Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Product Review: EcoTop Countertops

Looking for an alternative to granite? EcoTop counter tops are a sustainable choice for solid surface counter tops, and if you live in the Seattle area, are a great local product. The counter tops are manufactured in Tacoma, WA, and were a Sustainable Industries Top 10 Green Building Product in 2008. John Klippert, the creator of Paperstone, set out to make a "more durable and more aesthetically pleasing counter top that aims to achieve higher wood fiber and resign standards." The product took first place at ASID and Interiors & Sources’ Bloom Awards in 2009-“the first composite material product to combine rapidly renewable bamboo with proprietary, clean, water-based resin.” The counter tops are made from demolition wood fiber, recycled paper fiber, and bamboo.

 EcoTop was used in the bathrooms and kitchen of the award-winning San Juan Channel House. All photos by John Sinclair, Concepia.

Here is Anna's Homeowner Review of the counter tops:

"We installed EcoTop throughout our new house and still love it.  The material is easy to work with and allowed us to create thin counter top edges that appear to float above the bamboo cabinets.  The cost was half of the estimate for Granite counter tops, but that was an opening special from EcoTop.  My only dislike of the material is the color change in the kitchen.  A simple glass of water leaves a ring. For the first month of use, I constantly oiled the counters to make it shine.  I have now settled into the idea that EcoTop is similar to Concrete and does not stay a true black in a kitchen.  The counters in our bathrooms are just fine since we are not placing food and cups on them.  This may not happen with other color choices, but the Black does not stay as Jet Black as the product photos.  When entertaining, I always oil the EcoTop and buff it with a rag.  EcoTop has proven to be very resistant to heat, scratching and crazy toddlers."

More information about EcoTop:

Video of how EcoTop is made from Planet Green:


  1. This is going to be a very nice investment! I've never imagined paper being used as a main ingredient for countertops! I'll look for these EcoTop things for my house in Minneapolis. Kitchen remodeling needs to be done in my house, and the counters have to be replaced. Since I'm an environmentalist, I'll go find some EcoTop countertops!

    Our house is looking old, that's why I had the urge to remodel. Minneapolis remodelers will help me do the job. I'll suggest to them the EcoTops, too. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. I had black EcoTop counters installed in my Seattle kitchen in July 2010. They looked great for about a month. The counter edges are only 3/4 inch thick, providing a sleek, elegant look. The problem is that the finish is easily marred and discolored. I have tried many kinds of remedies and none have restored the finish to its original condition. Minor scratches do not buff out with Bon Ami and a scrubby (as the manufacturer claims) and repeated applications of various waxes have not removed water marks. EcoTop was no bargain: the cost was similar to granite. If I had it to do over again, I'd go with a much less fussy surface -- honed granite, perhaps, or even Formica (less "green" but infinitely easier to live with).

  3. Our EcoTop was recently installed. From the naked eye it looks great. However, there are over thirty pits noticeable to your fingers as you run your hand over the two counters. We had the installers out to see this again and they said it was the worse case they had seen of this. The company has denied our warranty claim, saying that as a recycled product these imperfections are to be expected. I have NEVER written a negative review about ANYTHING before. Be VERY careful with your choice here. If the company wants a fuller view of our dissatisfaction, please reply with a place we can communicate.