Glass Tile / January 24, 2019 / Karlotta Boule
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.
These are tiles that are made with the use of recycled glass taken from old bottles old windows and other glass items that no longer have any real use. These recycled tiles are made by grinding the old glass into a fine powder color is then added to this powder and the resulting mixture is then pressed into tile molds. These are then baked and cooled. Getting inexpensive tile is easy if you know where to look. Some of the best places for you to find these tiles are online or in home improvement stores near you. Just look for glass tiles in the sale area of these stores or in the discontinued section of these sites that sell them for cheap. To most tile retailers the largest customers are always the people tiling their pools.
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.