Whether your tastes run to diamonds or you love seeing the sun glint of the water, if sparkle is your thing, glass tile can add some pizzazz to your bath. If you are tired of Tuscan and bored with texture, glass tiles’ lovely luminescent qualities bring depth, drama and shine to surfaces. To transform your sanctuary from righteous to ritzy and make your bath a veritable work of art, here’s what you need to know:
Types Of Glass Tile
From shimmering opalescent to hot crayon colors, the palette and types of glass tiles are infinite. mosaic tiles come on a mesh backing allowing you to create flowing shapes, recycled glass tiles are eco-friendly, and there are hundreds of handcrafted tiles –each one as unique as the artist who created them. Squares are no longer the only shape—rectangles, hexagrams or even shapes reminiscent of nature, like glass pebbles. Your imagination is your only limit.
How’s Glass Tiles Are Made?
Glass tiles can be made in several ways including cut and cold-cooled, processes in which there is no heat, just cutting or casting (which means mixed chemicals and sands are melted in a tank, then dropped into cooling trays). The glass will vary in color and shape—even texture—with some tiles retaining little bubbles within. Each tile will be as unique as a fingerprint and with infinite varieties comes many ways to customize each tile project to suit your individual taste.
What Is “Proper Installation”?
An experienced installer will be knowledgeable in both cutting the glass and setting the individual tiles correctly. In the case of glass tiles, where the tiles are translucent, the thin-set (subsurface) must be perfect and is usually white to create a clear background that won’t affect the color of the glass. Grouting is important, too. Usually epoxy grouts are used because they last a long time, are non-porous and non-absorbent (like the glass tiles themselves) and resist breakdown and stains. They are mixed with hues (and even sparkles if you choose) as well as with antimicrobial products, like Microbran, to discourage the growth of mold and mildew. This also means the grout will need very little maintenance over the years–though it’s rubbery characteristics required an experienced installer.
Are Glass Tiles Durable?
These sparkling jewels may look delicate but they can be as strong as ceramic tiles. Since glass is not porous, it doesn’t absorb moisture (which allows for the growth of mold and mildew). If the glass tiles are properly installed, they will last (and remain beautiful) through years of use.
Caring For Glass Tiles
Glass tiles are very easy to clean, but be careful, you never want to scratch glass tiles, so use a soft cloth and water. Also hard water might cause some mineral spots. These are best removed with white vinegar sprayed on to the tiles. Rinse and neutralize with baking soda. Wipe with a soft cloth. With gentle care, your glass tile installation will remain shining and gorgeous for years.