Glass Tile / January 13, 2019 / Genevieve Brunelle
In situations where glass tile is exposed to extreme temperature differences an elasticizing polymer is added to the mix allowing the grout to stretch and flex preventing breaks from occurring in the delicate glass tiles. Using a grout float scoop a manageable amount of grout onto the float. Start at the farthest or highest spot away from you and spread the grout in between the tiles diagonally across the pattern. Dont worry about getting grout all over the tiles. The grout must be firmly pressed into the grout lines with the grout float covering all spaces and voids. Once a 3x3 section of grout has been applied to the tile use the small rubber edge of the grout float to remove about a third of the grout from between the tiles.
The reason so much more grout is removed than when grouting conventional tile is because light refracts better through the glass tile when the sides of the tiles are exposed to the light. Work 3x3 spaces for about ½ hour or until the grout begins to dry then sponge off the grout. Bring several buckets of clean water and a sponge to the work area before you begin. Soak up some water into the sponge and gently wipe away the excess grout that is adhered to the tile. Smooth the grout lines with the sponge using one continuous swipe. Flip the sponge over and swipe more grout from the tiles until it becomes full of grout. Rinse the sponge in a clean bucket of water and repeat.
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.