Glass Tile / January 9, 2019 / Karlotta Boule
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.
Since they dont have any color in it and are totally transparent they match any color from granite counter tops to kitchen cabinets and easily blend into the environment. Stained and Plain Clear Glass Tiles require more attention when installing. Because you can see what is on the other side of the tile you may end up seeing the path made by the trowel when the installer was butting the wall. So it is recommended to use a white adhesive such as mastic and also butter the back of the tiles. Make sure to press the tiles firmly against the wall with a grout float and take a look if there is any air bubbles after each piece has been placed so you may correct the problem before the adhesive dries. Definitely this type of glass tiles takes more time to install but the result is absolutely worth. Glass tile is all the rage in interior decorating right now but the real star is recycled glass tile.
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.