Tiles Made From Hard-to-Recycle Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT)

Ever think about those old TVs we used to have long before our beloved flat panels? Those big, boxy television sets, along with computer monitors, were outfitted with Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) that are now overtaking landfills with about 860 million pounds of waste because they’re extremely hard to recycle. San Francisco-based Fireclay Tile has a different idea. Take the old CRT glass and turn them into recycled glass tile.


When the company started replacing their old computers, it made the owner Paul Burns wonder what was happening to those old monitors. After finding out they just pile up in landfills, he figured out a way to take your old computer and turn them into tiles.


The super thick glass is separated from the rest of the monitor and once it’s deemed safe, it’s crushed and demagnetized. The material then goes through a multi-step crushing process that turns the glass particles into tiny pieces that can then melt when exposed to heat. The glass is cast into molds with a bit of white color pigment to lighten the natural CRT color. The result is a lighter gray color that they’ve named Phosphor.


The tiles are available in 2 x 8″, 2 x 4″, and penny round mosaic sizes and you can choose from Gloss or Matte finishes.








Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.