Have you completed a DIY bathroom or home renovation project, and now you’re stuck with a pile of old tiles and don’t know what to do with them? Tile disposal is a challenging task, which may include getting rid of used bathroom tiles made out of ceramic, vinyl, or other materials.
From chipped to used tiles covered with grime and dirt, you simply cannot dump your old bathroom tiles in with your regular garbage. If you do throw them out with your city’s weekly garbage pick-up, they will end up in another dumping site or landfill. However, this is not the proper method for tile disposal.
Before you throw your old tiles into the garbage, keep in mind that they are made of ceramic, porcelain, glass, marble, and cement and can potentially harm the environment. Most cities and regions have specific guidelines for tile disposal, and if they are incorrectly disposed of, you could face getting fined by your municipality.
Rather than gathering your old tiles and crossing your fingers that your local garbage collection will pick them up, here are 6 correct options on the proper way to dispose of old tiles.
Donate your old tiles only if they are still usable. Take an inventory of all the ones you want to dispose of and make a pile for “usable tiles.” Place the tiles that are broken, chipped, or filled with dirt, and place them in a different pile for separate tile disposal.
Here are a few options for donating usable tiles:
- Contact your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Value Village to determine if they will take them.
- Contact local homeless shelters, churches, and community centres to see if they plan on doing any renovations that require tiles.
- Once you have decided where you will donate your old tiles, make sure they are placed neatly together when you drop them off. Or, follow the instructions given to you by the organization on how to stack them before donating.
Recycle Old Tiles
Do something eco-friendly with your old tiles and recycle them. Many old tiles, leftover scraps of metal, and broken tools are mixed to create modern décor and sold in retail stores as garden ornaments and plant pots.
Not sure where to take your old tiles for recycling? Here are a few options:
- In Toronto and the GTA, Toronto’s recycling centre accepts materials for recycling for a fee. Check out the items accepted at drop-off depots in Toronto here.
- Based in Ontario, your local recycling centre has specific guidelines set up for waste management. Contact your municipality’s recycling centre to find out if they accept used tiles. Check out a list of Ontario’s municipalities here.
- Once you have contacted your local recycling centre and they have approved your tiles, ensure they are cleaned, stacked together, and placed in boxes. Or, follow the instructions given to you by your municipality on drop-offs.
Sell Old Tiles
If you’re looking to make a little money on the side, selling your old tiles is a good idea. A lot of people are always doing DIY home renovations on their bathrooms, floors, and kitchens. If they like your old tiles, then why not sell them for a lump sum?
Here is what you can do to sell your old tiles to interested parties:
- Advertise the tiles you want to sell on these online classified services: Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.
- Ask your friends, relatives, and neighbours if they plan any DIY home projects involving tiles in the near future. You’ll be surprised at how many responses you’ll get.
Store Old Tiles Away
If you don’t want to give or sell your old tiles, another option is to keep them and store them away. Here are instructions on how to prepare your old tiles for storage:
- Always handle tiles with care. To protect yourself, put on a pair of gloves such as nitrile or latex gloves and wear a dust mask to prevent dust inhalation.
- Examine each tile to ensure they are clean and free of damage. After examining each one, wrap them in a newspaper for an extra layer of protection, then place them gently into storage boxes.
- Secure the storage boxes with a lid, and, for easy storing, you can even place a label on each box that says “old tiles” or, if they are a specific colour or make, you can write that down on the label as well.
- Store the boxes with tiles in your attic, garage, or basement. If you don’t have any of these spaces, you can place the storage boxes in a dry and cool area.
Repurpose Old Tiles with Future DIY Home Projects
After storing old tiles for a while, your creative streak might ignite again, and you could decide to do another DIY home project. There are so many unique projects you can do with old tiles; here are several ideas:
- Tile coasters. Leftover tiles make great coasters for glasses and teacups. To create functional coasters out of tiles, glue a patch of velvet on the bottom of each one to prevent scratching surfaces on tables, counters, and desks. If velvet isn’t your thing, felt or sticky pads will do the job too.
- Tiled plant stands. Turn a plain footstool or small side table into a colourful plant stand by super-gluing your old tiles on the top surface.
- Tiled trays. Sideboard trays and serving boards for cheese and crackers or for placing tea light candles can be made out of marble tiles. You may need some accessories such as small stainless steel cabinet handles to place them on each side of the tile to make it look like a floating tray.
Hire a Garbage Bin Rental Service
If you need to quickly get rid of your used tiles, hiring a garbage bin rental service is the best choice.
- Contact your local garbage bin rental service and request a quote.
- Confirm with the garbage bin rental service a day before your scheduled drop-off and ensure you have made space for the rental bin.
- On the day of your scheduled pick-up, ensure you have placed all old tiles into the rental bin.
At Scarborough Disposal, we can help with tile disposal in a safe and environmentally-friendly way, as we provide the best bin rental service in Scarborough and the GTA. To learn more about what you should do for tile disposal, call Scarborough Disposal at 647-360-9566 or contact us here.
*Updated December 2023