Glass Tile / January 17, 2019 / Karlotta Boule
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.
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.
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.