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Published on November 13th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


The 411 on Recycled Tile Flooring

A number of green companies have started recycling unwanted glass, stone, and plastic into floor tiles.  This makes for an attractive indoor/outdoor reuse product that is water resistant, stain proof, and easy to maintain.  Recycled tile also offers a flooring with varied aesthetic appeal, as it comes in a wide range of bold and muted colors. 

The amount of recycled material in the tile varies anywhere from 25–100%, so check with your suppliers before purchasing a product.  If a product contains partial percentages of recycled content (i.e. 55% or 80%), this usually indicates that nonmetallic minerals were added for color enhancement or that binding agents were added.

The National Park Service hosts a sustainable practices Web Site where they keep a short list of companies that provide Recycled Tile Products.  Eco-wise also lists a few recycled content tile producers.

Of course, the use of recycled material can still be damaging to the environment.  The energy used to transport, break down, and remake products emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants.  For maximum sustainability, tile your floors with used tile.  Poke around on craigslist to see if you can get some for free, or put up an ad asking for some used tiles.  Make a colorful pattern or an artistic mosaic.  Mortar can be easily removed from old tiles by using a dremel tool or a stone grinding bit.

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