- Exceptional Life-Cycle Cost = Best Value
Ceramic tile has an exceptional life cycle. See the life-cycle cost study below for data on how ceramic tile outperforms other floor finishes in cost per square foot over time. Ceramic tile has been the preferred choice around the world for centuries for its timeless beauty and durability.
- Regional Manufacturing and Raw Materials
With tile manufacturers in many regions of North America, tile and installation products made with local raw materials are widely available, greatly reducing the energy consumption and emissions of long-distance shipping. In many cases, the raw materials are mined within 500 miles of both the manufacturing facility and the job site. Plus, the clays and other materials used to make tile are plentiful.
- Lower Energy Needs
Tile can reduce the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling because of its exceptional thermal mass. Additionally, ceramic tile is an ideal choice for ventilated façade projects. A ventilated tile façade can reduce a building’s energy consumption by 20% to 30% due to the natural chimney effect it creates between the structure and the cladding. Hot air is evacuated in summer, and insulation is more effective in winter.
- Reduced Heat Island Effect
Using light-colored tiles instead of traditional paving materials can lower an area’s heat absorption, or heat island effect. Green buildings in urban areas in particular are required to reduce the potential heat island effect.
- Recycled Content and Waste Reclamation
Many factories are effectively closed-loop facilities with zero waste, high levels of recycling, and efficient resource management. Also, ceramic tile finishes are among the few surfaces that can be salvaged in a major renovation and typically qualify for clean fill use.
Life Cycle Cost Analysis
Because a tile installation will last as long as the building it’s installed in, its environmental impacts are minimal when compared to other surface coverings that would have to be replaced numerous times over the life of the building. This also means that tile costs less per square foot over the long haul, whereas carpet, vinyl, and other floor coverings are significantly more expensive due to their replacement, maintenance, and refinishing requirements.
Construction cost consulting firm Scharf-Godfrey compared the life-cycle costs of various flooring types. The per-year cost for each flooring type includes installation, maintenance, and removal costs. The comparison shows why ceramic tile is the natural choice for sustainable design and long-term value: