On a recent visit to one of my stone and countertop suppliers, I started looking at some wonderful glass products that offer beautiful and environmentally friendly alternatives to stone. I specified Bio Glass for a kitchen and bar area countertop and adjacent family room fireplace surround in a seaside home in the color "Oriental Jade
," which picked up on the aqua color of the nearby ocean.
The unique, translucent qualities of Bio Glass are produced by recycling hollow glass, tableware and factory shards, and the results are reminiscent of sea glass.
The possibilities for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, shower seats, bar tops, and even walls and partitions are very exciting. The really wonderful thing about Bio Glass is that it offers a fresh and new approach for countertops and other surfaces.
Another product that offers recycled glass and great possibilities is Vetrazzo
, from a company named Polycor. With a great website and a story behind each product, the Vetrazzo line offers countertops and surfaces for residential and commercial use.
Vetrazzo uses 100% recycled glass - most of the glass used for Vetrazzo products comes from curbside recycling, and 85% of the finished product is made from the recycled glass (the other 15% being cement, additives and pigments). The product selection ranges from finely grained to "chippy".
My current favorite is "Charisma Blue with Patina," which is made from recycled beer, wine and soda bottles. The color descriptions for each variation are really fun to read, and are powerful reminders of how effective recycling can be.
Another company, Fireclay Tile
, offers products with recycled content. I particularly like their "Debris
" tile, which is fashioned from recycled glass bottles. The Debris series is available in more than 100 fantastic glaze colors and in several sizes, shapes, trims and decorative options. The company is also developing a countertop surface called "Bottlestone" with 80% post-consumer recycled glass content. "Bottlestone" looks like it will offer a fine-grained appearance (rather than chunks of glass) in four unique colors.
Yet another company, Stardust Glass
, offers tile with very high recycled glass content (87-97%), using pre-consumer recycled glass that is collected and harvested within 250-500 miles of the company's manufacturing facility that's located in Portland, Oregon.
With a wide variety of fun colors and shapes, Stardust offers some terrific ways to use tile in kitchen and bath design, as well as solutions for fireplace surrounds, floors, tiled walls and more. Commercial applications are highly possible as well, for interesting counter/service areas, funky commercial bathroom designs, and beautiful display areas.