we think recycled glass, we think of coke bottles, but we never think
of what it could be used for. Vetrazzo'stransforms recycled glass into
beautiful surfaces that can be used for bathrooms, kitchens, bars,
tables, fireplace mantles and so much more. What is so great and
beautiful about this product is that each piece of glass holds its own
story. From beginning to end Vetrazzo's tracks the history of the glass.
Just as a grandmother passes a family treasure to a grandchild, you
receive a history of something beautiful to create your own history
with. This product comes in so many wonderful colors and designs that
can fit into any room and is a breeze to clean. Most importantly, you
are contributing to the environment.
About the author: Sara Jacobs recently celebrated her 10th year working at EPA Region 9. She has spent most of her years in the Drinking Water Office, but is currently on a detail to the Superfund Division, working with the Navajo EPA.
My two-bedroom flat in San Francisco was built in 1926 and I don’t think much has happened to the kitchen since. We still have no dishwasher or disposal and no flooring other than the sub floor since we ripped up the old stained and cracked vinyl. As we dream of some day being able to take on a kitchen remodel, we wonder how we could minimize the environmental impact of our project. Yet, we still need to stay on budget, maintain product quality, and still display our own unique style. Is this even possible?
We know that using recycled, locally manufactured, non-toxic materials are all good ideas, but where do we find these products? There is so much information to dig through on the web and as a busy, full-time working mother of two, I am just overwhelmed by the task. That’s why I was so excited when I read that one of the Pacific Southwest Environmental Award winners, Vetrazzo, takes glasses that are not recyclable elsewhere and turns them into beautiful countertops. (I can say beautiful because I saw the samples!)
Vetrazzo uses old glass from traffic lights, windshields, plate glass windows, dinnerware, stemware, laboratory glass, stained glass, and beverage bottles and transforms them into a superior green building material. In 2008, Vetrazzo transformed 650 tons of recycled glass into countertops, table tops, bar tops, fireplace hearths, shower surrounds and flooring.
Vetrazzo is made from glass processed directly from the recycler without melting. Since 2007, creation of 11,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide has been avoided by transforming recycled glass into Vetrazzo instead of new bottles or fiberglass. That is the same amount of energy saved by removing 2,125 passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year.
“Being recognized by the U.S. EPA is a tremendous honor for us,” said James Sheppard, CEO and Co-Founder of Vetrazzo, LLC. “Our product creates a focal point for green building by boldly and visually demonstrating the value of recycling. When an average kitchen counter can contain as many as 1,000 bottles, the impact of using a sustainable surfacing material is undeniable. It gets people talking.”
So now I have a solution for my counter tops. Does anyone have a suggestion for flooring?
Vetrazzo is one of the most eco-friendly surfacing option on the market today. Vetrazzo slabs are made of 100% post consumer recycled glass and is set in a cement binder, not a petroleum resin binder. As you can see below Vetrazzo is made from Skyy Vodka bottles, art glass production overruns, red gobbles, wine & beer bottles and clear bottle glass. Other unusual sources include window shields, shower doors and salvages windows.
For a complete color palate please visit www.vetrazzo.com
The Flint Collection is the most consistent out of all the Vetrazzo colors. Beginning over 300 years ago, flint was used to produce an elegant glass that was the predecessor to english crystal. These days flint struts its stuff in rhinestones and continues to take on many humble forms as well, doing the excellent work of keeping food and drinks fresh in jars and bottles. Vetrazzo takes what cant be used and transform it into Flint Glass Vetrazzo.
A hammered copper sink and Vetrazzo counter complement the floor of pennies in the bathroom of
New Braunfels resident Doreen Fisher.
Photo: Tracy Hobson Lehmann / SA
Over the years we can seen some pretty unique and creative projects but this penny floor bathroom remodel in New Braunfels, Tx was a first. We came across this story on www.mysanantonio.com and love how this remodel came together. Doreen Fisher got the idea on facebook and when it was time for her bathroom remodel she went to the bank and got 10,000 pennies. After 20-40 hours of patience, time and labor of love her master piece floor was complete and on to the finishing touches. She choose a hammered copper sink which tied in nicely with the patina pennies and the Charisma Blue with Patina Vetrazzo counter top. The Charisma Blue with Patina was a perfect choice for fisher because the brown recycled beer bottle nicely compliment the cooper sink and floor. The hints of green from recycled wine bottles and the blue from the recycled Skky Vodka bottle in the counter top give the small space a little splash of color and really make the counter top stand out. From the floor to the counter top to the hammer copper there are so many great textures in this bathroom. Yes, visually there is a lot going on in this room but that is what makes it so fun, unique and one of our favorites!
Full Story Below
When Doreen Fisher wanted change in one of her bathrooms, she went to the bank and got 10,000 pennies. Now those coins cover the bathroom floor, some heads, some tails, some shiny and some well worn.
"I like the richness of the color variance in the floor," says the retired industrial engineer. "Whichever penny came up next is what went next."
Fisher got the spark from a Facebook thread that originated with a penny-tiled backsplash. She clicked through many other options and filed away the idea until a few weeks ago, when she was ready to tackle a bathroom in her New Braunfels home.
"Since it's not a primary bathroom, you can take some design liberties," Fisher says. The space, about 30 square feet, is divided into two rooms, one with the vanity and one with the toilet and tub. In all, it took about 9,700 pennies and somewhere between 20 and 40 hours of Fisher's time and patience.
"It's tedious work … but the visual impact, the uniqueness of it is so cool, it totally makes up for all the effort, the sore knees and the cramped working conditions."
Though some sources recommend cleaning the coins with an acid wash, she left them alone, removing only misshapen or green pennies from the mix. "I didn't want to rob the patina from the pennies."
After removing two layers of vinyl, Fisher painted the concrete floor with latex paint. She laid the coins out along a straight line in rows about 10 feet long and glued them down with Loctite Power Grab construction adhesive. Keeping the lines from veering required patience, and Fisher had to finesse rows around doorjambs to make the coins fit without cutting.
Once the floor was covered in coins, she sealed it with epoxy. The coating is thin, so bare feet still feel the texture and the cool copper. "In Texas, that's not a bad thing at all," Fisher says.
Though she could have purchased flooring that cost less than $3 a square foot and was easier to install, it wouldn't match the panache of her pennies.
A hammered copper vessel sink complements the copper floor in the renovated bathroom. Fisher selected a Vetrazzo counter made from shards of cobalt blue glass, recycled from Skyy vodka bottles. Like the floor, the counter provides the curious eye with lots to explore.
When Fisher finished the floor, she was intrigued to find a dark penny surrounded by six shiny ones. The flower shape, she assures was completely random.
The bank sold her boxes of pennies, 2,500 to a box. "Out of those, I found one dime in each box. I made 9 cents out of every $25. I wouldn't use that as a money-making scheme," she says. In the thousands, she only saw one wheat penny, from 1945. "I probably overlooked some." Those will be for roaming eyes to discover.
LOVE Whole Foods Market & Coffee? That's why we were more than thrilled
when Vetrazzo was specified for the Coffee & Tea Bar in Whole Foods Market World Headquarters in Austin, Tx. Vetrazzoa 100% post consumer recycled glass counter top material was the
perfect material for the project; not only because of the ascetics of the material but Whole Food's Green Mission of the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is parallel to Vetrazzo's. "Everyone around here strives to honor this (3 R's) golden rule of environmental stewardship". So it was only a natural choice to use Vetrazzo.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle .... WELL .... Vetrazzo begins withyou! When you RECYCLE dispose of your glass bottles into
your curbside recycling bin, it ends up at a facility where it is
processed by color and glass type. Once sorted, it's crushed and packaged for companies like Vetrazzo to
purchase for REUSE. We source all our glass from
post-industrial glass sources and demolition sites to get an array of
options for making slabs but ultimately REDUCING all that glass into landfills. Vetrazzo is also made in Tate, Ga reducing any carbon foot print the product may have.
A beautiful dark Charisma Blue with Patina was chosen for the entire Whole Foods Market Coffee & Tea Bar area.
As you can see (in the photo to the right), the slab is mostly made of brown beer bottles, a few green wine bottles and there is a hint of a rich blue color which is from Sky Vodka Bottles. To give the counter top a rich dark background a was a patina stain applied to the entire slab at the factory.
Vetarzzo counter tops are made up of over 85 percent glass, mixed with cement, water, and other proprietary ingredients which makes it a very durable work surface especially in high traffic areas.
The next time you are in the Austin, Tx Whole Foods make sure to grab a cup of Coffee and take a look! For more information about Vetrazzo please visit our webistie! www.vetrazzo.com
Vetrazzo® is a recycled glass surface comprised of 100% recycled glass. Vetrazzo is an exquisite surface material—truly a work of art—and it becomes the centerpiece for your home or project. So, what else makes it sparkle? A high glass content ( 85% by volume), expansive color palette, and story in every surface. From architectural to art glass, to beer bottles and jars, each mix is a signature blend of color and life that tells a story about you, too. Flint Collection Cool Titanium, Hollywood Sage Champagne Flint, Martini Flint Porter Flint (Left to Right)
Level 1 Glass House Alehouse Amber, Bistro Green Charisma Blue, Colbalt Skyy (Left to Right)
Cubist Clear Alehouse Amber with Patina, Bistro Green with Patina
Charisma Blue with Patina, Colbalt Skyy with Patina
(Left to Right)
Palladian Gray, Floating Blue Chivarly Blue, Midnight Eclipse (Left to Right)