Glass Tile / January 6, 2019 / Karlotta Boule
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.
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.
OK youve decided that glass tiles are perfect for your project - so where do you go from here? What are your options? A lesser known option is to explore "art glass tiles". These are made by studio glass artists in smaller lots and are generally made specifically for a client or project. Generally these tiles can be customized specifically to a clients color texture style and size preferences and even incorporate custom designs to match other motifs in the room. For example would you like your tiles to match certain fabrics a specific paint color or type of stone? Would you like a continuous wall panel or smaller accent tiles? These are the types of variation that can be specified when ordering art glass tiles.