Glass Tile / January 5, 2019 / Astrid Hachee
They opt for glass tile because of its shimmering beauty - especially when submerged. The vibrant colors that glisten from beneath the crystal clear water never fails to captivate homeowners or their guests. It is this superior appearance of glass tile that entices people to undertake these large projects. As you can probably tell these customers are making a huge investment in their properties; they expect their tile installation to be flawless and long lasting. In order to satisfy these demanding clients sales staffs have had to become well versed in the intricacies of glass tile installation. While glass tile has its own inherent quirks when it comes to installation an exterior application such as a swimming pool requires even more specialized attention and materials. The main challenge for installing glass tile outdoors is glass relatively high expansion coefficient.
Consumers need to consider that many mesh backed material use poor quality glue to bond the tile to the mesh. When the mesh side is installed to the surface the mesh acts as a barrier between the tile and substrate. If the glue subsequently breaks down or the bond fails the tile can then easily loosen and fall out because little of the tile surface is actually bonded to the substrate. This failure can begin almost immediately or can take up to a few years after all installation warranties have expired. With Chinese produced glass tile my experience has shown the glue used to bond the tile to the mesh is lower in quality than the glue used in higher quality products produced in Europe or quality US manufacturers.
Most quality manufacturers sponsor minimum of two-day seminars to ensure a finished look that will last decades rather than months. A Phoenix Arizona based company recently conducted two-day seminars bringing Alex Arcaro of Bisazza to their Scottsdale showroom to teach contractors the fine art of glass tile installation. The benefit of a "paper faced glass tile" is that it allows for an efficient method of installation and is used by quality glass tile manufacturers. When installing a paper faced material 100% of the glass tile is bonded to the substrate which has tremendous benefits especially if it is being used in wet area applications.