6 Beautiful Reasons to Use Recycled Glass TIle

Remodeling your kitchen?  Designing a fancy new restaurant?  Just looking for something amazing and sustainable?  Here are 6 reasons you should consider recycled glass tile…

Mosaic “wallpaper” by Trend USA

1.  Recycled glass takes only 50% of the energy to produce that virgin glass does.

Oceanside Glasstile

2.  Recycled glass  can be made into any form, color, or shape you can imagine.

Bedrock Industries

3.  Glass is truly recyclable, meaning it can be recycled over and over and over again without losing quality.  Paper and many metals can only be recycled a certain number of times before they become unusable (in their original form) due to contaminants or loss of structural integrity.  Plastic is even worse, as it can only be downcycled, meaning it must be converted into a lesser form from the very beginning.

Stone & Pewter

4. Recycled glass is versatile.  It can be used anywhere that ceramic tile can be used, such as walls, countertops, showers, fountains and pools.  It can even be used for flooring.


5.  Every ton of 50% recycled glass saves 250 tons of mining waste.  Imagine the savings when it’s 100% recycled!


6.  Recycled glass is inert, meaning it won’t affect indoor air quality, or add contaminants or chemicals to the interior environment.

So have I got you interested?  Good!  Now, here are a few more things you should know before you run out and replace that grubby old bathroom countertop:

  • The post consumer recycled content of glass tiles can vary anywhere from 100% down to about 30%.  Most companies make the information available to you on their website or in information sheets and catalogs, but if you don’t see it anywhere, don’t hesitate to ask.
  • Even though recycled glass takes a lot less energy to produce than virgin glass, there is still a significant amount of heat and energy needed to reform it.  Check with the company you’re considering to see if they have any programs in place to either reduce or offset the energy they use in production.
  • Recycled glass is BEAUTIFUL.  That being said, it’s typically made using processes that allow for some flaws, bubbles and other quirks of production, so you should enjoy a little “character” in your tile.
  • All of the recycled glass tile companies I have highlighted above are located in the United States, although a few of them actually manufacture in other countries.  If you are in another country and know of a good local source for recycled glass tile that you would like to share, please let us know in the comments below.  I love hearing about new sources for good things.

5 Responses to “6 Beautiful Reasons to Use Recycled Glass TIle”

  1. sudha Says:

    I have been a great fan of recycled glass tiles…the day i build my home..this is what goes onto my feature wall and as the kitchen backslpash

  2. Petra Says:

    I actually think that recycled tile is so much prettier than standard tile. I’m adding a backsplash to my kitchen and that’s what I’ll be using!

  3. Eric Says:

    Great post. One thing to mention is not all recycled glass tile is created equal. For example, where did the recycled glass come from (some of the brands listed above are manufacturing overseas, reducing the environmental benefits greatly) and how much of the glass is recycled and from what sources is it from. But overall really insightful post. Key thing is for consumers to have all the information and not just the high level “xx % recycled” type information.

  4. Rebecca Says:

    looks beautiful, im currently doing a project on sustainable home ware so may have to rack your brains.

  5. Rachel Says:

    I’m happy to answer any questions you have Rebecca. I’ve used quite a bit of glass tile in my projects, and really love it.

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