California Company Turns Old TVs into Ceramic Tile

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Fireclay Tile, a California tile-making company, has found a way to turn old glass TV screens and computer monitors into ceramic tiles. Photo: Fireclay Tile

Fireclay Tile, a California tile-making company, has found a way to turn old glass TV screens and computer monitors into ceramic tiles. Photo: Fireclay Tile

Fireclay Tile, a tile-making company based in San Jose, Calif., has been making tiles using sustainable methods since 1986. They recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a new line of recycled tiles crafted from the glass of obsolete TVs and computer monitors, in keeping with the tradition of incorporating recycled materials into their tiles.

Cathode ray tube (CRT) glass has been used for many years in televisions, but as new plasma and LCD TVs have begun to dominate the market, many of these CRT electronics have ended up in landfills. According to Fireclay’s Kickstarter campaign page, there are more than 600 million pounds of discarded CRT glass in California and billions of pounds in the United States. This type of glass is particularly difficult to recycle and can only be turned into new CRT glass, which no longer has much of a use in the electronics industry.

To help solve this problem, Paul Burns, Fireclay’s founder and chief ceramicist, partnered with a local e-waste recycler to obtain glass. Then he developed a process that involves crushing the glass and melting the pieces down so they can be formed into new tiles. The success of Fireclay’s Kickstarter campaign allows the company to pay for the unique molds required to make these tiles, and the new tiles will be suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses, including as backsplashes, floors, walls and fountains, says Burns.

Keep reading to learn more about these recycled tiles and how Fireclay Tile makes sustainable home décor.

Next page: Challenges of Recycled Materials

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