Glass Tile / January 16, 2019 / Annette Laforest
Consumers need to consider that many mesh backed material use poor quality glue to bond the tile to the mesh. When the mesh side is installed to the surface the mesh acts as a barrier between the tile and substrate. If the glue subsequently breaks down or the bond fails the tile can then easily loosen and fall out because little of the tile surface is actually bonded to the substrate. This failure can begin almost immediately or can take up to a few years after all installation warranties have expired. With Chinese produced glass tile my experience has shown the glue used to bond the tile to the mesh is lower in quality than the glue used in higher quality products produced in Europe or quality US manufacturers.
The most important step in putting glass tile in a swimming pool is choosing the right installation materials. To reiterate the high rate of expansion and contraction of glass caused by temperature changes is the leading cause of cracks and damage to installed tiles. In order to compensate for this special thin-set adhesives and additives have been developed that expand and contract with the glass. The leading manufacturer of glass-specific tile adhesive systems is MAPEI and their Adesilex P10 thin-set and Keraply additive can be combined into an installation system that is specifically designed for applications where the glass tiles are completely submerged.
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.