Modern thermally-insulating building facades comprise lightweight structural panels, in turn mostly composed of porcelain stoneware with engineered porosity. Sintered glass ceramics may represent a valid alternative, mainly considering layered articles, with a dense surface layer on a highly porous body that could be manufactured by double pressing. In this paper we present a low cost route to lightweight tiles, developed starting from mining tailings, such as waste from the mining of boron-rich minerals and basalt rock, and recycled glasses, such as common soda-lime glass and pharmaceutical borosilicate glass. A highly porous body was obtained by direct sintering of mixtures of mining tailings and soda-lime glass; despite the homogeneity of porosity and the formation of new crystal phases (at only 1000 degrees C), favorable to good mechanical properties, the water absorption remained far above the limits (> 2 wt%). The water absorption was minimized by introduction of a dense glaze, associated to the firing of mixtures coated by a thin layer of recycled borosilicate glass powders; both color and shrinkage were optimized by the mixing of borosilicate glass with powders of zircon mineral and vitrified boron waste/basalt/soda-lime mixture. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.