Glass Tile / January 14, 2019 / Astrid Auclair
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.
Although the definition of clear/translucent glass is "allowing light to pass through partially or diffusely" it doesnt mean that all clear glass tiles are transparent in a way that you can see for example an object or your hand behind it. Clear glass is the material used to make these tiles but they can have color or not. There are basically three types of clear glass tiles: back colored stained and plain or non-colored. Back colored clear glass mosaic tiles are by far the most popular in the market. The tiles are made of clear/translucent glass usually from 4mm to 8mm thick and they receive a coating/painting on the back during manufacturing which is what gives the color to the tile.
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.