Thursday, February 26, 2009

Introducing Richlite

Countertop Specialists is proud to announce that we will have joined the network of companies fabricating and installing Richlite. Countertop Specialists has already been premiere provider of the Richlite competitor Paperstone. The addition of Richlite to our companies product offering will help to assure that Countertop Specialists customers have access to the greatest choices of countertop materials.

Here is some more information regarding Richlite:

Richlite FSC has a matte finish that brings a warm soft ambience to a room that's rarely
achieved through stone or solid surfaces. The versatile material is dense and durable, heat
resistant up to 350 degrees, and stain resistant. Beyond countertops, Richlite is a popular
surface material for wall caps, stair treads, work surfaces and related architectural applications.

Richlite FSC comes in seven colors with names that reflect natural and historic landmarks near
Richlite's headquarters in Tacoma, Washington: Yellow Island, Blue Canyon, Redstone, Black
Diamond, Chocolate Glacier, Browns Point and Green Mountain.

In addition to FSC certification, Richlite products are GREENGUARD certified for indoor use in
residential, school and institutional environments, as well as contribute to LEED points.

Richlite Benefits:
Dense and durable nonporous construction
Stain resistant
Heat resistant
Able to accommodate long spans and cantilevers without additional support

Richlite has also recently begun to offer 2 colors R50 and R100 that contain 50 and 100 percent post consumer recycled paper respectively.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RJ Walter Homes acknowleged for Greenest house

It appears that more people are catching on to the significance of the achivement of RJ Walter Homes who was recently awarded "Green House of the Year" by Green Builder Magazine. We had mentioned this here previously. Yesterday KCRA interviewed Gai Kirkegaard at the site of the home which was recently sold after a series of events hosted by SMUD.

The Mormon Street project was only the second home built in the state to achive the Platinum Certification from the USGBC. The project was a partnership between RJ Walter Homes, SMUD, and a variety of participating manufacturers and contractors, in order to build a home that was effienet as well as provided for mdern conveneince and aestetic. Countertop Specialists was proud to be amongts the many partners on the project. Countertop Specialists was able to garner the interest of manufacturers Paperstone and Vetrazzo to contribute steeply discounted materials for the project. Paperstone was utilized in the kitchen, laundry, and master bath areas while the Vetrazzo product was used on the island in the kitchen as well as the fireplace surround. The Vetrazzo island was repeatedly identified as on of the more stunning design features of the home.

The RJ Walter Homes Project featured a myriad of innovative products and construction methods that soon likely find their way into other homes seeking to achive similar energy costs savings and decreased impace on the environment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a HOT ITALIAN in Sacramento

Countertop Specialists is excited to have the opportunity to work on the highly anticipated HOT ITALIAN restaurant located at the old Youngs Fireside building at 16th and O streets in Sacramento. Our portion of the project is nearly completed. Countertop Specialists is fabricating and installing all of the Paperstone used in the restaurant. Paperstone is being utilized throughout the restaruant as wall bars, seating, tables, fixtures, and countertops.

The restaurant has not yet opened and has been the subject of much press and industry attention. With posts on regional blogs and Sacramento area papers, the restaurant has also already hosted a myrid of events for area associations: the The Sacramento Branch of the Northern California Chapter of the United States Green Building Councel (USGBC-NCC), the Central Valley American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the BIA of Central California. All of these orginizations regarded as the the captians of their industries have turned their collective attention towards this project.

So why has this restaruant garnered such attention? HOT ITALIAN will be the first resaturant in the Greater Sacramento area to receive a LEED certification from the USGBC. The restaurant is also a participant in a pilot program for the USGBC. That means that not only is the restaurant being built to the highest of environmental standards, but is also participating in establishing the benchmark that future resaurants will be measured. However, it does not stop there. The restauranteurs have already begun installing equipment for food composting, a program not promoted by the LEED program.

It should also be said that in my personal attendance to the events hosted at HOT ITALIAN, their pizza lives up to its name well. While I am not a food critic, the pizza served up by Fabrizio, the chef imported from the Italian Riviera, is unmatched by any pizza I have ever tasted. Look for more infomation in the press and our website as the restaurant opens shortly.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Caesastone Joins in on Recycled Materials

Recently we posted about the new products available from Zodiaq by Dupont. It would appear that when we stated that Zodiaq was the only company providing quartz products with recycled content. We now stand corrected. On January the 19th Ceasarstone announced their collection of 6 different colors offering recyled content. Consumers and commercial designers will now have these colors to choose from:

Carbone, Marrone, Ruby Reflections, Quartz Reflections, Smoky Ash and Chocolate Truffle.

As stated in the Caesarstone Press Release:

Ruby and Quartz Reflections have been two of CaesarStone’s colors for the past several years. The colors contain post-consumer recycled glass.

Carbone and Marrone colors both contain recycled CaesarStone material. These wondrous colors are created by taking remnants from fabricators after production and mixing in new CaesarStone material. These two shades are only available in New York, the Northwest or by special order.

The two new additions in 2009 to the Recycled Collection are Chocolate Truffle and Smoky Ash. They are both comprised of post-consumer recycled glass.

We will look forward to further details from Caesarstone regarding the quantities of recycled content and how the material will help organizations meet their LEED objectives.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Countertop Specialists Project Awarded "Green House of the Year"

Several months ago Countertop Specialists had the unique opportunity to participate in project built by RJ Walter Homes. In a partnership with SMUD, several manufarcturers, and contractors, RJ Walter Homes constructed the second home in all of California to qualify for Platinum Certification under the USGBC LEED Certification program.

The home, which was finished in the Fall of 2008 was recently awarded by Green Builder Magazine, the Green House of the Year award. From a pack of 57 projects from around the nation and Canada, the RJ Walter Homes project was chosen as Grand Winner. The project was highlighted for its "traditional Craftsman architecture and understated interior finishes" as stated in article featureing the project. RJ Walter homes did a great job of blending and eco-concious approach to development with the taste of the everyday home buyer.

As a part of this project, Countertop Specialsts partnered with Vetrazzo and Paperstone to offer countertop surfaces and a fireplace surround. The addition of these stunning green features garnered a great deal of attention from those touring the home.

This was a great project for RJ Walter homes and for Countertop Specialsts. We wish to congradulate the team at RJ Walter Homes for the noteriaty they have recieved for their achivement. Bravo!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

DuPont jumps into Recycled Glass with an addition to it's Terra Collection

DuPont has recently added to its collection of materials that include recycled materials. Only this time, instead of simply adding industrial waste from their existing products they have entered into the recycled glass countertop market with the addition of four colors to their Zodiaq product line. Not currently available from any other quartz manufacturer, the company has found a means of integrating the advantages of the quartz products with the innovations of the recycled glass countertop manufacturers. The four colors (seen on the left) span dark brown, tan, blue, and green color spectrums that will make it a viable choice for a variety of projects.


With the recycled glass portion of the product only amounting to 50% pre-consumer, few will hail the Zodaiq as the sole redeemer of wasteful products. Especially considering the minute amount of glass in the product altogether. The products closest competition would be that of Vetrazzo, IceStone, and Trinity Glass – each a vastly different product. Compared to Vetrazzo’s commitment to 100% recycled post consumer, post industrial, or demolition glass, Zodiaq’s initial product offering may appear to some to be an example of green washing. However, we would like to applaud the efforts of the DuPont Corporation to adapt to the emerging market trends. It should be the hope of those that desire more purely environmental materials that companies like DuPont, which produce many widely available consumer materials, would continue to adapt to the public’s desire for more eco-conscious products.


The Zodiaq Terra Collection comes in at Zodiaq’s highest price level. Even still, consumers and commercial developers interested in the product can expect to pay only half to on third the cost of other materials containing recycled glass.It has been our observation that even in those individuals that are seeking an eco-conscious choice in counter top materials; many are still in search of the color and texture that meet their personal aesthetic sensibilities. These new colors from Zodiaq will be another amongst the emerging products seeking to meet the needs and aspirations of the green public.