MaterialDistrict Utrecht - 8, 9 & 10 March 2023 - Get your ticket now


Circular floor tiles made out of railroad beams

Dutch Interior design studio Het Groene Kabinet designed floor tiles made from old railroad beams to store CO2 in long lasting products.

Located in Utrecht at Het Hof van Cartesius in the Netherlands, Het Groene Kabinet uses as many circular materials as possible in their designs, thus showing an example of how to work in the Circular Economy. One of their products is the floor tiles made from the reclaimed wood of discarded railroad beams.

“Trees are fantastic,” founder of Het Groene Kabinet Malou ter Horst says. “They produce oxygen, filter CO2 from the air and convert it into wood. In addition, trees are a good protection against dehydration and soil erosion. For many years we have been cutting down more trees worldwide than we are planting back. This results in a scarcity that forces us to rethink our designs and production process.”

Het Groene Kabinet harvests their wood in urban areas, also known as urban mining. This results in unique products that have no or little environmental impact.

The diamond-shaped floor tiles are modular, and each tile is unique. They consist of two layers, a 12 mm bottom layer of birch plywood and a 5mm top layer of reclaimed railroad wood. To make the tiles more durable, they are coated with DSM’s Decovery plant-based coating resin.

Ter Horst received an award from the Circular Design Challenge, hosted by ProRail, the company responsible for the railroad network in the Netherlands. ProRail also had the floor installed in its headquarters De Inktpot.

Het Groene Kabinet will showcase the sustainable flooring at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam, 23-25 June in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands. Get your free ticket here.

Photo: Het Groene Kabinet