8 fantastic recycled materials you can use to renovate

8 fantastic materials that can be recycled and repurposed

As the world focuses on efficiency in cost and uses, Surfaces Reporter (SR) has rounded up 8 fantastic materials that can be recycled and repurposed. These materials can easily replace the mighty marble or mahogany and introduce a fresh set of beauty to your home. They are sourced from recycled materials and also can be recycled, hence sustainable. So before you spend a hefty amount on your next project, find out the alternatives that would give an exclusive look without making a hole in your pocket.

Concrete Sheets with recycled cement fibre

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image courtesy: wikimedia.org

Fibrecement is the generic term given to a variety of composite materials consisting of cement, inert and/or reactive mineral fillers and a cocktail of organic fibres. Concrete sheets or cement boards made with the mixture of these cement and cellulose fibres pressed into flat boards of various sizes are a great option for sustainable materials. It allows to clad walls in a light, non-combustible, and rain-resistant way, generating facades with different textures, colours, and tones. The concrete panels are easily manageable, perforable, and can configure ventilated facades when installed with a certain separation between the rear wall. The cement boards are often used as a moisture-resistant and maintenance-free replacement for drywall or as a flooring underlay.

Recycled Cork Panels and Flooring

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image source: 5 Sustainable and Eco-friendly Flooring Options

Straight from the bottles to buildings—the cork has a warm, distinctive beauty that’s hard to replicate with any man-made material. They are relatively inexpensive and great for an accent wall, cover the front or sides of a kitchen island, or hide the top of an otherwise bland table or counter. Companies like Jelinek Cork Group are taking your old wine stoppers and making them into all sorts of products. Cork ReHarvest is a program that takes post-consumer corks from tons of different drop-off locations and distributes them to companies like Jelinek.

Reclaimed Wood

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image Courtesy: reclaimedflooringco.com

Reclaimed wood is any wood used for building or furniture that's already served a purpose in a previous life, meaning, it comes from a wide variety of places, each with its own unique history. They make both economic and environmental sense. It's a perfect material for a range of DIY projects, including furniture, decks, fences, shiplap, and even flooring. The rustic, weathered look of the reclaimed wood gives a unique look of cottage or beach-house to a place. Also, they can be transformed into a more contemporary appearance with a thorough sanding and a coat of paint or wood stain.

Recycled Granite Stone Veneer


Image Courtesy: cdn.com

Stone Veneers offer a rustic rocky look in a comparatively less weight and price. These are being made by recycling granite to resize the material into user-friendly dimensions that are more efficient and economical to transport and install. The stone veneer is basically a relatively thin sheet of real or manufactured stone that’s installed over another surface, such as wood, masonry, or concrete. They can be used to cover any interior or exterior wall as well as fireplace surrounds and retaining walls. These are available in a wide range, forms and sizes.

Used Brick

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image courtesy: nationalgeographic.com

While building walls, bricks are fundamental and if you use ‘Used bricks’, it costs less than new brick without compromising in quality. They are equally useful for building walls, fire pits, pathways, chimneys, and patios. While many people prefer brick in its natural weathered red, painting used brick is an option for those who like a more contemporary look.

Shipping Containers

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image courtesy: dwell.com

With the rising calls for adopting sustainability and eco-friendly design, the reuse of up-cycled shipping containers as building units has been trending recently. Steel shipping containers have become trendy for use as tiny homes. Some of the empty containers are suitable for one-time-use, meaning they cannot be reused for shipping again. Also, transporting empty containers back to where they came from would cost loads for nothing. So these are being reused, if not for shipping, then for a living. While the expenses involved in converting a basic steel box into a habitable home can add up quickly, the shipping container itself generally isn’t too costly.

Corrugated Metal

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image Courtesy: modernize.com

Corrugated metal sheeting can do a lot more than amplify the pitter-patter of rain on the roof. Architectural corrugated metal panels are an attractive design option for walls and ceilings. Architects looking for cost efficiency can reduce their material costs — lighter-gauge metal can be used due to the strength gained from corrugating. They can be used as wavy metal to cover interior walls, add contemporary flair to the sides of a kitchen counter, form the walls of a backyard shed or urban chicken coop, or even cover a ceiling in today’s version of old-fashioned pressed tin tiles. Corrugated metal architecture can be installed horizontally or vertically, increasing your design flexibility. 

The natural material- Bamboo

Recycled Cement Fibre

Image courtesy: deccanherald.com

Bamboo is a LEED-certified green building material. It lessens the carbon footprint by absorbing greenhouse gases and providing 35% more oxygen. The look and texture of bamboo is exotic and provides a tropical vibe to any space if incorporated. One can use bamboo to cover a wall, create a lightweight fence, craft furniture, construct a backyard shower or bar, edge a garden, or build a planter. If used outdoors, bamboo needs to be sealed to prevent rot. This environmentally friendly and fast-growing grass usually costs less and looks great. Bamboo can also be recycled and reclaimed from old construction projects. 

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