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Are ceramic tiles sustainable? With the increasing attack on the environment and ecosystem in recent years, Ecology and sustainability are two key topics of the moment, also in design. This can lead to the question of what are the best choices we can make in terms of eco-compatible development.

Thanks to its durability and ease of maintenance, whether for interior or exterior walls, ceramic tile perfectly embodies the sustainability philosophy of the industry in which it is a leading product.

 Ceramics proves to be one of the most sustainable choices for floor and wall covering as bathroom and kitchen tops. An environmental impact study that measured the entire life cycle of ceramics (Life Cycle Assessment) found that this is the material with the lowest environmental impact in the field of floor coverings. 

 What is more, designers, builders, and contractors know they can rely on the high standards required by ISO 17889-1:2021 standard (International Organization for Standardization).


Ceramics – rendered from the Greek word kéramos, clay – is undoubtedly a very broad field, encompassing all products resulting from the processing and firing of clays and other aggregate materials such as kaolin, feldspar, and sand.

The final products may be different (stoneware, porcelain, terracotta, or majolica) although they are all characterized by specifications such as strength, durability, non-deformability, and complete recyclability. 

It is therefore fair to say that ceramic tiles are sustainable, considering their durability and recyclability. Let’s delve further and better understand the different types of ceramics, which are the most virtuous materials for floor coverings, and their use with a view to a synergy between environmental, social, and economic well-being.

Sustainable Design: Durable Materials are the Secret

Remarkable for its centuries-old artistic tradition, porcelain can also boast excellent technical specifications such as robustness and water resistance. It also proves to be the ideal choice from the point of view of sustainability for ornamental and decorative elements and vertical surfaces where stresses are less concentrated.

 However, due to its resistance to different types of stresses and external agents, the top eco-friendly tile flooring is stoneware.I also wrote the article What Materials  Are Used To Make Tiles? in the last article. If you are interested, you can click to learn more.

Sustainable Floor Tiles: All the Benefits of Porcelain Stoneware

In defining a sustainable tile, its entire life cycle and lifespan should be taken into full consideration. The production process of porcelain stoneware starts with the selection of raw materials such as clays and sand, which are then ground and spray-dried.

Size, shape, and thickness may vary while the constant that all porcelain stoneware tiles have in common is durability, making them the perfect choice because they are resistant to scratches and abrasions, as well as waterproof.

The advantages of porcelain stoneware are inexhaustible. As the name suggests, the stoneware tile is extremely compact, a characteristic that makes it exceptionally resistant to impacts, stains, and damage.

What is more, it retains heat evenly and returns it to the room gradually, a factor of decisive importance in under-floor heating systems.In terms of sustainability, ceramic tiles are free of VOC –Volatile Organic Compounds.


Main Facts for Tile’s Sustainability

1. VOC toxins – The production of ceramic tile does not include the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. Alternatively, products such as Vinyl can emit various levels of toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals which are harmful to the air quality of the immediate environment and can cause respiratory problems over time.

This is particularly important when considering children living in the home or those with bronchial ailments, such as asthma.The main ingredient used in the manufacture of vinyl is petroleum.

The technical name for VINYL is PVC. Dioxins are created during the manufacture of the Chloride in PVC. Other toxins produced during the manufacture of the chlorine in PVC include ethylene, dichloride, and vinyl chloride.

2. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical long associated with respiratory disorders, and exposure is a particular concern for children and the elderly, according to the ‘Centres for Disease Control’ (CDC) in America. 

Formaldehyde emissions for several wood-based building and flooring products have been federally restricted in America since 2011 under the ‘Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act’. Whereas, as a fired product, ceramic tile is formaldehyde-free.

3. Safety

 With regards to the occupant safety of the many flooring choices available, ceramic tile stands out when Slip/fall safety is a consideration because of the thousands of floor tile choices that are slip-resistant when wet. This is in stark contrast to floorings that, according to their manufacturers, must be kept dry to be slip-resistant.

 4. Durability 

Tile is incredibly durable, allowing it to be used for generations without replacement. With a 60-year service life, tile is not only cost-effective but is sustainability-speaking, the best choice for reducing negative environmental impacts, resource use, and demolition waste, when compared to most flooring products.

Since tile’s potential service life is at least as long as the building in which it is installed, environmental impacts from manufacturing, installation, and disposal are considered only once, unlike some other flooring options that need to be replaced frequently, each time adding to their environmental impact.

5. Biodegradable

Tile is biodegradable, other flooring finishes such as LVT are not due to the product used in its manufacture (e.g.: PVC).


6. Shrinkage

 LVT has many documented issues with shrinkage. In any area where there is sunlight, the installation needs to be done using an Epoxy glue and the substrate has to be tested for moisture before installation. Humidity also has to be within certain limits. These are issues that have resulted in a low recommendation for these products.

7. Hypoallergenic

Tile is inhospitable to mold, dust, and bacteria. So it does not trap mold in the product and releases mold spores into the atmosphere that we breathe.

8. Fire Hazards

Tiles are non-flammable and so don’t pose safety hazards. Especially is the case with ceramic tiles which are fireproof. And will not emit gases. Therefore, often selected for fireplaces and exit corridors. Ceramic tiles can survive fire and floods

Tiles can be reused or recycled. Provided they are properly sorted and separated from other building material waste, they can be used as a by-product, for example, as aggregate for concrete or as a plant substrate. 


with the much desired positive factors we have reviewed, we can reasonably answer that tiles are highly sustainable; environmentally friendly, yes, and eco-friendly because they are manufactured using natural material and do not retain toxic chemicals, odors, allergens, or bacteria. It also does not burn or emit toxic fumes.

 Either for floor covering or wall covering, eco-friendly tiles are a rewarding choice; they are versatile, made from recycled and recyclable materials, with a long life span due to their durability.

If you have any problem, welcome talk to our experts. George ceramic have many years of making the tiles, not only help you solve the problem, but also offer the reliable tiles products to you.

Click to learn:Explore Tiles, Its Application and Pros and Cons | Guide

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