Retroactive2.0 by Crossville

Ceramic tile for safe and sustainable homes

Altered State by Crossville
Altered State by Crossville

Ceramic tile is not only beautiful, it is also healthy for your home. So states a Bulletin from TCNA (Tile Council of North America); which also notes that tile is long-lasting, easy to clean, fire-safe, and offers many slip-resistant choices.

Contessa by Interceramic
Contessa by Interceramic

Manufactured from clay and other naturally-occurring minerals, ceramic tile does not contain the chemicals present in other floor coverings, such as formaldehyde, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), that are receiving increased attention for their possible adverse health effects.

Cordoba by Metropolitan
Cordoba by Metropolitan

Some VOCs emitted by non-ceramic building products can contribute to a wide variety of health problems and Sick Building Syndrome, according to various health experts.  Because ceramic tile is fired at extremely high temperatures, producing an inorganic material, it has zero VOCs.  Ceramic tile contains none of the formaldehyde found in some floor coverings.  Formaldehyde is long associated with respiratory disorders, and exposure is a particular concern for children and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  In fact, formaldehyde emissions for several wood-based building and flooring products have been federally restricted since 2011 under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act. Ceramic tile is also free from PVC, a resin used in other types of floor coverings, and a subject of concern for many health experts.

Ellis by Vitromex
Ellis by Vitromex

Regarding building occupant safety, there are thousands of options for ceramic tiles which are slip-resistant when wet, unlike other types of flooring products that, according to their manufacturers, must be kept dry in order to be slip-resistant. Additionally, ceramic tile is non-flammable and does not produce smoke in a fire, meeting the flame spread and smoke development requirements of Section 803 of the International Building Code (IBC) for interior wall and ceiling materials.

Color Blox by Crossville
Color Blox by Crossville

Regarding the environment, the UL-certified Industry-Wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for North American-made ceramic tile shows that ceramic tile has the lowest environmental impact across major impact categories, when compared to other floorings with generic EPDs evaluated under the same product category rules. This includes a global warming potential which is half of that of Luxury Vinyl Tile, and three times lower than Rigid Core Board. With a 75-year service life, this makes ceramic tile both cost-effective and the best choice for reducing negative environmental impacts, resource use, and demolition waste, when compared to flooring products that need to be replaced more frequently.

Galaxy by Metropolitan
Galaxy by Metropolitan

“Representing the broad spectrum of North American tile, this UL-certified EPD is a powerful and useful tool for specifiers concerned with sustainable construction and who are looking to include tile in their projects. It transparently reports ceramic tile’s environmental impacts, and when compared to industry-wide EPDs publicly available for PBM products, building designers and owners can easily see that ceramic tile is the natural choice. Additionally, ceramic tile is made of abundantly and naturally occurring minerals, unlike PBM flooring that are made of synthetic polymers derived from scarce, nonrenewable petroleum resources,” explains Bill Griese, TCNA’s Director of Standards Development and Sustainability Initiatives.

Retroactive2.0 by Crossville
Retroactive2.0 by Crossville

And, when it comes to assessing sustainability, Green Squared is the obvious starting point for North American tile users.  The first multi-attribute sustainability standard developed for tiles and tile installation materials, Green Squared uses the transparency and consensus of the ANSI process combined with third party certification to evaluate, validate, and communicate products which have a positive impact on the environment and society.

Green Squared logo
Green Squared logo

Green Squared covers product characteristics, manufacturing, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation in an effort to establish sustainability criteria for products throughout their full lifecycle.

Green Squared incorporates a full range of sustainability issues into one standard, one mark – allowing for easy marketplace recognition of sustainable tiles, and tile installation materials.

Green Squared establishes performance-based thresholds, setting the benchmark for technical specification of sustainable tiles and installation materials. Green Squared also facilitates increased uniformity and decreased confusion in green marketing.

Certified products from Mapei
Certified products from Mapei

Green Squared certification provides a smooth, clear, and responsible pathway to inclusion in green building projects, in part by conferring the high level of credibility associated with passing third-party evaluation by international certification bodies.

Magna Lite by North American Adhesives
Magna Lite by North American Adhesives

Products carrying the Green Squared Certified mark have been independently certified to meet the broad array of rigorous sustainability requirements in the Green Squared standard, ANSI A138.1. Green Squared certification conforms to ISO 14024 Type 1 environmental labelling and declaration requirements. Products which are Green Squared Certified may contribute points, or facilitate conformance, to leading green building codes, standards, rating systems, and purchasing programs, including: LEED, Green Globes, NAHB National Green Building Standard, International Green Construction Code, ASHRAE 189.1, GSA P100, and EPA Recommendations to Federal Purchasers.

The Green Squared website provides links to certified products from a host of major manufacturers worldwide. Information on thousands of certified products, including EPDs, can be found on the site.

More at: http://greensquaredcertified.com

See the latest sustainable tile solutions from TCNA (https://www.tcnatile.com/) members at Coverings 2020. At Coverings visitors will experience the latest tile and stone trends, meet industry peers, and gain valuable technical knowledge. Coverings 2020 will be held from 20th to 23rd April in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

More at: https://www.coverings.com

A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, January 2020.

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