Specialty Countertops -PaperStone®

Introduction:Paperstone 1

If you are interested in a countertop that is natural, warm to the touch, sustainable and one you probably won’t see at your neighbors house, PaperStone® ® countertops may be for you.

PaperStone® has pushed the envelope to develop a low toxic countertop that uses recycled materials. PaperStone® ’s creators had a vision of creating a composite surface product made using recycled papers and non-petroleum based resins. This came to fruition in 1999 producing ecologically sustainable alternatives to those offered by big industry.

It is the “greenest” architectural surface on the market today.

How they are made:

It’s made from post-consumer waste, recycled paper and proprietary, petroleum free, phenolic resins made from raw materials like cashew nut shell liquid with water used as the resin solvent. It is very abrasion resistant and absorbs very little water.

Because of it’s make up, it is heat resistant to 350 degrees and stain resistant to most household cleaners and food.

Paperstone 2Styles

There are two series of recycled paper-based PaperStone® ® Products. First is the ‘original’ which is made from 50% post-consumer waste and recycled paper. The second type is ‘Certified’ which is  the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), Smartwood and Rainforest Alliance–certified product which is made from 100% post-consumer waste paper. PaperStone® ® made from virgin fiber is also available.

This product comes in 13 warm, earthy colors all appropriately named for their earthy connection: Chocolate Brown, Straw, Concrete Gray, Obsidian, Indigo, Cabernet, Denim, Mocha, Leather, Slate, Evergreen Plum and Grass.

Because of the laminate nature of the product, an edge is created that resembles a solid surface product with a faint wood grain appearance. With traditional tools, an unlimited range of edge detail is available. Standard edges include: eased, bullnose, half bullnose, beveled, double radius and ogee.

The recommended finish is a PaperStone® finish made from all natural raw materials like bee and carnauba waxes and vegetable products like soybean oil. All of the ingredients are natural and food safe.

The color of PaperStone® comes from the natural color of the paper and the pigments and dyes used in the manufacturing process. The color is not a surface treatment; it is all the way through the product. These tops will develop a seasoned appearance similar to the aging of wood that is an inherent characteristic of the material. Over time, there will be a deep luster in areas of heavier use, especially in lighter colors. The aging process can take up to several years. Overall, it will appear softer and deeper in tone.

Before you buy:Paperstone 3

This product is not only used for countertops, but also for baths,   window sills, door thresholds, landscape components, furniture, tabletops, rainscreens, interior paneling, exterior cabinet work, chair rail and other manufactured products.

PaperStone® is subject to color shifting with UV light exposure in lighter colors. The UV stability is good in dark colors,

Seams are tight and difficult, but not impossible to see if they are made with a two part epoxy.
The cost of PaperStone® countertops is similar to granite, brand name solid surface and quartz products for the material with lower costs for installation.

Color and brightness may vary from sheet to sheet and even within a sheet making each sheet unique. This variation is expected because it is made from natural materials. The material installed in your home may look different that the samples used during the selection process.

PaperStone® has a mottled appearance in which patterns show a striated effect lengthwise. This is more apparent of light colors and is less apparent, but still visible on dark colors. This is due to the natural variations in the paper.

The surface and texture level of these tops varies. There will be more texture when the tops are first installed and it will become smoother with more luster over time. Because the material is pressed rather than molded, there may be random unevenness.

Installation:

 Millwork and cabinetmaker craftsmen can fabricate PaperStone® countertops with traditional woodworking tools such as trip chip carbide blades.

PaperStone® is available in 30” and 60” widths and lengths of 8’, 10’ and 12’ with thicknesses ranging from ¼” to 2” thick.

Because of its versatility, PaperStone® can be used to create a custom sized backsplash rather than the typical 4” backsplash.

Maintenance:Paperstone 4

PaperStone® is very resistant to staining in kitchen applications. To maintain these tops, simply wipe down the surface with hot soapy water or a mild abrasive kitchen cleaner. Chemicals should never be used to clean or refinish PaperStone® products.

Always use a cutting board, but to remove stains and light scratches, use a maroon or green Scotch Brite® pad with light buffing. For harsh scratches or burn marks, it is recommended to use a maroon Scotch Brite® pad or 220 grit sandpaper on an orbital sander. Keep in mind, that excessive sanding in the same area will result in light spots and refinishing of the whole area may be needed to keep a consistent look across the surface. In this case, it is best to consult with a professional to sand the surface.

These tops are highly stain resistant, but not stain proof. If discoloration appears, repeated applications of standing water and vinegar for approximately 15 minutes can lessen a stain. When tackling stubborn stains, a non abrasive low-alkaline household cleaner and a soft brush should be used.