Many High-End Renovations Go ‘Green’ with Glass

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 57 views 

A look around Northwest Arkansas proves the eco-chic trend is infectious.

Homeowners are becoming aware that performing green renovations on their property enhances the value, and some banks offer financing incentives to build or rehab “green.”

One of the latest environmentally responsible home improvement trends comes as homeowners trade dated ceramic and laminated material in kitchens and baths to tile trends that in the past were seen as indulgent.

“Just a couple of years ago, glass tile was cost-prohibitive,” said Jason Rupert, Flooring Manager of National Home Center in Springdale.

“Recently the popularity has soared and colorful glass tile has come down in cost.”

More homeowners are taking the extra steps to make their renovations keep up with the latest green trend. Consumers can choose from a variety of sparkling iridescent crystals, or create a glass tile mosaic with small one- or two-inch tiles to add color to their homes.

Glass tile is also available in a larger 12-inch size, depending on the budget and the creativity of the decorator. While the price has fallen, you can still plan to spend from $12.99 to $35.00 per SF.

Rupert said he sees many Northwest Arkansas homeowners taking glass tile design beyond the expected kitchen backsplash. Creative designers have ordered glass tile as an up-to-the-minute fireplace surround and hearth material.

Tiles are also being inserted into natural stone native to the Ozark region.

Rupert said builders are also using the trend as a way to differentiate their homes from others on the market that have only natural stone and travertine tile.

Local suppliers said revenue has definitely dropped with the slowdown in new home building and though they are just as busy as they were two years ago, it is one house and one homeowner at a time.

Some suppliers estimated they’re only bringing in about 50 percent of the revenue they were a couple of years ago.

Homeowners, however, are going full force to rehab their homes and make them sustainable in today’s green-friendly economy.

National Home Center’s inside sales representative Stacy Richter said homeowners want their homes to be the ones that are “market ready” and ahead of the trends when the home market picks back up.

Another eco-friendly item that brings beauty and freshness to homes is copper. Though costly, many homeowners see the value of placing distinctive accents in their homes – environmentally-friendly accents that may just make the difference in today’s challenging property market.