Glass Tile / September 14, 2018 / FifineAsselin.
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.
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.
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.
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.