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Green Flooring – Tile flooring

Tile Flooring

Green Flooring - Tile

Tile floors generally come in either ceramic or stone form (e.g. porcelain, terra cotta and quarry tile). Both of these tile forms are recyclable and biodegradable and can be easily replaced in the event of damage without producing excess amounts of waste. Of course, the manufacturing of ceramic and stone, not to mention the quarrying and mining process, involves an enormous amount of energy. And while ceramic and stone tiles can be recycled, this process sometimes results in pollution and greenhouse gassing.


  • Made from natural and biodegradable materials
  • Tile can be individually replaced in the event of damage. This can help reduce waste
  • Can be recycled into new flooring
  • Mortar used with tile flooring contains naturally occurring and sustainable materials such as latex, sand and water
    Note: Some types of mortar may contain cement. See our "Green Flooring – Concrete Flooring" page for more details.
  • Tile flooring made with glass waste can help reduce energy consumption from clay–based tiles by 37 percent
  • Tile can be made from 100 percent recycled materials including plastic, glass and stone
  • Terrazzo* tile flooring can be made with recycled glass
  • Tile floors made from recycled materials work well with radiant heating systems

*Terrazzo tiles were originally created by the Venetians. The tiles are made of chunks of materials that are embedded in resin or concrete.


  • The process to make ceramic tile can require an enormous amount of energy. For example, the hardening of clay–based tiles require temperatures around 2200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The mining of clay for ceramic tiles can be very energy–intensive
  • The breakdown and transportation of recycled materials to make tile flooring may produce pollution and greenhouse gasses

Green Flooring Tips – Tile

  • Purchase tile flooring made from recycled materials (such as recycled glass)