What You Need to Know About Eco-Friendly Bath Tile Materials

– Posted in: Green Homes, Green Living, Home Inventory, Homeowners

 

If you’re dedicated to eco-friendly efforts throughout your lifestyle, there’s good news: your design no longer has to suffer due to your conscience! Eco-friendly tiles can offer incredible style for your bathroom. Even better, there are a variety of styles to choose from, so you can be sure you’ll find something that will work for you.

Recycled Glass

Pros: Recycled glass tiles can be made of up to 100% recycled materials. They come in any shade you can imagine, with a beautiful array of colors that will be sure to compliment your bathroom décor. See here for design inspiration. They’re very durable, though chips do occur.

Cons: Installing recycled glass tile is often a time-consuming professional project, not something you can do yourself. If a tile does chip or break, it will need to be replaced.

Green Score: 7/10

Stone

Pros: Natural stone tile offers an unparalleled beauty. Natural stone tiles are also one of a kind with no two stones identical: your bathroom design will be completely unique!

Cons: Natural stone is very porous and may quickly absorb stains. It will need a sealing agent in order to protect it. It’s important to understand the material you’re choosing when you use stone tile: some will chip easily, while others are prone to scratching.

Green score: 9/10

Cork

Pros: Cork is springy, flexible, and comfortable underfoot. It also holds warmth well. The best benefit to cork comes in homes with allergies: cork fends off allergens like mold and mildew and helps deter pests.

Cons: Cork tile will require some maintenance. It needs to be coated every couple of years in order to maintain its natural beauty, and you can’t skip cleaning cork: over time, detritus may scar the surface. Standing water can cause damage to cork over time.

Green score: 10/10

Concrete

Pros: Concrete is an extremely durable material, so it will be sure to hold up in your bathroom for many years. Concrete can be stained nearly any color you can imagine. It will allow for creative expression throughout your bathroom.

Cons: Concrete tile can be very difficult to install, likely requiring professional installation. The tiles will need to be properly sealed in order to prevent problems down the road.

Green score: 8/10

Bamboo

Pros: Bamboo is naturally water resistant. It’s also very easy to maintain, making it a great choice for anyone who is hoping to keep their bathroom floors looking great with little effort. Bamboo, like many other hardwood flooring options, is available in a variety of shades.

Cons: Scratches and scrapes naturally occur on bamboo flooring over time. Excessive moisture can also cause warping over time. Bamboo flooring is manufactured using an adhesive that can release VOCs into the air over time, something which hasn’t been studied fully.

Green score: 5/10

Rubber

Pros: Rubber flooring is designed to be tough. Rubber tiles can be chosen in nearly any color or design to allow you the creativity to make your bathroom look exactly like the image in your head. Rubber tiles also offer a great cushioning effect and dull sound.

Cons: Rubber can be slippery when wet. Adding a “grippy” surface can make the rubber less likely to cause a fall. Rubber is also naturally dull, so it might not have the bright, shiny appearance you’re looking for in your tile. Most critically, rubber is difficult to clean. The initial cost of rubber tiles is very high compared to other materials.

Green score: 9/10

Natural Linoleum

Pros: Natural linoleum is typically biodegradable. It’s free of toxins and formaldehyde, so it won’t put off dangerous chemicals in your house. As an added bonus, it’s easy to install by yourself instead of hiring a professional. It’s also anti-static, highly durable, and easy to customize.

Cons: Natural linoleum is a very porous substance, so it can pick up stains quickly. It’s also susceptible to acids. It has an intense odor for the first few weeks following installation. It may take on a yellowish tinge when exposed to sunlight.

Green score: 9/10

Leather

Pros: Leather flooring creates a unique appearance that only grows more beautiful as it wears. Leather tile is surprisingly strong and holds up well over time. In some cases, leather tiles are also made out of recycled leather.

Cons: Leather tile won’t hold up well in a bathroom’s humid environment. No matter what room it’s in, leather flooring needs to be treated regularly with wax. It stains more easily than other types of tile.

Green score: 10/10

Reclaimed Hardwood

Pros: Reclaimed hardwood is made from materials that would otherwise have been thrown out or destroyed. You’re sure to get a unique design in your reclaimed wood. With reclaimed wood, you can use exotic woods that can no longer be harvested.

Cons: You have no way of knowing what chemicals were used to treat reclaimed wood. It’s also important to ensure that there are no pesky little critters living in your reclaimed wood before you bring it home. It’s critical that reclaimed wood be purchased from a legitimate source, as it may have hidden hazards like nails or other fastenings that have been used to hold it together in the past.

Green score: 8/10

Ceramic Tile

Pros: Ceramic tile offers the beauty of color and texture. It comes in almost any variety you can imagine. It’s inexpensive, highly customizable, and very durable.

Cons: It’s not as strong as other materials and may break easily if used as a walking surface. There’s some variance in size and color from lot to lot, so it’s best to buy everything you need for your project at once. It’s also very cold underfoot.

Green score: 8/10

The variety of eco-friendly bathroom tiles currently available on the market means that you have more choices than ever before. In fact, you might have trouble narrowing down your selection to the one that will work best for you! Even with a goal of eco-friendly bathroom design, you can create a haven that reflects your unique desires and taste as never before.

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