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Comparison of the environmental impact of ceramic vs marble tiles

Comparison of the environmental impact of ceramic vs marble tiles

how sustainable is…

This study compares the environmental impact of ceramic and marble tiles. It considers a typical Italian manufacturing plant for the manufacturing of each of these tiles. The study suggests that the main environmental impact categories are:

and concludes that ceramic tiles have approx. twice as high an environmental impact as marble tiles.

This is mainly due to the greater greenhouse gas emissions (global warming potential) and the emissions associated with the glaze required for the production of ceramic tiles. The environmental impact of the emissions associated with the glaze are caused by the emission of arsenic and lead into the atmosphere. Lead emissions have been reduced in recent times, due to the use of low-lead or lead-free glazes. However these newer glazes often require the use of boron which ultimately results in greater arsenic emissions.

Link to full report

While we make every effort to be accurate, we do not claim that this summary is representative. Please refer to our Legal Disclaimer for details.

what can I do to reduce my environmental footprint?

While this study is based on Italian data, the comparison between the two types of tiles would appear to be applicable universally. Therefore, if you need to choose between a ceramic tiled floor and a marble tiled floor, you may want to choose marble from an environmental point of view.

Report Rating: 2 out of 3

Report Published: June 2001

Country: Italy

Author(s): Giuseppe Nicoletti, Bruno Notanicola, Giuseppe Tassielli

Publisher: Pharos Project

Funder: not known

Keywords: life cycle analysis, LCA, cradle to grave analysis, environmental footprint, tiles, flooring, marble, ceramic

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