Founded in 1986, Fireclay Tile is a leading manufacturer of sustainable glass and ceramic tile that is based in San Jose, California. Fireclay creates 100% of its own product from locally sourced and recycled materials and produces its lead-free glazes in-house. All of its product lines can contribute to achieving LEED certification.
Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House. It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.” The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil. Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.
Viridian Reclaimed Wood, a company we first mentioned in relation to their shipping pallet flooring, recently introduced a new range of FSC-certified, reclaimed, old-growth Douglas Fir tabletops. Co-owner Joe Mitchoff said the tabletops come from an inventory of beams reclaimed from abandoned warehouses, decrepit docks, and old gymnasiums.
Chroma is a recycled-acrylic material by 3form that can be used as a horizontal surface. It’s best used in illuminated designs and is available with a matte finish and thousands of translucent color combinations. Up until now, 3form offered Chroma with 40% pre-consumer recycled content, but the company recently upgraded the formula, as explained in an article about closing the loop.
Elements by Durcon is officially launching in the DFW market in Texas, where it is also manufactured (about 200 miles from Dallas in Taylor). The eco-friendly surface is made with a proprietary blend of at least 10% post-consumer recycled glass, natural quartz minerals, and resin to create a low-VOC material that’s solid, non-porous, and “never requires sealing,” according to Durcon.
Italy-based Benetti Stone Philosophy makes a beautiful mosaic surface called Ivory Dream, which is made from vegetable ivory. In this case, the vegetable ivory — which was used to make buttons before plastic became popular — comes from the seed of an Amazon palm tree called Tagua. The seed is hand-harvested without causing any damage and is then cut and supplied for use as a floor, covering, or other surface mosaic.