How to choose the most eco-friendly tiles
Nowadays homeowners are very focussed on sustainability and want to know where the materials used in their home come from and if they are eco-friendly. Tiles are very “green”. They come from the earth. They are made from natural clay that has been baked in a kiln, even the glazes and decoration are made from naturally occurring minerals.
Because tiles have an extremely long life, just look at all those Roman tiles that are still intact, they need to be replaced less often which really offsets the energy used to produce package and deliver them in a way that does not apply to less durable materials. A longer product lifespan also means less waste in landfill sites.
The majority of consumers would prefer to use environmentally friendly products but it is difficult to work out which product is the most environmentally friendly. The Tile Association advises us all to take a closer look at the "green credentials" of tiles.
Tiles are made from natural materials and many tile manufacturers are including recycle fired ceramic waste in to the tile body. One UK manufacturer is now using waste as 30% of their raw material. Another UK manufacturer is reducing its energy use and CO2 emissions, recycling heat from its kilns and increasing the recycled content in its products. Another UK manufacturer is currently building a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant that will make them virtually self sufficient in energy production. That manufacturer has also joined forces with its local Wildlife Trust to help fund and drive forward conservation projects in their region.
Many Spanish tile manufacturers (the majority of ceramic tiles used in UK come from Spain) are recycling water and post-industrial waste, conserving energy by using their own solar power, and using co-generation which is the
||AkzoNobel finds link between colour trends and economic trends
People’s choice and their use of colour is strongly influenced by the state of the economy, according to a recent detailed analysis into colour trends conducted by AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paint and coatings company and supplier of leading brands such as Dulux®, Cuprinol® and Sikkens®.
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"Analysing colour trends has shown us that during an economic downturn, neutral colours such as black, white and greys are favoured for interiors, while more intense colours are used when people feel more confident", explained Stephanie Kraneveld, Global Colour Training Manager for AkzoNobel Decorative Paints, whilst unveiling the company’s colour trends for 2010.
"At the end of the 20th century, for example, neutrals were predominantly used. When fear and uncertainty surrounding the dawn of the new millennium faded, colour began to reappear in homes, varying from bright, vibrant colours to less saturated tones. What we’re seeing at the moment is that in Western Europe, sober whites and off-whites are the most popular, while in the US beige and grey are dominant. In Asia, however, fresh colours such as clean yellows, pink and light blue are preferred, which could well be related to the local economy".
She adds that these trends are likely to shift again in the months and years ahead. "Midtones will tend to predominate overall, with cleaner off-whites and fewer heavy shades evident, indicating a move towards colours that are lighter in mood and more optimistic in feeling, which will lift our spirits as we move on from the tough economic times we’re currently going through".
Call 020 7932 9900 for more information. Website: www.akzonobel.com/uk/
use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat.
The way in which tiles are fired has changed in many ways. Less than 30 years ago it took several weeks to make a quarry tile and at over a week to make a glazed wall tile. In those days a decorated wall tile would be fired at least three times. Now the whole process takes a matter of hours with the tile being fired only once for as little as 30 minutes: less time than it takes to cook a casserole.
The colour trends presented by AkzoNobel are part of the company’s Color Futures™. The result of ongoing worldwide colour trend research, forecasting and development, Color Futures provides international style and design trends for interiors and exteriors, which have been translated into colour trend palettes.
Whether ceramic, natural stone or slate your tiles will last longer than almost any other building material, only needing replacing when you are tired of looking at them. Choose a truly classic design and that could be a lifetime.
In 2008 The Tile Association introduced an annual award for "Best initiative to reduce environmental impact". The award recognises the importance of sustainability and care for the environment and has attracted nominations from many companies taking environmental initiatives right across the supply chain from manufacture to installation. The winner was adhesives manufacturer and distributor Instarmac for its overall environmental policies.
Call 020 8663 0946 for more information. Website: www.tiles.org.uk