How to Recycle Broken Tile Pieces
The tile is the creator of beautiful walls, shiny floors, and dream patios. But what happens when the grout dries, and you have debris? When you are done with ceramic and porcelain tiles in your home, is there a way to recycle them?
We recommend that you keep a few spare parts whether you need to replace them in the future. However, any excess can be recycled and remodeled into a fantastic ceramic house item, desk accessory, or a piece of art. Follow this article to know how to recycle broken tile pieces.
What is Used to Make Ceramic and Porcelain Tile?
Before recycling broken tiles, you must know what materials are used to make them. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are created of clay, but ceramic tiles also have mixed sand. Porcelain tiles tend to be made of denser clay than ceramic. This and a long hot cooking process make it more difficult (and more brittle) than ceramic.
The vast majority of the tiles sold in the United States are ceramic or porcelain. Many other household items are ceramic and porcelain. Many dishes and decorative objects are ceramic. The dolls and other figurines, vases, porcelain plates, and toilets are made of porcelain.
How to Recycle Broken Ceramic Tiles
Break the ceramic tiles into small pieces with a hammer. Then, apply a teaspoon of tile adhesive to each broken piece, and stick the pieces of ceramic tile to an old table or other surfaces. Work quickly to glue each piece because the tile adhesive dries quickly. Remember to wear latex gloves to protect your hands.
Apply a drop of color with a putty knife or spatula to complete the ceramic mosaic project. Clean the mosaic with a transparent cloth or towel and add a transparent varnish, if desired, to make the mosaic shine.
Put unwanted ceramic tiles and broken pieces in a box and contact a building materials recovery company. See if the rescue company will buy the ceramic tile from you. Wear work gloves to protect your hands. You can also donate the ceramic tile to a school, non-profit group, or other organization for their arts and crafts program.
How to Recycle Broken Porcelain Tiles
Recycling a broken porcelain tile is difficult than ceramic tile. You will find porcelain tile recyclers in the market. One of the examples of a tile recycler is Fireclay Tile in Northern California. It recently launched a porcelain recycling program at the transfer stations in San Francisco and San José. The company brings porcelain to its facilities, grinds it, and uses it on Debris series tiles.
With this new porcelain fountain, refractory clay tiles contain 70% recycled content, including 50% after consumption. The company declared on its site that it is recovering old toilets (which are notoriously difficult to recycle). So, it can be assumed that the company is also taking porcelain tiles.
The other option for recycling porcelain tiles is to see if your city has a company that recycles porcelain toilets. Call them and ask if they are interested in your old tokens. Broken toilets can be used for road aggregates, which are the material under roads to help stabilize them. You can also recycle porcelain tiles yourself following the procedure mentioned above. But, it would be slightly difficult.
Tips to Reuse Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Whether you don’t find a ceramic or porcelain tile recycler in your community, you can always reuse your old tiles. If the tile has never been fitted in your home, think of donating it to a building reuse organization or other charity. Hundreds of communities have ReStores Habitat for Humanity. Many others have private organizations that take used building materials and sell them to people.
If you like your mosaic and want to reuse it, or if you don’t want it to end up in a landfill, it is possible to remove and reuse it. The main thing to do is remove the tile without breaking it, and invest time to remove the old mortar.
Pinterest has many ideas for using old ceramic and porcelain tiles. Pour concrete steps and squeeze tiles on them to create beautiful and functional garden details. Attach them to the sides of the large pots. Use them to create hopscotch patterns for kids. My favorite is an adult item – a giant outdoor Scrabble board made by placing tiles on a patio and then printing letters on an additional set of tiles to spell the words.
Let your imagination run wild when you reuse tiles for these purposes. You can still paint, stamp, or decorate them to create beautiful objects for your home or garden. Your old ceramic and porcelain tiles can break when you remove them from your bathroom or kitchen. If this happens, you can use the fragments to mosaic or place them at the bottom of potted plants to facilitate drainage.