Have you ever wondered how Vetrazzo makes something like this…
From something like this…
Well, since 85% of the finished material is made from glass shards, I would have to say they make it very, VERY carefully… (sorry – couldn’t resist).
Actually, according to Vetrazzo, the process is not unlike making a chocolate chip cookie. The glass is the chocolate chips, the Portland cement is the batter. Since all the material used is inert, and there are no petroleum or resin ingredients included, Vetrazzo is a completely VOC free product. Once the glass, cement and a few proprietary materials are mixed together, they are poured into a 9′ x 5′ mold, then steam cured overnight to strengthen the slab.
The slab is then transported to the finishing area…
where it is polished to a high gloss with a large scale granite polisher. Although a significant amount of water is required to complete the process, Vetrazzo is able to reclaim almost all of it using a 2,000 gallon water recycling system. In fact, they are quite proud of the fact that they use less water in the manufacturing process than they do for their kitchen and bathrooms.
So, you just KNOW that they have to drop a slab now and then, despite all the cool looking equipment used to move it around! In order to minimize waste, Vetrazzo has come up with a good way to keep this material out of the landfill. They actually pay a company to come pick up their broken and off-spec panels. The company in-turn crushes the broken panels up and uses the material to make the base for road beds.
Most interesting to me was how committed they are to acquiring their glass from local sources. Here’s what they have to say about where the glass comes from:
“Our primary source of glass is post-consumer California Redemption Value glass, more commonly known as the glass recycled by homeowners, bars and restaurants throughout Northern California. Last night’s beer and wine bottles are today’s beautiful recycled glass countertops. Another more unusual form of post consumer glass is salvaged glass we acquire from demolished buildings.
We also use a post-industrial glass that would otherwise be sent to the landfill or melted down at a high energy cost and repurposed as glass bottles, jars, etc. At a relatively low energy cost Vetrazzo takes this crushed, un-processed glass and creates artful surfaces that will last for many decades to come. Our post industrial glass sources are numerous, but some of the most common yet interesting are sources such as:
Cobalt Skyy Blue glass from the Skyy Vodka bottling plant
Safety glass from windshields, shower doors, etc
Architectural glass from sky scrapers
Flint and Georgia green glass from bottle manufacturers”
I hope you have enjoyed the first installment of our planned series – “How Do They Make…?” If you have suggestions for other products you would like to know more about, please feel free to contact us at info [at] theinteriorevolution [dot] com
Editors note – theinterioRevolution does not accept nor publish any paid content. The decision to profile the design and manufacturing process of specific companies is based solely on the proprietary nature of the particular product.