Richlite countertops – modern paper composite countertop ideas
Richlite countertops look amazingly beautiful and as an additional advantage they are exceptionally eco-friendly as they are made of recycled paper. What is Richlite? This is an incredibly durable material made from recycled paper and phenolic resin. The material offers a large variety of uses, and despite the fact that phenolic resin are made of formeldahyde and phenol, which are potent chemicals, the final result of the manufacturing process is a harmless substance.
How is Richlite made? The process of manufacturing the panels is based on soaking paper in phenolic resin, after that the mix is heated and compressed into a dense, monolithic slab. Richlite was developed by Richlite company, which is based in Tacoma, Washington, more than 50 years ago and the paper used for the manufacturing of the composite material has been certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The material can be used both indoors and outdoors and has been certified for use in residential and public environments.
What are the advantages of Richlite countertops?
When looking for a new counterop for your kitchen or you plan a kitchen renovation, the options that you have to consider are numerous – from different types of granite, soapstone, quartz, solid wood, marble, etc. Richlite countertops, also called composite countertops, are comparable in popularity with solid surface counters. Let’s see the advantages and the benefits that they offer to the homeowners.
These counters are dense and very durable. The surface is nonporous which is advantageous for food preparation. They are lightweight which means that they can be installed without joints and will not need additional support. In addition, the installation is much easier.
Richlite countertops are heat resistant to a certain temperature (350 degrees), which is both an advantage and disadvantage. It is advisable to avoid putting hot pans directly on the counter, so keep that in mind.
The affordable price is another advantage, as you can have a modern kitchen countertop without breaking the bank. In terms of design and appearance, the countertops are offered in a number of colors, but the variety is somewhat limited. Black Richlite countertops are among the most sought after options for the contemporary appearance and the sleek look they add to the kitchen.
Unlike natural stone, Richlite kitchen countertops feel warm and pleasant to the touch like wood countertops and for people who want to create a pleasant homey atmosphere, this is a significant advantage.
Disadvantages and maintenance tips
On the downside of Richlite countertops is the fact that they are not scratch resistant and not totally heatproof, as mentioned above. The countertops may get darker over time and develop a natural patina, especially in areas of high use.
The limited choice of colors is a problem to many people who want to add a color accent in the kitchen design and make the countertop stand out as a focal point.
As far as maintenance of Richlite countertops is concerned, it is not really demanding. The surface is cleaned easily with a damp cloth. Moisture should be wiped out so that your countertop retains a beautiful look for a long time.