KOHLER WasteLAB

Driven by a passion for innovative sustainability, KOHLER WasteLAB® takes landfill-bound materials left over from the manufacturing process and converts them into functional products of style and beauty.

Turning waste into something meaningful.

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At the KOHLER WasteLAB, we are looking for ways to see the world differently and create a better planet. Here, we look to nature as a model for sustainable processes—within nature’s cycles of growth and decay, waste simply doesn’t exist. Our work in the WasteLAB applies the systems we find in nature to our manufacturing process.

Through this exploration, we’re able to take a step toward building a sustainable circular economy, one in which we reuse, rethink, and repurpose our waste streams to create beautiful, thoughtful products. From 2019-2023 sales of WasteLAB tiles have diverted more than 73,426 lbs of waste from landfills, exemplifying Kohler's commitment to achieving net-zero waste to landfill by 2035.

Kohler WasteLAB x Nada Debs Artist Collaboration: Transcendence Tile Collection

Known for work that resonates across cultures and geographies, Nada Debs fuses craft techniques, geometric simplicity, and sustainable practices to create moments of connection and belonging through design.

New beginnings for spent materials.

From clay remnants and cast iron byproducts to a stunning canvas of unlimited creative expression, explore the journey and hand-crafted artistry of WasteLAB products.

WasteLAB Products

We continue to study new manufacturing waste streams, and their potential to be repurposed into products of beauty and sophistication. And we are rewarded with new discoveries again and again.

Transcendence Tile Collection

Together, Kohler WasteLAB and Nada Debs are committed to design expressions that touch what is universal to the human experience. Handcrafting the Transcendence Tile Collection with nearly 100% repurposed manufacturing byproduct helps preserve the environment that nourishes our humanity.

WasteLAB Vox Sink

Marrying style and sustainabilityKOHLER WasteLAB introduces its very first bathroom sink. The Vox countertop sink is made with 70% recycled manufacturing materials. Handcrafted in the WasteLAB, each sink’s matte terrazzo pattern is one of a kind.

Abstra™ Collection

Made from nearly 100% recycled waste materials, the Abstra Collection features three-dimensional reliefs of intersecting lines that create a dynamic interplay of light and shadow. With endless combinations of color, size, and surface patterns, every installation becomes a unique expression of personal style. The Abstra Collection is also available in a matching set of unadorned field tiles with the same undulating surface detail.

Crackle Collection

Receiving an honorable mention from Fast Company for World Changing Ideas, Crackle Collection tiles are handcraftedby WasteLAB artisans and decorated with a dimensional visual effect achieved with a unique glaze designed to pool and break over the textured surface during firing.

Repurposed Materials

Product designs and manufacturing processes at Kohler are continually evaluated and updated to be use resources more efficiently and create less waste. But waste does still exist. In the WasteLAB, we’re working to find innovative ways to transform all waste. Currently, we’re recycling and repurposing the following.

• Dry Pottery Cull
• Cast Iron Slag
• Waste Glaze
• Waste Enamel Powder
• Pottery Wastewater Sludge
• Vitreous cull
• Foundry dust
• Foundry sand

The really amazing thing is that we have only begun to explore the possibilities in transforming manufacturing byproduct into new products. It is exciting to imagine how far we can take these efforts. — Monty Stauffer, Lead Industrial Designer, Product and Process - Kohler WasteLAB

Kohler’s Innovative Approach to Design Recognized by Fast Company

Kohler associates are continually  expanding the limits of what’s possible with design. These efforts were recently recognized by Fast Company for their 2022 Innovation by Design Awards, where Kohler was recognized across six categories, including an honorable mention in the Design Company of the Year category.

Business Intelligence Group names The Abstra Collection a Sustainability Product of the Year

Another validation of the important work the WasteLAB is doing, the Abstra Collection received Business Intelligence Group’s 2022 Sustainability Product of the Year Award.

The Abstra™ Collection earns Top Product of the Year Award from Environment + Energy Leader

Environment + Energy Leader recognizes the Abstra Collection as a Top Product of the Year thanks to the KOHLER WasteLAB® team’s innovative design and development work to transform manufacturing waste into environmentally friendly, beautiful tiles.

Abstra™ Collection Finalist for Fast Company Award

A tangible result of believing in better, the Abstra Collection by KOHLER WasteLAB® has been named a World Changing Idea finalist in the Art & Design category by Fast Company.