Product: Richlite paper-based countertops

Mark says: “Everyone and their brother has stone, so we went an entirely different countertop route at the MyFixitUpLife HQ and chose a product called Richlite. [Made from recycled paper,] Richlite is super dense, but it’s not as solid as rock. For example, when I put a wine glass or plate down on granite I feel like I could easily break them. Richlite is ‘softer.’ Also, stone is beautiful, but it can be cold; Richlite feels more room-temperature. We live with it every day and highly recommend it.

“We had Richlite installed by an installer, but there’s no reason a competent remodeler with a track saw and a biscuit joiner couldn’t fabricate the material on site. One thing you do have to look out for is subcontractors — notably that they’ve never seen it. The material is so dense that unless you drill pilot holes for screws, they’ll simply shear off. Plumbers installing the dishwasher or making other connections may be befuddled because it’s not what they’re used to.”

About Richlite: Available in a range of colors including several multilayered colorways (shown), the paper-based surfacing is designed to be durable and resistant to stains, knife marks, and extreme heat. The dense material washes clean and won’t hold bacteria, the maker says. Standard sheets are available in 4-by-8-foot to 5-by-12-foot sizes and 30-inch half-sheets to match a variety of design tastes. Choose from thicknesses of ¾ to 1½ inches. 888.383.5533.  

—Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.