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By its very nature, tile is made from natural raw materials for which there is virtually an endless supply. The resulting product is inert and solid and can be returned to the earth as uncontaminated clean fill.
Recycled Content

Tile and installation material manufacturers put large quantities of recycled material in their processes. Many tile manufacturers recycle significant amounts of pre-consumer and post-consumer waste material, which might include glass or various recycled aggregates. Installation material manufacturers use wide varieties of recycled materials, which might include rubber, plastic, glass, calcium sulfate from power plant coal scrubbers, and many others.

Check out our product locator to find out more about North American tile products with recycled content.

Regional Availability

In many cases, natural materials are mined within a 500 mile radius of both the manufacturing and job site locations. This minimizes fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

Click here to find out more about TCNA member products in your neighborhood!

Closed Loop Processes

Most tile and related installation material factories are closed loop, resulting in only negligible amounts of scrap and wastewater. Nearly all manufacturer's efficiently re-use waste water and many types of solid waste, including both fired and un-fired material.

Tables below reflect a 2008 survey of TCNA tile manufacturing members:


Waste Water Use by North
American Tile Manufacturers in 2008

Reused in factory 76%
Discharged 24%
Total 100%


Impact of Water Reuse by North
American Tile Manufacturers in 2008
Reduction in Total Water Intake
Reduction in Total Water Discharge


Solid Waste Use by North
American Tile Manufacturer's in 2008
Reused in Factory 51%
Sent off for Reuse 20%
Disposed 29%
Total 100%


Ecological Installation
Unlike other flooring products, tile products can be ordered and delivered in nearly the exact quantities that are needed for a job. They do not require additional site-applied finishing material, and scrap cuts and pieces are commonly used for trim and in transitional areas of a layout. This reduces quantities of jobsite waste material. Tiled surfaces are also non-absorptive and can be installed early-on in the construction phase with less concern for mold or mildew than competitive flooring products. Furthermore, tile installations do not require any tools that emit carbon monoxide.
Energy Savings Through Innovative Installations

Tile is an excellent option for use with radiant heat underlayment systems. The use of these systems can be an energy efficient way to heat a home.


As a fade-, frost-, and fire-resistant product, tile is an excellent option for exterior building facades. When used as a ventilated facade, the air pocket created between the tile and exterior building shell can evacuate warm air in the summer and keep insulation dry in the winter, increasing the energy efficiency of a building.




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