Design Company Invents Ceramic–Like Tiles But Made Entirely of Fish Scales and Completely Recyclable

In an effort to come up with a renewable, biodegradable design material that also eliminates a landfill waste stream, French designers are proposing to cover the walls of your home with fish scales.

In reality the idea is an elegant tile made from fish scales. It’s called Scalite, and it separates then combines naturally-occuring minerals and the collagen in the fish scales to create a beautiful, durable, naturally fire-resistant tile.

Fish scales are sometimes turned into fertilizer and fish oil supplements, but are often just thrown out into normal landfill waste streams along with the head and the bones.

Erik de Laurens came up with the idea and started the design company Scale with his cousin Edourad.

While it’s difficult to zero in on reliable supply chains of fish scales, even on the most recycling-conscious continent of Europe, the square or rectangular tiles of Scalite are priced in between common natural stone like white Corian, and marble, at about $35 per squre foot, or €300 per square meter.

“If you’re really serious about your environmental impact then this is a really good solution because it’s basically natural,” Laurens told Fast Company.

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Scale have designed the Scalite tiles to be useable in a wide variety of applications, from interior decoration in private homes and offices, to furniture, to retail displays.

A variety of natural dies can create wild marble-like patterns in shades as various as moss green and mustard yellow.

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Sadly, and perhaps ironically, they aren’t water-resistant. One should not go and plaster these tiles in a bathroom, as they will absorb any water that they come in contact with. Scale has contracted a biochemist to find a solution to this defect in a true, natural way to maintain the product’s green credentials.