Glass Tile / January 20, 2019 / Odette Pinneau
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.
In this method colors are added to the top or bottom of the glass. Fused glass tiles are characterized with a translucent area and a layer of opaque color visible through the tile. These tiles are further treated with an etching or other coating for aesthetics or abrasion. Sintered tile is a variety made by pressing glass powder into dies and then heated until the particles fuse. The color is either added into the powder or added topically after cooling. Unlike smalti tiles sintered tiles tend to have a uniform look. This milky and scratch-resistant finish makes it versatile. Cast tile is made by inserting chunks of glass into a mold which gives it a layered look.
The reason so much more grout is removed than when grouting conventional tile is because light refracts better through the glass tile when the sides of the tiles are exposed to the light. Work 3x3 spaces for about ½ hour or until the grout begins to dry then sponge off the grout. Bring several buckets of clean water and a sponge to the work area before you begin. Soak up some water into the sponge and gently wipe away the excess grout that is adhered to the tile. Smooth the grout lines with the sponge using one continuous swipe. Flip the sponge over and swipe more grout from the tiles until it becomes full of grout. Rinse the sponge in a clean bucket of water and repeat.