Glass Tile / January 18, 2019 / Fleurette Theriault.
OK youve decided that glass tiles are perfect for your project - so where do you go from here? What are your options? A lesser known option is to explore "art glass tiles". These are made by studio glass artists in smaller lots and are generally made specifically for a client or project. Generally these tiles can be customized specifically to a clients color texture style and size preferences and even incorporate custom designs to match other motifs in the room. For example would you like your tiles to match certain fabrics a specific paint color or type of stone? Would you like a continuous wall panel or smaller accent tiles? These are the types of variation that can be specified when ordering art glass tiles.
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.
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.
What that means is glass expands and contracts at a greater rate than other materials someone might use in their pool e.g. ceramic or stone. Since the tile is adhered to the bottom of the pool while its expanding and contracting it can easily crack and break if the cement its laid into doesnt stretch with it. Therefore the question often heard from customers is "How do I install glass tile in my pool without having to repair the broken tiles year after year?" The answer has not always been an easy one. However with advances in technology and contractors growing experience installing glass tile we are now able to provide customers with the right recommendations so that their pool installation experiences minimal problems.