper based products like Paperstone.

That said, if you already own a piece of marble, may as well use it. You'll have no choice, though, but to haul it down to your local granite & marble fabricator to have them cut it to size. It must be done in water (a requirement of the diamond tooling used). They will then haul it back in and install it.

Good luck!

Posted by: James | Aug 8, 2007 11:10:57 AM

There is nothing greener than recycling a slab of marble in your parents' basement.
It won't make the best countertop material because marble stains easily, and it's soft, so it scratches as well.
If you spill red wine you will have a pink stain. A poultice will lighten the stain, but nothing will remove it. The only answer is to stain your whole countertop with whatever you spill.
But using something that's already "in the family"; and freeing up the storage space for your parents, makes it doubly green.
Great dream!

Posted by: Peggy Deras, CKD, CID | Aug 9, 2007 4:02:32 PM

Good point about how a natural material isn't always "green," depending on what it took to bring it to consumers. It would be a waste, though, not to use that big, beautiful slab of marble that's just waiting for the taking. Instead of using it in the kitchen where food and wine could stain it, how about using it in the bathroom? Marble is great for vanities, around the tub, or as shower paneling.

Posted by: K+BB Editor | Aug 15, 2007 6:59:36 PM

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