Invented in 1996 by a passionate Berkeley scientist, Vetrazzo is a recycled glass surface comprised of 100% recycled material with an 85% glass content. The sparkling material is enticingly green, made from discarded glass that’s crushed and mixed with cement, water, “and other proprietary ingredients.” The glass comes from different sources, each with its own story to tell. From discarded beer bottles to scrap architectural glass, the shiny pieces recall another past.
Millefiori Vetrazzo. Manufactured by Polycor.
Countertops Give New Life to Discarded Glass
Vetrazzo is created by mixing a slab color, then pouring the composite into a pan and baking it—“much like a cake.” Afterwards, Vetrazzo is polished to give a nice sheen to the surface, which intensifies the colors. The end result is “truly a work of art.” Depending on the slab’s ingredients, Vetrazzo can look anything from festive and fun to elegant and modern. Two examples that illustrate Vetrazzo’s aesthetic range are Millefiori and Cubist Clear.
Created from recycled stained glass, Millefiori, meaning a thousand flowers in Italian, uses brilliant colors to mimic “a hillside covered with wildflowers.” Used for kitchen counters or simply on an island, Millefiori slab lends a playful, cheery feeling—perfect for southern California homes. Cubist Clear, on the other hand, is a monochromatic slab incorporating bits of tempered glass from windshields and shower doors: “Imagine that—glass designed to keep people safe, repurposed to ensure the planet's safe-keeping.” This pattern of Vetrazzo works for clean, contemporary kitchens, paired with stainless steel and cement floors.
About the Manufacturer: Vetrazzo began in 1996 in Berkeley, California when a passionate scientist invented the recycled glass material. The patented Vetrazzo has since appeared on various television network and cable programs, which has increased Vetrazzo’s visibility and appeal. In 2006, Vetrazzo opened a manufacturing plant in the historic, refurbished Ford Assembly Building in Richmond, California, where Ford produced its famous Model-A cars. In 2010, Vetrazzo was acquired by Polycor Inc., a large, North American granite and marble group with production headquarters in Tate, Georgia. Currently, Vetrazzo is manufactured in the Georgia plant, alongside Polycor’s other products.