With the worldwide recognition to go green, making recycled glass countertops is a great way for you to contribute to the cause. Recycled glass countertops exhibit great strength and durability, and look quite artistic if you choose a blend of colored bottles to recycle. In addition, using recycled glass can save you a fair amount of money as it costs cheaper.
Step 1 - Plan Your Countertop
Depending on where you want to install the countertop, choose a template. Make sure that the design of the template complements the aesthetics of its habitat and its size does not exceed the space available. In addition, ensure that the template has the ability to endure high temperature which can peak 1400°C.
Step 2 - Get the Recycled Glass
Analyzing from the size of your countertop determine the amount of recycled glass you will need to make a countertop. Generally, almost 12 bottles of vine provide the material for approximately 1 square foot of countertop. Choose different colored bottles that suit the theme of the room with the countertop to make the finish look good.
Step 3 - Grind the Glass
For better results, grind the glass into the smallest pieces possible. You can employ several methods to do so. Glass, when heated at really high temperature in a kiln, but below its melting point, will shatter into smaller pieces when cooled. An alternate method could be wrapping the glass in a leather bag and beating the bag with a hammer till the shards disintegrate. Maintain appropriate caution while following either method to avoid harm.
Step 4 - Melt the Glass
Place the broken shards of glass in a kiln and allow the kiln to heat up to 1300 °C. The pieces of glass will start melting at this high temperature and solid glass will be converted to boiling liquid. Five minutes before removing the heated liquid from the kiln, take the liquid glass out and pop the air bubbles. Although, exterminating all bubbles won’t be possible, squeeze the maximum amount of bubbles possible. Working with a kiln is dangerous if caution is not taken. Wear gloves and glasses at all times during the melting process.
Step 5 - Mold the Glass
After making sure that glass has properly melted and most of the air bubbles have been removed, pour the liquid glass into the template mold. Flatten the liquid as you pour using metal applicator to give it an even surface. Glass solidifies rapidly, therefore, use your tools quickly. While the glass is still liquid, add special features to your countertop to give a customized artistic look.
Step 6 - Add Finishing touches
Use a file to smooth the edges of your countertop. Once the glass dries, use glint to give a shining finish to the top of the counter. Glass once melted and cooled again is stronger than normal glass. Benefit from the increased strength to place comparatively heavier equipment on the counter.