Glass Tile / January 5, 2019 / Fleurette Theriault
I am amazed at the number of tile contractors who claim to be experts in glass tile installations yet cannot even tell the right direction the tile should be installed! Some contractors will not admit they are unskilled and untrained at this specialty and install the tile upside down because they have never worked with "paper faced material". They later call to complain that tiles are falling out and have glass imperfections. So the first rule is to ensure the person who is installing your glass tile has attended a glass tile setting seminar such as those offered by Bisazza or Oceanside Glasstile or otherwise demonstrated glass tile installation competency.
You may be wondering what is a fused glass tile blocks where can it be used and what designs are available. Read on to learn more. What are fused glass tile blocks? How are they made? This product combines the beauty of decorative glass art with the strength structure and security of blocks. These tiles are individually hand crafted by glass artisans. The tiles are made by fusing layers of colored and clear glass in a kiln at a temperature greater than 1400 degrees. Since the tiles use real colored glass they wont fade or delaminate like inexpensive units. The tiles are available in 73 transparent 46 opaque and custom dichroic and iridescent colors. Once the tiles are made they are fused to the glass blocks in any type of custom design. For centuries glass has been a featured material in mosaic media to decorate and articulate a building.
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.