Is Backlit Glass the Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Semi-Precious Stones?

Backlit Glass: the Environmental Fix to Onyx Mining?

Environmental-conscious homeowners and interior designers are constantly exploring ways to adopt sustainable, eco-friendly practices, materials and products that minimise harm to our planet. Creating energy-efficient homes is one of the most popular ways of reducing carbon footprint and creating a greener world.


Printed glass for onyx backlit applications is a perfect choice when designing stunning homes that are elegant and sustainable. The beautiful crystalline mineral is a unique and exotic texture that can help create a luxurious look in commercial and residential spaces.


In this blog, we will explore the benefits of choosing printed glass vs. backlit onyx wall art, why it is an eco-friendly option, how to create multiple endless patterns, and what to consider when selecting printed backlit onyx wall art for your space.


Glass Balustrade by SICIS The Art Mosaic Factory

Why is Printed Onyx an Eco-friendly option?

Printed Onyx is a value-engineered and sustainable option with beauty and eco-friendly benefits. Modern recycled glass has a lower carbon footprint when compared to its earth-mined counterpart, making it an eco-friendly choice for interior designers.

How does earth-mined onyx impact the environment?

Deforestation & Vegetation Loss

Mining activities directly affect biodiversity by destroying vegetation. During mining, huge land areas are cleared off and stripped of their topsoil and underlying vegetation. These areas are dug up to extract ores, leaving behind barren land. Removing vegetation from the ecosystem directly affects the food chain and web and removes habitats for many animal species. This removal leads to a decline in the number and variety of species, thereby reducing the overall level of biodiversity. (“8 Environmental Impacts of Open-Pit Mining”).


Onyx quarry deforestation

Soil Erosion & Pollution

The production of heavy metals-containing dust can lead to devastating consequences on air quality. The dust particles, when inhaled, can cause respiratory issues and, in some cases, cancer. The transportation of toxic dust from the mine to the tailing ponds can contaminate surrounding areas. This can lead to long-term pollution. The dust can settle on crops and water sources, ultimately affecting the health and well-being of people in the area. (“Sweden: Open pit mine will endanger indigenous lands and the environment – UN experts”).


Onyx quarry Soil Erosion, Water Contamination and Air Pollution

Water Contamination

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a highly acidic and toxic byproduct generated during mining when pyrite (FeS2) comes into contact with air and water. AMD is a harmful byproduct that is generated during the mining process. It has far-reaching effects on the environment, directly impacting the quality of local water sources. This can harm aquatic life and humans, who depend on those sources for drinking water and other purposes. (“Four Types of Water Pollution Caused by Mining and How Atlantic Pumps Can Help Reduce This”).

Species Extinction

Air pollution caused by mining activities has a severe impact on the environment. During blasting, chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide are released into the atmosphere. These toxic gases settle on plants and oceans, suffocating microorganisms and vital ecosystem components. The reduction of microbial populations has negative consequences, such as the reduction of soil fertility, nutrient cycling, and decomposition of dead organic matter, which ultimately affect the ability of plants to grow ("Why Is Open Pit Mining So Devastating To The Environment?").

Our designs are printed on glass, requiring minimal processing and are recyclable and reusable. This makes them an eco-friendly option without significantly reducing biodiversity or increasing air pollution.

Why Choose Printed Glass instead of Earth Mined Onyx?

Printed onyx glass for backlit wall features is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative for creating an exquisite design for your space. It does not require quarries and has long-lasting strength and durability. Onyx is known for its beautiful properties, which interact with light and enhance the piece's colors. As a backlit material, it adds depth and beauty as sunlight shines through it, highlighting the unique patterns throughout the backlit onyx slab. It's a perfect option for anyone looking to make a statement in their space and create an awe-inspiring ambiance. Now imagine all these benefits, but with printed onyx that does not heavily harm the environment.

Design and Installation Benefits of Printed Onyx Backlit Wall Art

One of the advantages of using printed onyx for your backlit wall art is the potential to create multiple endless patterns within the slab. Shining light through the printed onyx can make these patterns more vibrant, illuminating their natural textures, bright colours, and beautiful designs. Designers who choose printed onyx can customise the slab to their desired size, thickness, colour, tone, and shape. However, it is worth noting that earth-mined onyx is limited by its formation, which could lead to patterns not matching and potentially significantly increasing the cost of having matching patterns. Printed Onyx textures are digitalized; therefore, full customization is available to all interior designers at the click of a button with no change in cost and environmental harm.

  • COLOURS: You can now create the perfect colour tone of your backlit onyx to match your interior design theme or your clients' desire.
  • PATTERN: The size or pattern orientation and classic book-match formations are no longer an issue finding the right slabs worldwide.
  • LEAD-TIMES: Orders, Re-orders and Re-makes are now created instantly with minimal costs and delays involved.
  • WEIGHT: The weight of natural onyx is often challenging, with slabs weighing hundreds of kilograms. It can be a logistical nightmare. Printed glass starts from only 4mm thickness. The most common for application up to 4000mm in length is a 6mm thick toughened, impact and heat-resistant glass, where a square meter weighs only 15kg.
  • COSTS: Printed glass provides a high-quality alternative at a fraction of the cost of natural onyx. Printed Onyx is made by CreoGlass based in the UK using locally sourced materials and labour, so great communication and fast turnarounds are guaranteed.

What to Consider When Choosing Printed Onyx Backlit for Wall Art Feature

When selecting printed onyx wall art, you must consider a few crucial factors, such as the size of your space, your budget, and the amount of natural light the room receives. Printed Onyx is more substantial than other wall art options, so ensuring your wall can bear its weight is critical. Additionally, since it's a digital texture, don't be surprised if you can have the same panel size for 3 to 5 cheaper than its earth-mined counterpart.


In conclusion, printed onyx wall art is one of the most elegant, sustainable, eco-friendly and value-engineered materials for your swimming pool, splashback, or any other space in your home or commercial building. Its unique beauty is even more stunning when lit from behind, with its unique patinas and veins reflecting different hues.

When you choose printed onyx wall art for your project, you will benefit from its rich textures, timeless beauty, infinite customisations, sustainable material and low cost.

Click the link below to find out how you can have your panel of grace:


Minimalist Hilltop Quarry House in Valencia with Panoramic Sea View

Article by Bohdan Duha Creator of CreoGlass® | Exclusive Decorative Glass July 10, 2023

Get In Touch

Contact us

Contact us

We are always ready to provide assistance. Contact us now with any general questions you may have.


We work with professional Interior Designers, KBB Suppliers, Architects, Developers and more...

How Much Does It Cost?

Kitchen Splashback Estimator

Kitchen Splashback Estimator

This is a Self-Serviced Estimator. Let us know what you're looking for, and I'll take care of the rest!
How much is it?

How much is it?

Easy to use Splashback Price Guide for Instant Kitchen Splashback Price to help you budget for your project.

Before you buy



Order fully refundable Samples to make the right decision
Order Catalog

Order Catalog

Request a FREE Catalog
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-NC5TELMXBH');