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Eco-Friendly Flooring Review: Glass

Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ordinarily, you don't want to walk on glass. Particularly barefoot. The times, though, they are a-changin'.

Glass is one of the single most wasted resources on the planet. As we look to reduce, reuse and recycle, glass is an obvious and frequently overlooked resource.

We've spoken in these posts about bamboo and about cork. These products highlight the ingenuity of the human mind when faced with a shortage of resource. The mind is no less ingenious when faced with an overabundance of material, in this case, trash.

Glass for flooring is a new concept, but so was bamboo at one time. Glass offers a variety of benefits and, at least at the moment, only two potential liabilities.

Glass tiles for flooring are beautiful. There are few things more artistic and expressive than glass. Creative people are now making flooring tiles, countertops, landscaping and terrazzo surfaces from a matrix of glass and epoxy. Recycled glass tiles for backsplashes and for bath walls are available also.

Some of the benefits of recycled glass are:

  • Beauty: Who would have thought that ground-up glass could look so lovely. It's like a marble. You can't help but look in it more and more closely.
  • Uniqueness: Glass doesn't look like anything else. It has a sheen and iridescence that differs from tile and ceramic.
  • It's cutting edge: Pardon the pun, but if you are the type who needs to be first, who likes to be different, or who has a need to wear their love for all things environmental, then you'll want in on this early.
  • Upkeep: It's glass, so it's virtually impenetrable. It won't stain or mar easily.

There is a downside to glass, at least for now.

  • Price: Glass tiles for flooring are much more expensive. This makes sense considering the unique nature of the design and the intensive process to bring it to you. The price will come down in time, as the products become more popular. Perhaps it would be more justifiable for a smaller space.
  • Delicacy: While glass is extremely strong, care must be taken to keep it free of grit and sand, or it will scratch.