Florida Tile has developed and brought on-line a new scrap tile crushing facility designed to allow more post-production fired tile to be crushed for reintroduction into the body of tile made at its Lawrenceburg, KY, facility.

"This achieves two things simultaneously," said Sean Cilona, Florida Tile’s marketing director. "First, our proprietary design and subsequent implementation will have a dramatic impact on the waste stream. Now, virtually all scrap tile can be diverted from landfills for use in our production facilities."

"Second, the nature of our process allows for all of our tile lines to contain recycled content. This is important to our industry and to designers, architects and builders, all of whom have an interest in a broader spectrum of tile with recycled content," Cilona said.

"Previously," said Cilona, "Florida Tile has successfully crushed and reused scrap wall tile and red body floor tile. Now, with the installation of our new crushing line, we have the capability of crushing and recycling not only those products as well as porcelain, but also virtually any scrap ceramic material and using that for content across all product lines."

He noted that manufacturers for years have been able to crush scrap tile, but the crushed content was usually limited in use, generally to create only one recycled tile style or line. "This meant tile makers could introduce a percentage of scrap usually into a very limited product line, and the result was often less aesthetically pleasing and more variable in appearance," he added.

"Florida Tile took a different path, an engineering a process using the most advanced machinery to create an ideal aggregate by which we can introduce a greater percentage of reworked material into ALL of our tile lines. Right now, the formula for porcelain tile made at our Kentucky plant is 10% recycled content. Other Florida Tile products contain even higher amounts," Cilona said, "and the company is committed to increasing those percentages in the coming months."

Initiatives like this are all part of the growing Florida Tile CARES (Creating A Responsible Environmental Strategy) program. "This is a very strong commitment to conserve our natural resources and a great value-added benefit to our entire customer base," Cilona said. "Programs like LEED and the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Green Building Standard both reward the use of materials with recycled content. Also, as mainstream consumers continue to gain knowledge and become aware of building trends, they are now actively looking for products with a reduced environmental impact."

For more information on Florida Tile’s initiatives, visit the company's new website here.