Glass Tile / January 5, 2019 / Astrid Auclair
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.
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.
They opt for glass tile because of its shimmering beauty - especially when submerged. The vibrant colors that glisten from beneath the crystal clear water never fails to captivate homeowners or their guests. It is this superior appearance of glass tile that entices people to undertake these large projects. As you can probably tell these customers are making a huge investment in their properties; they expect their tile installation to be flawless and long lasting. In order to satisfy these demanding clients sales staffs have had to become well versed in the intricacies of glass tile installation. While glass tile has its own inherent quirks when it comes to installation an exterior application such as a swimming pool requires even more specialized attention and materials. The main challenge for installing glass tile outdoors is glass relatively high expansion coefficient.