Recycled Glass Tiles: Creation, Benefits, and Applications

A bold herringbone recycled glass tile (Nantucket collection) creates a modern minimalist aesthetic in this residential living room. A true testament to how recycled glass tiles can enhance any space they are placed in. 

Did you know that in 2020 there were more than 6 million tons of glass waste sent to landfills? As shocking as it seems, it’s true. While it may be a lot to swallow at first, luckily, there are initiatives in place to help Mama Earth out and reduce our carbon footprint. One way to do this is by using recycled glass tiles in interior design. With their almost ethereal bodies and unique-as-can-be styles, these sustainable tiles can turn any space into an eco-conscious sanctuary that any homeowner will be proud of. Today, we will review the ways recycled glass tiles are manufactured, the benefits of using recycled glass tiles in design and top it off with some seriously crave-worthy inspirational designs.

How recycled glass tiles are manufactured 

Just like the rest of the world of tile, not all recycled glass tiles are created the same. This is what gives each tile a unique touch and individualistic statement. Much like there’s the durability difference in porcelain and ceramic tiles, recycled glass tiles, too, have some distinguishing features made noteworthy by the way they are manufactured. To get you up to speed, we outline the 3 different techniques to make these tiles below. 

Cleaned, Categorized and Crushed. 

The first process for developing recycled glass tiles involves a bit more legwork and methodology than the other two we’ll discuss. To form recycled glass tiles this way, the goal is uniformity and a pretty singular color tone throughout. Seems hard to do, right? After all, you’re bringing together various recycled glass items to make tile! Well, luckily, the geniuses in the tile world (who we admire) made a way to do just this. First, the glass is gathered and sorted according to type and color. This helps guide the goal of uniformity. Next, the glass is cleaned, then crushed. These glass chips are mixed with metallic oxides to bind them together. Finally, this liquid mixture is poured into molds of choice and baked at high temperatures to give a shimmering, shiny glass tile. 

Molten Like Lava

The second process that is used to create stunning recycled glass tiles is a bit more eclectic. The goal in this method is not to achieve perfection, but to create an artisanal design with a medley of hues. It’s known as the Smalti method. This is where glass is melted to a molten state. When they get to this fiery level of molten liquid, color is added into the mix. Finally, the glass gets rolled out (not poured, different from the first), cooled, and cut into uniform pieces. The result is tiles with swirling, colorful facades. 

Cast Into Style

The third and last process for development is the cast method. This is where glasses are put into molds that already have coloring. Then, they are melted until binded. Then, pressure is applied to make the pieces tightly stick together.

The Benefits of Recycled Glass Tiles

Now that you’re familiar with the ways in which recycled glass tiles get created (pretty cool, right?), let’s move on to the benefits that these beautiful, eco-friendly tile options can provide and why you may want to choose them in your next interior design project; be it for floors, shower walls, or backsplashes. 

A modern farmhouse chic bakery that utilizes the beauty of recycled glass tiles as a counter surround. The tiled counter creates a chic, farmhouse aesthetic that has both movement and scale thanks to the use of our Epillet Beige glass tile with herringbone pattern.

The first benefit, and by far the biggest in our opinion, is that using recycled glass tiles helps to get the number of glass tiles in landfills down (remember, 6 million tons?) This is a great way to not only lower your impact on the environment and do your part in helping create a more sustainable future. But, you can also enjoy a more unique end design since recycled tiles, while can be uniformed in color, come from all sorts of glass objects to create a beautiful aesthetic. Talk about building pieces!

A French country inspired kitchen that utilizes the beauty of recycled glass tiles as a backsplash. The all white backsplash creates a light and bright ambiance that adds spaciousness easily featuring our Glacage Tisse glass tile with a woven tile pattern.

The next benefit is that glass tiles can be used in myriad of design situations. Since this type of tile is extremely durable, many times, it can installed indoors, or outdoors in pools or spas. Which works perfectly to give a cool, creative touch to your interior and exterior projects. What’s more, they are very low maintenance and easy to clean. You can use these recycled glass tiles on shower floors, bathroom floors, kitchen backsplashes and lobby entryways! Since they don’t require heavy duty upkeep, soap and water will do, which is yet another way you get to help the planet. How cool is that?

A zen-inspired bathroom showcases that a patterned recycle glass tile can create a statement that flows seamlessly in the above design. Using our Verre collection, this blue and green glass tile backsplash not only beautifies the environment but works well with organic, plant touches.

Finally, we’d be remised if we didn’t mention the benefit of versatility! These lustrous tiles have monumental impact on any design. With tile colors ranging from neutrals and classic whites to bold, blue glass tiles, there’s seriously something for all design aesthetics! Plus, it doesn’t stop there; these glass tiles are offered in a bunch of shapes; glass subway tiles, glass penny round tiles and herringbone glass tiles. Convinced to use them yet? 😉

Get Inspired To Use Recycled Glass Tiles In Your Design

Now that you know the benefits and creation of recycled glass tiles, how about a little inspiration to get your mind churning out ideas for your project? Sounds good, right? We’ve rounded up 9 of our favorite designs using various styles of MIR tiles for you.

Hexagon, Here.

Stone sophistication meets sustainability in this master bathroom with sculptural, custom sinks and a recycled glass tile feature wall with our Nantucket Tuckernuck hexagon tiles. A stunning display of modern-meets-timelessness. 

When it comes to creating a stand-out design with recycled glass tiles, the bathroom is a key area that can benefit from the tile use. After all, in the space you have the option to make a feature wall design behind a bathroom vanity, create chic bathroom floor tile designs, make a shower border with glass tiles or even curate a floor-to-ceiling tile design. With recycled glass tiles having an endless supply of style options, you can get really creative. Such is explored in the above master bathroom tile remodel. Using a shimmering hexagon glass tile on the bathroom walls, the result is a modernized beauty that creates a light, refreshing ambiance. 

Circle Mosaic Glass Tiles

Circle shaped glass tiles adorn this bubbly, fun kitchen backsplash. Featuring our Cercle de Perle glass tile this space immediately has a modern, sleek, and clean charm with an undeniable twist. 

For those clients that love an all white tile kitchen backsplash, you’re in luck. While it may seem utterly impossible to create a uniformed white tile from recycled glass, we’re here to tell you that it is possible! You can find a white recycled glass tile that will fit in perfectly with a clean, modern minimalist interior design style scheme. Using white glass penny inspired tiles is a great way to add a sense of lightness to a design and can work on myriad placements; fireplace surrounds, kitchen backsplashes (like the above), outdoor bar backsplashes and shower wall designs. 

Herringbone Is Bonified Beautiful 

Modern farmhouse is all the rage, and isn’t slowing down any time soon. So, to make the most of this trending style in your next design, considering making an eco-friendly impact with recycled glass tiles ideal for this farmhouse design. Such is our Epillet Beige tile line from the Verre Collection. 

Who doesn’t love a modern farmhouse design? With its fusion of organic elements, from wood to white cabinetry to patterned tiles, it’s equal parts fun and classic. This style can be easily obtained with use of recycled glass tiles, as shown in the above design. Utilizing a herringbone pattern tile on the kitchen backsplash is a sure-fire way to get the farmhouse stamp of approval and keep glass out of landfills. A total win-win, in our opinion.


Farmhouse inspired bathroom stuns with a coordinated effort of blue cabinetry, natural wooden touches and a recycled glass tile that features a herringbone pattern behind the vanity (Epillet Pearl.)

Herringbone recycled glass tiles also work extremely well in a bathroom design for modern farmhouse, as seen above. Using a shimmering, pearlesque mosaic tile on the wall behind the bathroom vanity, the space is open, light, bright and beautiful. More than just adding an elegant touch to the farmhouse inspired look, this pearl glass tile also shows that recycled glass tiles have a variety of finishes to choose from. This mosaic tile can work as a fireplace surround tile, a pool tile, or even an outdoor patio tile.

Creative walk-in shower design that utilizes a beautiful herringbone beige recycled glass tile (Nantucket Surfside Herringbone) as a shower wall niche and floor tile. Together the blue complements the stone look porcelain tile walls to make a transitional design that captivates. 

Not just for modern farmhouse spaces, herringbone recycled glass tiles can also show-off in showers, the floors, walls, and as accents! Seen here in a more transitional style master bathroom design, the use of the herringbone glass tile creates a fun atmosphere and pleasant twist in a more conservative scheme.

Stylish Subway Tiles 

Multitonal blue glass subway tiles (Nantucket Surfside) complement this guest bathroom design with its modern mirror, square drop-in sink and sleek vanity. 

Ah, the classic subway tile…but with a twist! We’re all about fusing together sustainability with longevity, which is exactly what you get with recycled glass subway tiles like our Nantucket Surfside tile. With an ombre effect, these tiles bring an artisanal feeling to the traditional wall tile style. A perfect sea glass inspired tile for bathroom walls in coastal interiors, kitchen backsplashes in transitional homes or as a mudroom/entryway wall tile. With simple, classy vibes, it’s a go-to option in the recycled glass world. 

This elegant traditional bathroom gets a modern facelift with the use of recycled subway tiles. These glass tiles (Nantucket Sankanty subway tile) have a shimmering facade that provide a more 21st century design infusion that stuns.

Not for blue? More for classic? Try this multicolored subway tile instead which fits the sustainability bill but can deliver a classic white subway tile for bathroom or kitchens instantly. This design alone showcases that recycled glass subway tiles provide timeless beauty as it’s a more traditional elegant design, and fits in seamlessly. 

With a romantic aesthetic, the above bathroom uses beige and green glass subway tiles to create a soothing, earthy ambiance. With a swirling body, our Nantucket subway tile creates a focal point as a feature wall tile.

Another way to use subway glass tiles? As a replacement for flooring in a master bath! Check out this swirling beige and green display of subway tiles in this calming, classic bathroom interior. Using recycled glass tiles as a feature floor under the bathroom vanity creates a welcoming spot that guests and homeowners alike will love. Complemented by the porcelain beige wall tiles in the bathroom, it’s a mix of traditional and romantic styles that work well together–collectively on a more sustainable mission!

Now that you’ve reached the end, how do you feel? Ready to conquer your next interior design project with recycled glass tiles for a more sustainable edge? We sure hope so! If that sounds like you, head over to our Verre Collection or our Nantucket Collection to view even more recycled tiles to choose from. 

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