Glass Tile / January 6, 2019 / Karlotta Boule
For the past five years I have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the use of glass tile mosaics in residential and commercial applications. As with many other high end popular products cheaper knock-offs have quickly flooded the market. Unsuspecting consumers purchase these attractive-looking cheap tiles only to become frustrated months later when they learn the investment in their home is not only worthless but also costly. When a glass tile installation or product fails homeowners are left with expensive tear-outs and repairs. To the end user and many untrained contractors the quality differences may seem subtle but these distinctions have a major impact on the final appearance and durability of the project.
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.
The reason for doing this is when installing the glass tiles you do not want to see the trowel marks through the glass tiles. Another key to think about when installing the translucent tile is to make sure the surface behind the tile is white. If you have a painted kitchen and the walls are currently a dark or strong color that color could appear through the glass tile. If installing the translucent tile make sure the surface is painted white first and make sure the use of white thin set as well. The second type of glass is where the glass itself is a crystal type glass with the color backed on the back. Most 4mm or 8mm crystal type glass is clear and then the color of the tile is applied on the back of the tile giving it the color.