Glass Tile / January 14, 2019 / Belda Jodion
Often glass tiles are translucent in appearance and any imperfection in either the setting application or the thinset is magnified. Whichever tile is being installed the substrate must be perfectly smooth using the manufacturers suggested setting materials and following their instructions exactly as written. Any "waves or grooves" in setting material are noticeable which is another reason a consumer needs to hire a contractor trained in glass tile installation. Another major quality difference between glass tiles is in the quality of the glass used during production. Oceanside Glass is famous for using recycled bottles in its production and provides consumers with a guide of how much post-consumer recycled material are used in their production and can assist with LEED accreditation. Additionally their state-of-the-art equipment for precision processing in batching changing furnaces and cooling molten glass is revolutionary.
For the past five years I have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the use of glass tile mosaics in residential and commercial applications. As with many other high end popular products cheaper knock-offs have quickly flooded the market. Unsuspecting consumers purchase these attractive-looking cheap tiles only to become frustrated months later when they learn the investment in their home is not only worthless but also costly. When a glass tile installation or product fails homeowners are left with expensive tear-outs and repairs. To the end user and many untrained contractors the quality differences may seem subtle but these distinctions have a major impact on the final appearance and durability of the project.
Instead as art glass grows in popularity and the internet is increasingly adopted as a low-cost distribution and promotion mechanism we are seeing a trend towards glass art collectives and glass art dealers on the web. These organizations showcase the work of several artists; and provide services that range from simple sales channels to design support for integrated glass design for the home. An example of such a service is the Glass Artists Gallery . They have been helping designers and homeowners all across North America with art glass tiles lighting sinks and other functional glass art for years. They are not really a "brick and mortar gallery" but rather a resource for the trade and discerning homeowners for functional and architectural glass.