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Countertop materials:  Once a soda can

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Once a soda can

Key Features:
  • Made of recycled aluminum
  • Scratch, heat and stain reistant
  • Apply to plywood or tile backer
  • Cuts must be factory-done
  • Square tiles cost $10 (2") to $55 (12") each
  • Pricing as of 2008.
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  • Eleek Tiles
Learn more about Eleek, Inc.:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com
The colorful patchwork countertop pictured here is not made out of stone, but of recycled aluminum.

The surface of the 1/4" thick highly polished tiles resembes weathered stone, but is smooth to the touch. The tiles won't be damaged by hot pots (up to 300 degrees), and don't show fingerprints or smudges. Cutting directly on the tiles will damage the powdercoat.

The tiles can be used on countertops, backsplashes, floors and walls. They can even be used outdoors in areas which are not subject to freezing or extremely hot temperatures.

Standard finish is Natural River Rock with clear powdercoat, but patinas are also available for slightly more. Non-skid textured powdercoat is recommended for floor tiles.

While the tiles can easily be installed by a homeowner, any cuts must be custom done at the factory. Raw edges need to be smoothed and powdercoated before the tile is finished. Planning and ordering help is available from dealers listed on the company's website. Substrate can be any stable material, including tile backer and plywood.

Tiles can be affixed with mastic or construction adhesive, and can be butted together or close set and grouted. The tiles are available in squares of 2", 4", 6" and 12". Rectangle tiles are 2" x 6", 3" x 6" or 3" x 9". Frontwrap and backsplash tiles are also available.

The tiles are more costly than real stone tiles, with squares ranging from $10 to $55 each and rectangles costing $15 to $22.

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