| May 3, 2023

Eco-Friendly Tile: What Are Your Options?

These days, we’re all looking for simple ways to reduce our carbon footprint and make responsible choices regarding how we live, work, and play

Recycling, composting, installing solar panels—there are many ways to go green. But suppose you’re looking to renovate your home or commercial space. In that case, you might be looking for ideas on choosing eco-friendly materials that won’t break the bank or sacrifice your comfort and style.

Porcelain tile may be just the solution. But wait, is porcelain tile eco-friendly? The answer depends on various factors, including, but not limited to: 

  • Its manufacturing process
  • Its shipping/distribution process
  • Its disposal process

Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Tile

This guide will discuss four critical considerations when choosing eco-friendly porcelain tile options. Be sure to scroll to the end for a before and after interview from Tim Eian, certified Passive House designer, architectural engineer, and owner at TE Studios, and his wife Amy on completing their Good Energy Haus project.

Tip 1: Look for certifications and labels

When choosing environmentally responsible porcelain tile, look for certifications and labels indicating that it meets specific environmental standards. One such certification is the Green Squared certification, awarded to tile products that meet rigorous environmental and social responsibility criteria. 

Other labels to look for include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which indicates that the wood used in the tile is responsibly sourced, and the Cradle to Cradle certification, which evaluates products based on their environmental impact throughout their entire lifecycle.

Tip 2: Consider the manufacturing process

Look for title brands that use sustainable practices, such as recycling water and reducing waste. Some companies even use renewable energy sources to power their factories. Additionally, consider the transportation of the tile. Choosing a local manufacturer can reduce the carbon footprint of the tile by reducing the distance it needs to travel from its factory to the showroom you buy it in.

Tip 3: Choose recycled or reclaimed materials

Consider tiles made from materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, reducing waste and conserving resources. Some brands produce porcelain tiles made from recycled glass or plastic, reducing environmental impact. Additionally, choosing reclaimed porcelain tile can give your space a unique and rustic look while being eco-friendly.

Tip 4: Consider the durability and longevity of the tile

One of the most important considerations when choosing environmentally responsible porcelain tile is its durability and longevity. Doing so will significantly reduce the need for frequent replacements and the amount of waste generated from tile disposal. 

Look for tiles made with high-quality materials that have a long lifespan. Additionally, consider the maintenance requirements of the tile to ensure that it will continue to look great for years to come.

The Good Energy Haus master bathroom design.
Photography by Corey Gaffer.

The Good Energy Haus: Interview with Tim & Amy Eian

Designed by Tim and Amy as their family home, Good Energy Haus is Minneapolis’ first certified passive house. The 2,100-square-foot urban infill home in NE Minneapolis encapsulates modern, sustainable, and climate-neutral living. 

Between 2019 and 2020, Tim and Amy partnered with many companies to bring their dream design to life; we were proud to serve as one of them. They wanted to outfit their new home’s bathrooms with beautiful, long-lasting, low-maintenance surfaces. First, however, they needed to find bigger tiles (at least 2×2 ft. in size). They also needed the tile to complement the home’s overall aesthetics. 

“We wanted something modern, sleek, and simple,” said Amy. “However, this proved more difficult than we had imagined.”

And so their search continued.

“We started the journey of going to showroom after showroom, ” said Tim. “And we found that 99% of what we looked at wasn’t even close to what we wanted. After a while, it all started to look the same.”

Next stop, Tile X Design.

“We went to Tile X Design and found the Lea Ceramiche tile designs,” said Tim. “Though we saw the display, what really excited us and moved us to buy it was seeing all the brochures with different pattern options.”

The Good Energy Haus master bathroom design.
Photography by Corey Gaffer.

“It was the first thing we saw that felt Scandinavian and modern,” said Amy. “However, we ended up choosing a very simple design, but that’s what we wanted in the first place. Our goal was to create a look that felt like a cocoon. We also needed it to be durable, live for a long time, and look sophisticated. Lea Ceramiche helped us achieve everything.”

Tim and Amy had a few other essential boxes that Lea Ceramiche helped them check, including

  • Larger tile size to minimize grout lines
  • Consistency of shape/look
  • Large format to use on floor and walls
  • High COF rating (to reduce slips in wet areas)

They worked with Tile X Design consultant Lori Halverson to order Lea Ceramiche, so they could install it on their bathroom floors and walls. The result? A simple, sleek bathroom design that they always enjoy walking into.

“When we were able to use our shower for the first time, it felt like staying at a fancy hotel,” said Tim. “Even today, it still feels special every time I use it.” 

“It feels calming and relaxing,” Amy added. “It also looks sophisticated but not overly lavish. Even after a vacation, I love coming home and the feeling I get when walking into our bathroom.”

To learn more about Tim and Amy’s journey creating the Good Energy Haus, you can find videos and resources on the TE Studios website.

Lea Ceramiche, an Eco-Friendly Tile Solution

At Tile X Design, we’re proud to carry an extensive collection of quality tile brands to help our clients find the desired materials and designs, patterns, and textures they love.

If you’re shopping for eco-friendly tile options, you’ll be happy to learn that Lea Ceramiche prioritizes sustainability in their products, practices, and company policies. For example, their ultra-thin Slimtech slabs are 100% carbon neutral and their manufacturing and distribution processes help reduce water and energy consumption. 

If you’d like to learn more about our Lea Ceramiche collection or other quality tile products we offer that utilize recycled materials or increase durability and longevity to reduce tile disposal that ends up in landfills, contact us today or visit our showroom

You can schedule an appointment or stop by during regular business hours.

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