Glass tile is gaining popularity over ceramic tile as the surface of choice in home tile projects.
Although generally more expensive than ceramic tile, glass tile adds an artisanal and artistic quality that is undoubtedly worth the cost.
Wondering where to install glass tiles?
After all, it’s beautiful and modern, which usually means you can consider the luxury kitchen, bathroom, and shower.
As you can imagine, this excellent product, when installed correctly, brings years of enjoyment.
Where to Install Glass Tiles
Kitchen backsplashes and walls, pool bottom, bathrooms, connectors, entryways, and more are great for glass tiles. Walls, fenders, shower walls, and bathroom floors really come to life when accent tiles are applied in a unique and colorful pattern.
Bathroom tiles, such as a glass backsplash to protect the wall from splashing water, will not have the type of pressure that glass tiles will have during use.
A glass tile splash guard in the kitchen is another area where there aren’t the same stresses that glass tile would withstand on the floor.
The floor is an area that you really need to pay attention to when installing glass or ceramic tiles.
After a successful tile installation, you will be able to take a step back and admire the coordinated look of your new bathroom or glass splash plate with your walls, floors, and counters.
Not all glass tiles are manufactured the same, with the same specifications, nor can they be used in the same applications.
Some are made in boutiques where the unique nature of each tile is what matters. Others are made using consistent manufacturing processes.
However, you will find three categories of glass tile: fused glass tile, cast glass tile, low-temperature coated glass tile.
Each of these categories has separate usages as to how and where it will be used. Each has different internal stress points, depending on how it was made.
Additionally, some glass tiles come with specific backing types that may not be compatible with humid environments. This may not be a problem for a kitchen backsplash; It will be a problem in the shower.
What Makes Glass Tiles Unique
Glass tiles come in several shapes and colors, depending on the process used to create them. Some tiles are cut and cooled, while others melt, pour, and fresh.
In cold manufacturing, there is no heat, there is only glass cutting. On the other hand, the poured glass involves mixing sand and chemicals and melting them in a tank, which is then placed on trays to cool.
The end result may vary depending on color, thickness, size, and shape.
Some glass tiles contain small bubbles in each tile, creating a “still wet” appearance and resulting in individual tiles that, like snowflakes, are unique.
Varieties of glass tiles allow endless customization options, and their versatility opens the door to interior and exterior projects.
Generally, glass is not always accompanied by durability.
But the truth is that glass tile can be as strong and durable as ceramic. By nature, glass tiles retain certain properties that make them more resistant than ceramic tiles. “Glass tiles are not porous,” explains Kalina, “so they don’t absorb moisture.”
Moisture penetration is the enemy of any mosaic project as it can cause mold and mildew.
There is no problem with glass tiles as long as they are installed correctly.
Most tile installers will tell you that there is not much difference between installing ceramic tile and installing glass tile. “Installing glass tile is pretty straightforward,” says Thomas Hubbard, a tile installer in Burlington, Vermont. “Some installers are hooked to the glass edge, but generally it’s not that difficult to install.” Hubbard generally considers glass tiles as an accent.
Still, they can be used for larger projects, including entire walls or shower ceilings.
Like ceramic tile, installing glass tile involves placing the glass on the work surface. ]
Since the glass tiles are translucent, the thin-set is generally white; to maintain a transparent background that does not affect the color of the glass. “With the glass tiles, which are transparent, the thin layer or below the surface has to be perfect,” says Kalina.
“If the tile is used at the bottom of a pool, for example, the thin gap must be smoothed, or it will appear.”
Some Tips to Install Glass Tiles
For installing glass tiles, you will need to apply the proper installation practices, and you will need to gather the proper tools.
]If you do not have experience installing glass or ceramic tiles, it is absolutely best to hire a professional.
Apparently small details can make or break the success of your glass tile or decorative kitchen tile installation.
While glass tile is a durable, easy-to-maintain, and long-lasting choice for bathroom design or kitchen splash guard, it should be placed properly on a carefully-prepared surface.
The tension may not be sufficient to properly prepare the surface before installing the glass tiles.
Here are some essential notes to remember when installing glass tiles:
- Before purchasing a tile, determine if your tile choice is practical for the area where it will be installed. Tiles are usually thicker than a shower wall, for example.
- Make sure you or your hired expert installs a quality cement board substrate in wet areas, such as when applying glass tile to the backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom.
- This is called a substrate. You will need to install an effective barrier to provide protection against shrinkage and cracking. This is called a membrane.
- Two excellent options would be the Laticrete 9235 waterproofing membrane or the Laticrete Hydro ban membrane. When applying mortar (called a thin coat), avoid low-quality. These thin multipurpose coats are not ideal for laying glass tiles. Glass tiles are translucent. For this reason, you will get a brighter end result when you use a thinner set in a lighter color. A thinner set in a darker color tends to dull glass tiles, so it’s not the right choice.
- Before you start installing the tiles, make sure the surface is smooth, level, and clean. An uneven surface will cause the tiles to crack in no time when walking.
- The tiles are approximately ½ to ¾ inch thick and can support the weight of the step.
- Glass kitchen and bathroom countertops and backsplash are approximately 5/16 ” thick.