Glass Tile / January 11, 2019 / Belda Jodion
The reason so much more grout is removed than when grouting conventional tile is because light refracts better through the glass tile when the sides of the tiles are exposed to the light. Work 3x3 spaces for about ½ hour or until the grout begins to dry then sponge off the grout. Bring several buckets of clean water and a sponge to the work area before you begin. Soak up some water into the sponge and gently wipe away the excess grout that is adhered to the tile. Smooth the grout lines with the sponge using one continuous swipe. Flip the sponge over and swipe more grout from the tiles until it becomes full of grout. Rinse the sponge in a clean bucket of water and repeat.
Choosing the right grout color to match your glass tile is essential to preventing blemishes and imperfections from being easily spotted. Because of the reflective surfaces on these tiles grout can disrupt the refraction of light easily catching the eye and revealing blemishes in the tiles. A suitable match is one that is similar in color to the tiles color. Mixing grout is as simple as making pancake batter. Use a paddle bit and a ½" drill to mix non-sanded grout into a five gallon bucket stirring in water slowly. Once the mix has achieved the consistency of pancake batter the grout will be mixed to perfection. Add more water or more grout as needed to thin or thicken the grout mix.
In addition there are two other eminent glass surface treatments for these tiles: slumping and etching. Smalti tile is type of tile which is an opaque glass. It has been in use from ancient times. "Smalti" is an Italian word and refers to a glass paste. Smalti is made by mixing molten glass with metal oxides for color. Translucent Smalti is a popular variant of smalti glass tile. It looks like stained glass with uniform colors. Byzantine Glass is another smalti variant made from thinner slabs of glass. Metallic Smalti is a swirl of a copper-bearing mineral added into the molten glass before it is pressed. Gold Smalti are made by applying a gold leaf and a thin layer of blown glass. Fused Tile is manufactured using the fusion method. In this type a flat glass is cut into tiles shapes and then fired in a furnace. The clear glass will show the tile until treated with a color.