What kitchen countertop materials do not contain VOCs or emit radon?


What kitchen countertop materials do not contain VOCs or emit radon?

Asked by Jen

My husband and I are replacing laminate kitchen countertops in the home we purchased. We need a material that does not emit VOCs or radon or have other scary stuff in it. I have extreme chemical sensitivities and obviously don't want to suck down radon either. We are overwhelmed by the pros and cons of the available materials. Wood is awesome but I heard it off gasses formaldehyde! Glass is pretty but most contain fly ash which I heard is toxic. Granite and quartz have radon. Paper counters require sealing and have resin (not LEED certified). What materials are best? We are at a stand still trying to make this decision. Thank you for your help!

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Bill Bradbury's picture

Wood is one of the greatest building materials of all time and it does not off gas anything harmful.

  • Formaldehyde is only present in the extremely cheap glues used for particle board and the like.
  • High quality Maple butcher block manufacturers in the US use food grade glues.

Finish them in Howard Butcher block oil or food grade mineral oil and natural bee's wax.

I choose my building products like I choose my food, the less processed and more natural, the better.

For more information:

Read our countertop backgrounder "Choosing Kitchen Countertops: Our Top Picks."