Glass Tile / January 4, 2019 / Karlotta Boule.
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.
Since they dont have any color in it and are totally transparent they match any color from granite counter tops to kitchen cabinets and easily blend into the environment. Stained and Plain Clear Glass Tiles require more attention when installing. Because you can see what is on the other side of the tile you may end up seeing the path made by the trowel when the installer was butting the wall. So it is recommended to use a white adhesive such as mastic and also butter the back of the tiles. Make sure to press the tiles firmly against the wall with a grout float and take a look if there is any air bubbles after each piece has been placed so you may correct the problem before the adhesive dries. Definitely this type of glass tiles takes more time to install but the result is absolutely worth. Glass tile is all the rage in interior decorating right now but the real star is recycled glass tile.
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 versatility of art glass tiles textures and appearance is at best very difficult to emulate on a manufacturing line. The glass artisan specializing in tiles has many glass colors and styles to choose from when creating these works of art just as a painter has myriad shades of colors on their palette. And as the application is specifically designed for there might be a little more effort involved in having tiles "made to order" but the result will truly be one-of-a-kind. To stretch your budget consider using factory glass tiles as the "field tiles" and mixing in custom art glass "accent tiles". Field tiles make up the bulk of the tiles in any project whereas accent tiles can be incorporated in much smaller quantities. Glass Art accessories such as accent tiles are the ideal solution for enhancing any room.