Glass Tile / January 5, 2019 / Morgana Faubert
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.
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.
There normally is not a concern with seeing the mesh backing through this tile. The same precautions still need to be taken into consideration for installation as well. The last thing to take into consideration is the grout. To play it safe the best grout to use is either an un sanded grout or specialty grout. The reason you will wand an un sanded grout is there is no sand particles in the unsanded grout. Sand particles found in sanded grout can possibly scratch the surface of the glass. The specialty grouts do not have any sand particles in them including the epoxy grout and urethane grouts. Home owners who want to make their kitchen pools or bathrooms look good often consider using glass tile. However these tiles can be quite pricey and can end up costing a person more when it comes to construction and renovation projects.