Why Tiles Are Eco-Friendly
People concerned about the environment often ask if tiling their floors or walls in their home is an eco-friendly choice. It is perhaps understandable that this question is asked so often as it is difficult to know whether a manufactured product such as porcelain tiles are good or bad for the environment. Or when it comes to natural stone tiles, the product might be natural but what about the process to extract the natural stone and make it into tiles? Does that use excessive amounts of energy from the earth’s limited supply of fossil fuels? Does it create excessive waste that ends up in landfill? We should all take a personal responsibility for our environment when choosing products for our homes.
Well most European tile manufacturers have for some years been striving to make their manufacturing processes as environmentally friendly as possible. They minimising energy consumption, reduce the amount of waste products and recycle where possible. Some of the latest production methods are far more eco-friendly than the more traditional methods. For instance, digitally printing designs on tiles as a “print-on-demand” process produces far less wastage of ink and tile products than when large batches of one design had to be made because of the manufacturing procedure. It also uses far fewer ink colour so, again, less waste is produced.
Some manufacturers producing thousands of different designs digitally which means they can produce smaller runs of a single design – this offers a higher degree of exclusivity because the print runs are smaller but also a more eco-friendly option because of less waste and more efficient manufacturing processes. So the consumer benefits on 2 fronts.
Traditional methods of printing on tiles such as screen printing and digital transfer are still being used by some companies but direct digital decoration is looking set to take over entirely from these conventional processes as it is proving to be a cost-effective and reliable method.
So if you are concerned about the eco-friendly credentials of the tiles you choose then look out for digitally printed wall or floor tiles.