Demand for green products is growing, and manufacturers are feeling the pressure to present interesting green products that stand out from the crowd. With exactly this in mind, Vetrazzo glass hits the market with national distribution. “It’s a recycled glass surface material used anywhere granite is used,” says James Sheppard, president, Vetrazzo LLC in Richmond, Calif.
Made of 85 percent recycled content, all the glass comes from waste sources such as beer and wine bottles, demolition building glass, traffic lights and other sources. The product was invented by a Ph.D. student’s thesis project. “He was studying glass sciences and was seeing a lot of waste glass going to the landfill. He felt there was a better use for it and that’s when he invented Vetrazzo,” Sheppard adds.
It’s available in neutral tones such as tans, greens and browns, and dynamic tones of blue accents and bright colors. “[As for textures] there is a highly polished texture and a honed texture. Polished is more popular because people are used to polished granite,” he says.
Vetrazzo can be installed in countertops, bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, table tops, outdoor kitchens and many more applications. Installation is similar to granite, using the same practices and tools as granite installation, Sheppard adds.
Architects and builders should keep in mind the product’s size availability. “It’s only available in 1¼-in. thickness where some granite is offered in 3¼-in. thickness. Also, panels are 9 ft. by 5 ft. This may impact how [builders and architects] use it,” Sheppard says.
The product’s industry reception has been positive because its look makes it stand out from the crowd. “Our product is a focal point, people notice it and it gets people talking about the recycled content. They point out the Corona bottles or the Skyy Vodka bottles,” Sheppard says. “Builders and architects like that if they build a green building and they put Vetrazzo in, it creates a dialogue of what else is special about the building.”
With each shipment, Vetrazzo issues a Certificate of Transformation that tells the homeowner about the source of the glass.
People get very proud about making a contribution [to the environment],” he adds.