How’s this for extreme recycling? Tile made out of coconut shell. It’s lightweight, low-maintenance and as exotic as could be. By Gillian Drummond
Tucson business owner Elizabeth Miller, a favorite of interior designers here thanks to her tile and stone company Fractured Earth, is always experimenting with surfaces. You could say it’s part of her job description. The latest plan for her master bedroom? A headboard ‘wall’ made out of coconut shells.
The company behind this bizarre but beautiful finish is Cocomosaic, headquartered in West Java, Indonesia, where jobs are scarce but coconut shells are abundant. Cocomosaic turns the coconut chips into tile. These shells would otherwise be wasted, it says, and making them can occupy at least 40 workers for a whole month. Cocomosaic was rewarded by the President of Indonesia for its job creation and eco-friendly product (it’s 100% natural with low-VOC resin.)
At around $16 per square feet (plus shipping), it can get pricey if you have a large surface to cover. But a little of this goes a long way in terms of packing a pretty and Planet-Earth-friendly punch.
Here’s the lowdown on what to do with it:
* Use as backsplashes and wall coverings, even in light traffic areas of a floor. If you’re applying them in moist areas, you may want to add a water-proof seal to give extra protection against water.
* Clean down with a damp cloth, mop or vacuum.
* It doesn’t need grout; simply set the 16.5” by 16.5” panels 1 to 2mm apart and fill in with a sealant
* Glue them to your surface with silicon glue.
* For an even bolder look, try one of Cocomosaic’s eight colored products, including blue, pink, orange and green.