One of the highlights of the 2009 Surfaces convention was glass and marble tiles made with recycled materials. Fritztile, a manufacturer of these eye-catching eco-friendly tiles, featured a wide range of choices that varied in colors and patterns. My personal favorite was amber-colored tiles made with crushed beer bottles. The natural iridescence of the brown bottles sparkled under the lights and looked absolutely amazing. I think all of recycled glass tile types would work well in both formal and informal household areas.
The glass tiles are made with up to 70% post-consumer waste while the marble and granite tiles are made with post-industrial waste. Fritztile offers a 20 year floor warranty on all of their glass tiles, which is a good indication of the longevity of their tile floors. Because they only use discarded glass in their tiles, they help divert a large percentage of waste from the landfill. This makes them a great option for green-minded consumers as well as those who are looking for a low-maintenance surface.
Fritztile manufactures glass tiles in 12 different colors. All of their tiles are relatively thin (1/8 of an inch thick) which means fewer materials are used (in contrast to ceramic and stone tiles which can be ¾ of an inch thick, or thicker). In addition, their glass tiles do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like other floor types, such as vinyl. Ideally, this means healthier indoor air quality for you and your family!
A large percentage of the products that Fritztile makes are LEED certified. If you're interested in getting your building certified by LEED, recycled glass and granite tiles may be able to accomplish this.