The process for installing glass accent tiles isn’t noticeably different from other sorts of tiles, however, the easily scratched surface, inclination to chip through cutting and the transparent quality of glass shingles mean that a few special considerations are necessary. The affordability and broad variety of glass tiles makes them value the additional effort.
Narrow the Options
Consider what level of use the glass tiles will need to endure. Eliminate tiles that scratch easily if you will install them in places subject to a lot of wear and tear or require constant cleaning, like flooring or countertops. Choose a finish and look, like shiny, matte, clear, iridescent or solid, as well as size and shape. Compare the depth of the glass accent tiles into the surrounding tiles. Installation will be simpler if they’re exactly the same depth, but it is possible to build up the thin-set supporting the narrower tiles if necessary. If the surrounding shingles have been already installed, don’t pick glass tiles thicker than people around them.
Lay Out a Layout
Glass tiles commonly come in sheets using mesh backing, but it is possible to cut the mesh and use tiles individually to create your own design. Compare the size of the mesh components to your planned design to determine whether it may save time or money to adjust the size of your design to the size of the mesh. If you are creating a custom design using individual tiles or tiny sections of a mesh-backed grouping, lay the design from the planned space to be certain it fits and looks how you intended. Sometimes mesh will reveal through the rear of glass shingles, especially if they’re colorless; clear and paper-faced shingles may be more appropriate. Paper-faced tiles have a paper coating on the very front, and that you remove after putting the tile. This paper makes it difficult to see the design before placement, but eliminates the issue of mesh showing through clear glass.
Making the Cut
Wear safety equipment like heavy leather gloves and eye protection when cutting glass tiles. Use a tile cutter made especially for cutting glass for tiles that are 2 inches or smaller. For larger tiles use a wet saw. Cut partway through from the bottom, turn the tile over, and complete the cut in the top. Sand the edges as necessary to remove any remaining sharp edges.
Thin-set and Tile Thickness
Choose a white thin-set or brick for transparent glass tiles, unless you want a darker color to show through the glass. Use the thin-set into the backing and after that smooth out it, removing any texture or bubbles, which will demonstrate through tiles that are clear. In the event the glass accent tiles are far slimmer compared to the surrounding tiles, construct up the thin-set in order that the glass tiles are flush with the adjacent surface.
The proper Grout
Epoxy grout is excellent for use with glass tiles. It won’t scrape the surface, expands and contracts as required and is strong and durable. Select a shade that improves the glass shingles and doesn’t compete with or divert from them. White or ivory works nicely with most accent tiles. Avoid sanded grout, which can scratch a few delicate glass shingles.