Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Tables’

Rock Paper

Comments Off on Rock Paper Written on March 14th, 2012 by
Categories: Decorating Ideas, Olive Green
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Countertop Stone AlternativeI first  heard about Richlite in  a materials class while I was studying Sustainable Design at FIT. It is basically layers and layers of compressed paper soaked  and baked in a phenolic resin.  Richlite looks like a matte stone of some variety, and is incredibly tough and heat resistant.  Yet it can be cut by a wood working shop (My cabinet maker trimmed it to my specified size).  It has a greater spanning strength than stone as well.  My supplier, Anthony Brozna from Eco Supply in Richmond, Virginia, tells me that a 1”slab can cantilever over 30” and gives designers a lot more flexibility than stone. I chose basic black, though Richlite comes in a range of subdued colors.

Detail of Richlite Material


While I was testing the product for my client, I  tried abusing and staining a handful of samples. The material seemed impervious.  I have heard complaints that Richlite scratches easily, but the small surface scratches that I see lend to its character, and the beauty of it is that it can be sanded down with an orbital sander and 150 grit sand paper and refinished with their rejuvenator. My supplier has given me a few squares to try out for lamp bases in place of marble.  I will need to get a carbon tipped drill bit and hope to try them out.

Alternative to Stone Counter

The Richlite site has information for getting LEED points through the use of their product.  While Richlite has been around for many years, it has recently grown more popular with the rising interest in sustainability.  A similar product, and newer to the market, is PaperStone.  It also comes in fabulous colors and their advertising brochure proclaims them “The Countertop with a Conscience”.