This is a guest post by Justin Krutz. If you want to guest post on this blog, see the guidelines here.
Kitchen remodeling and environmental protection are not as mutually exclusive as you might think. Some smart shopping for appliances and materials can really make a big difference when it comes to your new kitchen remodeling project, allowing you to get a kitchen that not only looks great but has less impact on the environment and saves you money on the -your energy bills. .
To start with green flooring options for your new kitchen, you have a number of very attractive yet functional options including wicker, linoleum and concrete.
Cork is manufactured with bark that is carefully harvested from cork oak trees, allowing the bark to grow back over time so that it can be harvested again in the future. In addition to the environmentally friendly aspect, cork is an excellent material for kitchen flooring as it is very durable, making it comfortable underfoot and resistant to damage. It also offers excellent resistance to mold and insects, and can be produced in a wide variety of colors.
Linoleum is another excellent flooring option that is manufactured from linseed oil, cork dust and various other natural products. It is very durable and long lasting, can be cleaned easily and is even completely biodegradable. Linoleum flooring can be produced in almost any color or pattern you can think of, allowing for an almost endless variety of options.
Concrete may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering a new floor for your kitchen, but it offers a number of great advantages. Concrete is produced from a variety of natural materials, is extremely durable and easy to clean, and can also be easily stained in a number of colors or etched with patterns, allowing for a completely customized concrete floor in a kitchen.
The cabinets are another area where you can utilize green options. Green kitchen cabinet materials include bamboo and wheatboard/strawboard. Bamboo is a very sustainable choice for kitchen cabinets as it is a fast growing form of grass, as well as offering durability and resistance to mold and insects. Wheatboard or straw cabinets are produced from natural waste products such as straw or wheat husks. The glue and other products used to assemble green cabinets are generally non-volatile, meaning they will not emit harmful fumes that can degrade the air quality in your home and lead to health problems.
Along with the floor and the cabinets, the countertops are probably the most heavily used area of the kitchen. Fortunately, it is possible to find countertops that are environmentally friendly, durable and attractive. As an alternative to stone or wood, concrete countertops are a very viable option for the same reasons you might want to use concrete as a kitchen floor material. Countertops manufactured from recycled materials such as glass or even reclaimed wood are another beautiful but green option.
If you want to save energy and water too, you can look into high-efficiency appliances including a new refrigerator and dishwasher. The Energy Star label on major appliances indicates that they meet federal guidelines for energy efficiency. An Energy Star compliant refrigerator will use significantly less energy while an Energy Star compliant dishwasher is designed to utilize much less water and electricity by adjusting the amount of water required for each cycle, placing of dishes in the shelves and other refinements.
Lighting is another area where energy efficiency and environmentally friendly options are readily available for your kitchen. Due to federal energy standards, CFLs are becoming much more common – they can provide the same amount of light as a comparable incandescent bulb while consuming less energy and lasting much longer. LEDs are also a viable option as they can provide a lot of light but only use a minimal amount of electricity and last for many years before needing to be replaced.
Justin Krutz blogs on a variety of topics including kitchen remodeling for Palatine Remodeling.