Walking on Broken Glass

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Generally something you avoid stepping on, broken glass is becoming a hot new flooring option, with a handful of artisans and manufacturers offering tile made from melted recycled glass.

July 01, 2002

 

Generally something you avoid stepping on, broken glass is becoming a hot new flooring option, with a handful of artisans and manufacturers offering tile made from melted recycled glass. Most larger producers of the recycled glass tiles use from 30% to 85% post-consumer bottle glass, airplane and automobile windshield glass, or other reclaimed glass melted with ingredients such as ceramic and metal oxides, and then poured into molds.

Sandhill Industries of Fairbanks, Alaska, uses 100% recycled glass, as do the artists who supply tiles to Melissa Clements of Madison, Wis.-based Eco-Friendly Flooring. Clements says 100% recycled glass tiles offer unique colors, translucence, “depth” and a custom look, with variations in color and appearance being the norm.

Installation differs little from that of surfaces such as granite or porcelain, and the tiles can be used anywhere other tiles are used, although floor or shower tiles should be sandblasted for traction. Clements says her tiles cost about $20 per square foot, about the same as other high-end tiles.

For more information visit www.ecofriendlyflooring.com, www.sandhillind.com or the Oikos green building product directory at www.oikos.com.

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