COUNTERTOPS: First there was PaperStone, now there is EcoTop
Continuing with our trend of bringing you the most up-to-date information about greener countertop materials, GetWithGreen.com sat down with Joel Klippert to discuss his new company and countertop product – EcoTop!
In the Beginning
Before we get into the details of EcoTop, we need to introduce you to EcoTop creator, Joel Klippert. While Joel’s product is just now hitting the market, Joel is by far no stranger to eco-friendly countertops. In 2001 Joel founded KlipTech Composites, Inc., and produced the well know PaperStone countertop product. At the time Joel wanted a strong, durable product made out of recycled materials. Being an early innovator in the eco-friendly countertop market, Joel’s team created the best product they could offer at time given that supporting suppliers (e.g. paper, wood, & resin) were less interested in our environment. Pushing forward, Joel brought PaperStone to market, and since that time it has grown to what we all know it as today.
In 2007 Joel left the PaperStone team, and went underground founding Klip BioTechnologies, LLC. Klippert was not sitting idle, instead he was continuing his longtime goal of advancing countertop materials even further. Joel was set on a mission to create the most durable and color fast countertop material on the market, and one that had mass consumer market appeal. The product had to appeal to his family, their friends, and the mainstream residential market, or it was not going to be a success in his mind.
Joel assembled a dream team of inventors and financiers to assist him in bringing his game changing vision to life. Suppliers who weren’t interested in green alternatives at the time PaperStone came to life, were now embracing Klippert’s efforts. Billion dollar companies were stepping up to the plate. With master chemists (and team) he needed to formulate a resin (material binding the product together) that was eco-friendly, strong/binding, and light in actual color, because the original PaperStone product was limited to dark colors due to a reliance on a dark resin.
The outcome of the past year, is what we will all soon know very well as EcoTop. EcoTop is made from 50% recycled wood & paper, and 50% bamboo. The only tree fibers in the product are recycled fibers (vs. virgin fiber used in some other products).Â The resin that binds the wood, paper, and bamboo is 100% water base, and VOC and petroleum free.
EcoTop is UV stable, and therefore will not fade, or change. The product is durable. Joel is quick to point out that EcoTop is a solid surface that could compete with Corian. The product has the strength of a Phenolic (used in PaperStone and Richlite), with the color fastness and consistence of Formica, a decorative laminate. The product can be sealed, but it is not required. The company does offer an all natural organic Soy Oil, Palm Oil & carnuba,wax finish. Any scratches can be simply sanded out with a ScothBrite pad or sand paper on a random orbit sander. EcoTop is easy to repair with standard tools, says Klippert. According to Joel, the product can be used anywhere from the kitchen to the garage. EcoTop does not harbor bacteria.
There are three EcoTop colors in production at the company’s large capacity 300,000 sq/ft manufacturing plant in Tacoma, Washington: Black, Snow White, and Ivory (off-white). By the first quarter 2008 they expect to have ten colors in production. EcoTop is sold factory direct at this moment, but it won’t be that way for long. The product is soon to be sold via a nationwide network of whose/who of distributors and retailers!
Retail pricing for EcoTop is expected to start at approx. $35 a sq. ft. EcoTop comes by the sheet in ¾” or 1″ thick in 30″ & 60″ wide by 12′ in length. EcoTop is the ultimate DIY product as well, as it only takes wood working tools to install such as a circular saw, router and random orbit sander. Klippert states, that this is the only solid surface product on the market that a DIYer can install and still maintain the 10 year warranty.
Joel, and the EcoTop team, have what we believe is a game changer with this new green countertop alternative. The company will have a brand new website at the end of October, promising all you will need to get going. GetWithGreen.com thinks this is going to be the one green countertop option that will hit the home remodel/improvement market with mass market appeal over the next 12 months – and Klippert has built his business with the scale to deliver. We think everyone should consider it for their upcoming remodel.
Read More about EcoTop on GetWithGreen.com