Glass Tile / January 11, 2019 / Astrid Auclair
Although the definition of clear/translucent glass is "allowing light to pass through partially or diffusely" it doesnt mean that all clear glass tiles are transparent in a way that you can see for example an object or your hand behind it. Clear glass is the material used to make these tiles but they can have color or not. There are basically three types of clear glass tiles: back colored stained and plain or non-colored. Back colored clear glass mosaic tiles are by far the most popular in the market. The tiles are made of clear/translucent glass usually from 4mm to 8mm thick and they receive a coating/painting on the back during manufacturing which is what gives the color to the tile.
I am amazed at the number of tile contractors who claim to be experts in glass tile installations yet cannot even tell the right direction the tile should be installed! Some contractors will not admit they are unskilled and untrained at this specialty and install the tile upside down because they have never worked with "paper faced material". They later call to complain that tiles are falling out and have glass imperfections. So the first rule is to ensure the person who is installing your glass tile has attended a glass tile setting seminar such as those offered by Bisazza or Oceanside Glasstile or otherwise demonstrated glass tile installation competency.
Since they dont have any color in it and are totally transparent they match any color from granite counter tops to kitchen cabinets and easily blend into the environment. Stained and Plain Clear Glass Tiles require more attention when installing. Because you can see what is on the other side of the tile you may end up seeing the path made by the trowel when the installer was butting the wall. So it is recommended to use a white adhesive such as mastic and also butter the back of the tiles. Make sure to press the tiles firmly against the wall with a grout float and take a look if there is any air bubbles after each piece has been placed so you may correct the problem before the adhesive dries. Definitely this type of glass tiles takes more time to install but the result is absolutely worth. Glass tile is all the rage in interior decorating right now but the real star is recycled glass tile.