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IceStone Countertops, A Green Alternative

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

What is IceStone?

IceStone is a relatively new alternative building material.

It is 75% recycled glass, about 18% white portland cement and the rest is made up of proprietary ingredients. According to the company the material is made up of 95% post consumer recycled content.

The company recycled approximately 2.6 billion pounds of glass in 2006. 2.6 billion pounds of glass that did not end up in a landfill or along the side of the road. Because of the materials used in the manufacture of the counters the color possibilities are infinite.

Imagine being able to match an antique tile perfectly! The material can be used on walls, floors, or counters, or all three- it is an amazingly versatile product. Exterior applications are fine,the material is UV stable and able to withstand extremes in temperature.

IceStone comes in many colors
IceStone comes in many colors

Sustainable Alternative o Natural Stone

This material offers an alternative to natural stone. It is less porous than marble and is as heat and scratch resistant as granite. It is installed much like natural stone as well. However, IceStone does not require the huge amount of fossil fuels it takes to mine and transport natural stone. It passes the requirements of the American Disabilities Act to be used as flooring, although it would need to be cut into tiles first. It is a great material for homes wishing to acquire their *Leed Qualification. Cleaning is accomplished simply washing the surface with a mild soap and water. Pricing and installation is similar to granite in most areas of the country.

Many people don't realize that granite and other stones building materials are not a sustainable material. Once they are removed from the earth and changed they are gone forever in their natural state and quarrying changes the environment irrevocably.

Leeds and Cradle to Cradle Certifications

IceStone is created in a green environment. The company seems to be dedicated to keeping it's carbon footprint at a minuscule level. The company uses environmentally friendly practices such as graywater recycling, day lighting with natural light, and using soy based lubricants for its' machinery. The waste from its' own manufacturing processes is recycled into road surfacing materials. The company's goal is zero waste, and they seem to be rapidly heading in that direction. All of their hard work has not gone unnoticed, they have received **MBDC Cradle to Cradle Certification for their company.

*Leed Qualification- awards points to building developers and owners for environmentally friendly structures

** MBDC Cradle to Cradle Certification-measures achievement in environmentally-intelligent design

Difficult to Find

IceStone can be difficult to find locally but it is ultimately worth the search to create the beautiful, environmentally friendly kitchen of your dreams.


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    • profile image

      Mike 6 years ago

      This company produces recycled glass countertops. The total recycled content is 80% which is 5% higher than that of Icestone and it's a little more price friendly.

    • profile image

      Adam 6 years ago

      I agree--stay away! The cement stains easily, within a year my beautiful icestone countertop was covered with ugly brown stains. I've spent the last 5 days removing them. Steer clear.

    • profile image

      Kyle 7 years ago

      IceStone and Vetrazzo will stain fairly easy. Cement is a wonderful binding agent and building material-- from the Romans until today history has shown this. However, it is a difficult substrate to seal, as cement (portland) is always seeking hydration and is therefore very absorbent. Hi pH during formation, low once cured, cement is ultimately very susceptible to acids: lemon juice, wine and coffee. There is absolutely NO penetrating sealer that will protect cement indefinitely from staining.

    • profile image

      Cabinet dealer 7 years ago

      Stay away from this product. It breaks every easly and the price is sky high.

      You will be sorry if you get near this stuff.

    • profile image 8 years ago

      Good product, thanks for review.

    • profile image

      Cindy 8 years ago

      Asked my contractor in Ontario to price a 2' x 4' piece for a vanity top in Heirloom Grey & he came back with a price of $2800-- That's $350/sq ft.... I find this hard to believe.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love the idea of the beautiful recycled glass. But like all the stuff I like, it's way to pricey. But often, new products are expensive and the cost comes down with increased popularity.

    • Tim Blackstone profile image

      Tim Blackstone 8 years ago

      Great hub. I never heard of anything like this before but I am sure it is the way forward. Shame about the cost though.

    • profile image

      icestone 8 years ago

      another recycled glass product in the market is Vetrazzo. They are out of California

    • profile image 9 years ago

      IceStone is a beautiful product. Another green option is PaperStone + Zodiaq just came out with 4 quartz colors that have 50% recycled content.

    • profile image

      tro 9 years ago

      is that $130 a ft price accurate ,i live 20 min from where its made in bklyn

    • profile image

      Janet 9 years ago

      From a manufacturing point of view recycled products are more costly because of the handling involved. The particular materiels needed for the product have to be picked up at specific locations. The products might have to be cleaned or sorted through more thoroughly. All this "manual" handling adds to the cost which jacks it up more. Then there is the cost to truck it to the Texas location for manufacturing.

    • profile image

      Murdock 9 years ago

      Why is it that anything 'Medical such as a grab bar, slide board or shower seat cost an exorborant amount of money? Seems to me anything 'Green is the same way!!

    • profile image

      Heather 9 years ago

      I did look at Envirogalss but I'm not sure on their pricing. They also don't have "showrooms" unless you are in Texas (i'm in MD). I love the glass tile idea - I'll have to look into that. Thanks!!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Heather, there are some other manufacturers of similar products out there,a nd have you checked out the recycled glass tiles?I know it is pricey..hopefully that will go down as it becomes more popular.

    • profile image

      Heather 9 years ago

      I fell in love with icestone when I saw it and the fact that it is a green product sealed the deal for us. That is until we got the price! Unbelievable $130 a square foot. We picked a mid level color. I have seen many sites say that the price is comprable to high end grantie, I'm not sure that's true. We were quoted $13,500.00 for our kitchen for icestone and $8800 for the "high" end granite we also considered. *Sigh* we will not be using the beautiful Icestone. My husband about fell over with the icestone quote. He said "Are we getting platinum or concrete and recycled glass"? I guess it's not easy being green (unless of course you manufacture icestone, lol).

    • profile image

      dmpRI 9 years ago

      does anyone have any pricing information. I found on the website the sheet/slab sizes they work with but does anyone have an estimated price per square foot or something in regards to the cost of the material!!!!

    • Geoff-Ecotist profile image

      Geoff-Ecotist 9 years ago from London UK

      Great hub. We have used this product - recyled glass tiles - for non-slip paving, and it looks good too, with a variety of colours.

    • RFox profile image

      RFox 10 years ago

      This product looks fantastic! When I have the money to buy and renovate again I will keep this hub in mind. Thanks!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      In this type of material proper sealing and maintenece of the seal material is important. It will stain if not properly sealed.

      This is from their website:

      IceStone surfaces will not stain if sealed according to our guidelines. Daily maintenance should include a mild, water based, low ph cleanser, to keep your tops clean. Anything else may strip the sealer over time and leave the application susceptible to stains. We recommend water based, low-VOC sealers be applied according to the manufacturers guidelines, typically once per year.

      If an IceStone surface does stain, can it be removed? Yes. Because IceStone surfaces are very dense stains are easily removed with a poultice, available through stone fabricators, tile stores, and home centers.

    • profile image

      MAC 10 years ago

      Please define "stain resistant". We have a product in our house from a local fabricator that is made from similar materials (recycled glass and concrete). We love the look but we are experiencing a great deal of staining (from things acidic - citrus, vinegars and also olive oil and even a coffee cup "ring"). We want to continue down the "greener" road, but with small children and an island that gets tons of use as our main eating surface... I'd like to use a product that's less sensitive to staining.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Cool, that reminds me of the glass they use on streets. Always thought it odd the asphalt in the south doesn't sparkle like it does in NY. Well, maybe it does now..

      Over here you see stucco (sp?) made with recycled glass - very sparkly!

    • profile image

      Ginger 10 years ago

      This sounds like a really great product. I especially like that it comes in colors. Most granite I've looked at is limited to natural colors. I could really have fun with the colors and have the bonus of going green!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      c Labbe-

      it depends on where you live. If you check out the links I am adding perhaps you will find something close to you.

    • profile image

      c. Labbe 10 years ago

      where are the places that will supply me with this glass counter top?

      thank you

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas


      It is not breakable at all, being similar to granite. It is heat resistant, stain resistant and easlily cleaned. :)

      Very kid friendly!

    • profile image

      marlaQuack 10 years ago

      Yes, but is is breakable? Is it kid friendly?

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Yep..I was planning on going with something else for our restoration project but I think I have decided to use this..not historically accurate, of course, but I think it will work.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      That's great news, it is a wonderful form of recycling. Glad to see efforts like this.