A Few things you would Love to know about installing Glass Tile but were Afraid to Ask!
When it comes to transparent glass tile the Paper is on the FRONT of the tile! It is very surprising and more common than you would think that professional tile setters lay the sheeted glass tile with the paper into the adhesive. The end result is that the tile falls off during grouting and the entire job needs to be redone. Sheetrock or hardibacker ripped out and all! It is very frustrating for the homeowner and extremely costly for the contractor.
Gray thin-set will ruin your tile installation. This is yet another common error with inexperienced tile setters. Gray thin-set will completely change the appearance of the tile. It mutes and muddys up the color. So the beautiful coral pink or delicate buttery gold you were aiming for is just a rip out and reinstall away. WHITE modified thin-set is the recommended setting material and one of the best is Adesilex P10 by Mapei a major settings material manufacturer. It is the first of its kind in that it is non yellowing and pure white! It is also non sagging which is a real plus when installing on a vertical surface.
Manufacturing glass tile is a very volatile process and there are differences from LOT to LOT. Now one color will always be recognizable as that particular color until you try to add on to an existing installation. Then chances are it will be a different color when butted up against another lot of the same color. The moral of this story is make sure you have enough enough and if you are planning to add on at a later date buy the material and hold on to it until you are ready! Sometimes there are unanticipated mishaps like cabinets come in a little shorter than ordered or the tile setter installs it backwards. There is’nt anything you can do except hope your supplier can locate the same lot. IMPORTANT take down any lot information off the boxes before you throw them away. This will make the search much easier.
Glass tile is okay for your pool, shower , walls and floor. In fact it is a beautiful alternative to ceramic and stone. Some glass tile is not floor grade so check the manufacturer’s instructions before making your design decisions. Glass tile installed in a wet area such as a pool or shower may require a special additive to the thin set, check the manufacturer’s instructions on this as well.
One issue of major importance is that the area you are tiling is properly prepared. It needs to be clean and flat. If you are working in a wet area you will need to install a waterproof substrate such as Wedi Board. Glass mosaic tile is not very forgiving when it comes to an uneven substrate and will in fact accentuate any imperfection that may exist underneath.
Grout color is quite subjective and entirely up to you. If you want the grout to starkly contrast the tile then white or black grout will do. A very desirable option is to tint the grout to match the tile. This technique is very pleasing to the eye. There are many pre colored grouts readily available in your local home improvement stores. However they do not offer a very broad range of colors outside the browns, grays and whites. If you are looking for blues, greens ,yellow or more then you will need to tint it yourself. Mixol pigments are a fine choice for tinting your grout and will offer a vast spectrum of colors including violet , pink and red to mention only a few.
When you decide to use glass tile in your next installation please check with your contractor or tile setter to make sure he or she is well skilled in the installation of glass and glass mosaic tile. It is well worth the extra expense to hire a true professional with the experience needed to do the job right.