What’s more natural? A surface with texture, or one that’s flat and plastic? Even better is a textured surface made from recycled glass.
One of the most compelling things about building a tiny house is that you can consider materials that would be prohibitively expensive in a “normal” home. Salvaged tin ceilings, vintage hardwood floors, solid gold walls…maybe not that last one, but you get the picture.
Atlanta-based Vetrazzo’s new Sea Pearl finish makes recycled glass surfaces 3-D. “It’s like a piece of jewelry,” says Vice President of Sales Alexandra Neidbalski. “I could have put that in my jewelry box.” The Sea Pearl finish takes nine weeks to complete—the eight week production process of all Vetrazzo surfaces, plus an extra week of hand-finishing.
As you can guess, it’s not cheap. Vetrazzo floating blue tile sells for $28.17 per square foot on Wayfair—that’s tile, not the complete slab you see above. Vetrazzo doesn’t list their prices, but my sneaky Internet research indicates that tile like this would go for at least $100 per square foot.
Now, if you were planning a McMansion bathroom, you’d be looking at costs in the thousands. But, for someone building a tiny house, just a small amount of this gorgeous tile would be plenty to add striking natural beauty to a bathroom. If you’re building a custom tiny home, an extra $500-$750 for high-quality upcycled glass tile rather than mass-produced vinyl or linoleum is a win for the aesthetics of your tiny house and for the environment.
Vetrazzo designers recommend using the Sea Pearl finish in backsplashes, showers, and accent walls. This example came from a child’s bathroom in a New York home.
The company was the first to develop countertops made from recycled glass. A University of California-Berkeley materials scientist founded the company that became Vetrazzo in 1996, when he invented a method of fusing recycled glass with cement. While based in the Bay Area, the company promoted sustainability not just in their products but in their daily work. Initially, Vetrazzo VP John Sabol told the sustainability website Triple Pundit: “We recycle all our water in the manufacturing process. In fact, we use more water in our restrooms than we do in our manufacturing.” Quebec-based stone supplier Polycor bought Vetrazzo in 2010 and moved its manufacturing operations to Georgia.
If you’re near a major metro area, you’ll be able to take a look in person. Vetrazzo’s find a showroom page will show you the dealer nearest you.