Glass Tile / January 16, 2019 / Astrid Hachee
In this method colors are added to the top or bottom of the glass. Fused glass tiles are characterized with a translucent area and a layer of opaque color visible through the tile. These tiles are further treated with an etching or other coating for aesthetics or abrasion. Sintered tile is a variety made by pressing glass powder into dies and then heated until the particles fuse. The color is either added into the powder or added topically after cooling. Unlike smalti tiles sintered tiles tend to have a uniform look. This milky and scratch-resistant finish makes it versatile. Cast tile is made by inserting chunks of glass into a mold which gives it a layered look.
The first type of tile is a translucent glass. A translucent glass is a type of tile that you could actually hold up and see right through it. The most common types of glass that is translucent is a recycled glass or an oval penny round or brick type of tile. Majority of translucent glass tiles are paper faced. The reason that most of these are paper faced is because the mesh backing can be seen through the glass tile. When installing this type of glass tile you want to use a small notch trowel when spreading your mastic on the installation surface. After spreading the mastic you will want to flatten down or knock down the trowel marks.
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.