Glass Tile / January 18, 2019 / Fleurette Theriault
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 reason for doing this is when installing the glass tiles you do not want to see the trowel marks through the glass tiles. Another key to think about when installing the translucent tile is to make sure the surface behind the tile is white. If you have a painted kitchen and the walls are currently a dark or strong color that color could appear through the glass tile. If installing the translucent tile make sure the surface is painted white first and make sure the use of white thin set as well. The second type of glass is where the glass itself is a crystal type glass with the color backed on the back. Most 4mm or 8mm crystal type glass is clear and then the color of the tile is applied on the back of the tile giving it the color.
The first type of tile is a translucent glass. A translucent glass is a type of tile that you could actually hold up and see right through it. The most common types of glass that is translucent is a recycled glass or an oval penny round or brick type of tile. Majority of translucent glass tiles are paper faced. The reason that most of these are paper faced is because the mesh backing can be seen through the glass tile. When installing this type of glass tile you want to use a small notch trowel when spreading your mastic on the installation surface. After spreading the mastic you will want to flatten down or knock down the trowel marks.