I was incredibly excited to discover that American Olean, a large well-known tile company, is offering products made of recycled materials. As we all know, there are a lot of great eco-friendly building materials out there, but it can be a challenge to access them, especially if you don’t live on the West Coast. Well, here is a product that you can find at virtually any store that sells tile and certain styles are even available at Lowe’s. Not that I would suggest Lowe’s over your neighborhood tile store, but it’s there as an option, if you need it.
Now, if you really want to make sure your tile is made from recycled material, and how much, go to their website. Under the "environmental" tab, you will be able to search which tiles have the most recycled content. They are even labeled by post-consumer and pre-consumer percentages and LEED point credits. The post-consumer percentages are disappointing, with the highest being around %15, but at least it’s a start and hopefully the company will continue to raise their recycled content.
Another positive is the price. A series called "Stoneleigh" is priced around $2 for 12"x12" tiles. This is probably the least expensive option, with prices increasing from there, but overall, this is an incredibly reasonable product in the eco-friendly field. Now, keep in mind that there are products with a lot more recycled content out there, closer to 100%, so if you can afford to go that route and have access to the materials, that’s your best bet for helping out the planet, but this is a good alternative for those that can’t. American Olean does not really offer much more information about their environmental policies other than the recycled percentages, but I’m confident they will realize the importance of sharing what else they are doing at their company to support our earth.