DIY





Environmentally-Friendly Recycled Tile

Durable, non-toxic, and easy-to-clean — try environmentally-friendly recycled tile for your next flooring or countertop project.

| February/March 2009

If you’re remodeling a kitchen or bath, or simply replacing worn-out flooring, consider environmentally-friendly recycled tile.

Like other tile products, recycled-content tile will outlast most, if not all, other types of flooring. Tile resists scratching and is fire-resistant. And because it’s so durable, you will save money over the long haul by not having to replace it. (Consider installing a neutral color that will not become dated.)

Tile is easy to clean and, if glazed, won’t absorb liquids or release unpleasant odors like carpeting can. Another advantage over carpet is that tile doesn’t harbor potentially harmful mold spores, pollen, dust, or dust mites. Unlike vinyl “linoleum” and many other flooring products — including some “green” options — tile doesn’t contain toxic chemicals and won’t give off fumes (a process known as outgassing).

The use of recycled materials reduces waste shipped to landfills and cuts down on mining of clay and other minerals needed to make conventional tile. Recycling also reduces energy use because making a product from waste material typically requires less energy than fabricating one from raw materials. This, in turn, helps slash fuel use in manufacturing and reduce environmental pollution.



Recycled Tile Options

Recycled-content tile can be used for floors, countertops, and walls, and may be made from either recycled glass or wastes from mines or factories. Tiles come in two varieties: ceramic and glass. Ceramic tiles may be made from factory waste (known as post-industrial waste) generated by the production of conventional tiles. Some manufacturers, such as Crossville, produce tiles that contain 50 percent to 100 percent in-house manufacturing waste — waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.

Other products, such as the Debris Series from Fireclay Tile, combine post-industrial and post-consumer recycled wastes. The Debris Series tile consists of 26 percent recycled granite dust (post-industrial waste) from a granite-cutting operation. It also contains 26 percent recycled glass (post-consumer waste). Plus, the glazes used by this company contain no lead, so they’re safer for the workers who apply them.

Leah_2
2/13/2009 12:24:53 PM

I had to retile my kitchen last year and I knew I wanted to use an eco-friendly product as one of my goals in recent years is to minimize waste and pollution in my life wherever possible, as to set an example as I feel that we all have a responsibility for being green. I got these beautiful and resilient tiles - an unpolished gray with iridescent highlights - from Reaction Tiles at an adorable tile shop down the street called Northeastern Tile. They had a website and sent me tons of free samples. Anyway I can't say how good I feel every time I look at my recycled ceramic and glass tile floor. It cost a little more but reminds me that I'm doing my part and you should do yours! Thanks for reading, Leah







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