Glass Tile / January 13, 2019 / Genevieve Brunelle.
The versatility of art glass tiles textures and appearance is at best very difficult to emulate on a manufacturing line. The glass artisan specializing in tiles has many glass colors and styles to choose from when creating these works of art just as a painter has myriad shades of colors on their palette. And as the application is specifically designed for there might be a little more effort involved in having tiles "made to order" but the result will truly be one-of-a-kind. To stretch your budget consider using factory glass tiles as the "field tiles" and mixing in custom art glass "accent tiles". Field tiles make up the bulk of the tiles in any project whereas accent tiles can be incorporated in much smaller quantities. Glass Art accessories such as accent tiles are the ideal solution for enhancing any room.
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.
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.
OK youve decided that glass tiles are perfect for your project - so where do you go from here? What are your options? A lesser known option is to explore "art glass tiles". These are made by studio glass artists in smaller lots and are generally made specifically for a client or project. Generally these tiles can be customized specifically to a clients color texture style and size preferences and even incorporate custom designs to match other motifs in the room. For example would you like your tiles to match certain fabrics a specific paint color or type of stone? Would you like a continuous wall panel or smaller accent tiles? These are the types of variation that can be specified when ordering art glass tiles.