Glass Tile / January 17, 2019 / Belda Jodion
The most important step in putting glass tile in a swimming pool is choosing the right installation materials. To reiterate the high rate of expansion and contraction of glass caused by temperature changes is the leading cause of cracks and damage to installed tiles. In order to compensate for this special thin-set adhesives and additives have been developed that expand and contract with the glass. The leading manufacturer of glass-specific tile adhesive systems is MAPEI and their Adesilex P10 thin-set and Keraply additive can be combined into an installation system that is specifically designed for applications where the glass tiles are completely submerged.
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.
The elasticity of the Adesilex P10/Keraply combination allows the glass tiles to stretch without breaking and MAPEI is so confident in this installation solutions ability to provide lasting results that they offer a 5-year warranty on materials and labor. With a guarantee like that its no wonder that so many tile contractors and retailers stand behind MAPEIs products as the best in the industry. Whether you are installing glass tile on the exterior of your home as an accent in the garden or on the bottom of your swimming pool you need to take into account the unique challenges that comes with using glass tile outdoors. These challenges are not insurmountable as long as you take care to use the proper installation materials.