Glass mosaic tiles have been around for a long time; their popularity is ever-increasing. The volume of colors, different sizes, unique shapes and styles and the endless possibilities it offers for creative design, all are growing rapidly.
While the popularity of glass tiles is growing, there appears to be apprehension with some contractors, builders and related professions. Familiar with installing traditional ceramic tile via conventional methods, they consider today’s glass mosaic tile as an extraneous element, requiring more distinctive procedures relative to installation. When glass mosaic tile is installed professionally, impeccable results are achieved. Glass tile installation professionals have an understanding of the context of glass mosaic tile products. Special installation techniques may be required to install some of the newer glass mosaic tile products. Thorough planning and accurate installation make glass mosaic tiles an ideal flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, entryways, patios, and any other room or area in residential and commercial interior and exterior applications. The following gives answers to some frequently asked questions relative to glass mosaic tile installation.
What are some concerns relative to installing glass tile?
Glass is impervious in nature; for successful installment, good mortar mixing and mortar spreading techniques are imperative, along with consistent and accurate tile placement. Many installers encounter problems with glass mosaic tiles losing bond, primarily because they didn’t use quality liquid latex that was formulated with cement mortars. Impervious tiles require a thinly-set mortar with extremely strong bond strength. When working with glass tiles that are paper-faced, it requires more precision and skill than other types of back dot-mounted or rear mesh-mounted mosaic glass tile applications. Many installers have not had success working with these application types for those reasons. Working with glass is completely different than working with ceramic and porcelain tile. Applications with these materials are a work of art; time and concentration is critical, and precision is key to a gorgeous installation. I’m impressed with the high quality and unique work that glass tile professionals conceptualize and ultimately put together.
Are your glass mosaic tiles suitable for use in bathrooms, pools, kitchens, spas, fireplace-surrounds and even floors?
Yes, high-quality Tiles are specifically manufactured to meet the ANSI ratings to be used in residential and commercial use, for interior and exterior application.
When installing glass tiles in “wet areas,” what are some of the considerations?
The considerations include that they should be kept in a climate controlled area to avoid moisture and humidity exposure, which can adversely affect the adhesive’s strength. Tiles used as floors in wet areas can be treated with a slip-resistant sealant to reduce the slipperiness of wet tiles. Be sure to use a thin-set that is compatible with your substrate and environment. Mastic is not recommended, as bond strengths are lower than those of recommended setting materials. Mastic does not properly cure when used with impervious materials such as glass and can turn yellow behind clear or translucent tile. If you’re installing in a wet location like a shower, pool or spa, a waterproof membrane must be used. Allow a minimum of 28 days after grouting before applying water in submerged areas like swimming pools or fountains. Follow setting material manufacturer’s directions for installation, as some setting products aren’t suitable for wet or submerged applications. Also, do not use paper-faced gypsum for any kind as a substrate in wet areas.
What type of grout should be used when installing glass tile?
Any sanded or un-sanded grout can be used on the tile.