Fireclay Tile

Product Description

Fireclay Tile could be of the poster child for the handcrafted, artisanal ethos that has sprung up as the antipode to the mass produced, plastic schlock of the Big Box universe. The words that come to mind when describing their products: quality, old world craftsmanship, durability and beauty. They are the leading ceramic tile company using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices, and follow a “triple bottom line” philosophy. The Green Store is very proud to be, at this writing, their sole Oregon dealer.

The Green Store has samples of Fireclay Tile’s Debris Series and Crush Glass tiles on display in the store, although we can order all of their products and request samples of them for customer examination. We have chosen to feature the Debris Series and Crush Glass because of their recycled content, 70% and 100% respectively.

The Debris Series contains granite dust and recycled glass, both sourced from within 200 miles of Fireclay’s factory in San Jose, and both otherwise considered unusable waste. Through Fireclay’s ingenuity, the glass and granite waste are rerouted from the landfill and to be and beautifully reborn. The recycled glass comes from the post consumer recycling stream after other options for its repurposing have been exhausted. Bottles collected curbside are ground into cullet, i.e. smallish chunks, that are melted and formed into new bottles, but smaller glass particles slip through the massive jaws of the bottle mill, and they are what go into the Debris products. The granite dust is also from particles too tiny to make it to the end of a production cycle, in their case asphalt shingle manufacture. The reclaimed materials are not just to abet Fireclay’s “green” bona fides. They give Debris tiles unrivalled hardness so that these tiles can be used not just on walls, but on floors and countertops, too.

Crush Glass tiles are made from 100% locally sourced recycled glass, collected at near-by window and solar factories. Fireclay’s highly efficient glass firing process gives Crush a unique pillowed edge and rich depth of color. As is the case for all of their products, Crush Glass is hand made to order and is ready about 4 weeks after the order is placed.

Fireclay’s efficiency is enviable, their practices nonpareil. Here is an excerpt from their web site explaining their procedure:

We consider recycling in three ways: first by formulating our tile bodies utilizing a majority of post-consumer and post-industrial waste materials that we purchase, second by processing internally produced scrap materials back into our clay bodies, and third by finding special markets for tiles that do not meet our exacting specifications.

Clay manufactured but not used in tiles can be collected as scrap and recycled back into the production loop prior to firing. 99% of all scrap clay generated in the tile forming process is recycled back into new tile. 80% of all glaze over-spray is collected and recycled. Any waste we do produce is inert and non-hazardous.

Though we make tile to order, inevitably we end up with seconds or overstock. We sell these tiles at a discount to individuals, designers, and contractors through our “Boneyard.” We also seek non-profit organizations that can put our tile to good use for up to a 90% discount off standard retail prices.

To read more about Fireclay Tile and their products, follow this link to their web site:

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