The fact about Glass Tile

Glass tile, Glass casting, kitchen Glass Tile, Smalti tile, Fused glass, Sintered, Glass casting

For centuries, glass has been a featured material in mosaic media to decorate and articulate a building. Glass tiles are essentially pieces of glass formed into consistent shapes. Glass mosaic tiles are suitable for both internal and external applications as they are impervious to frost, sunlight, and water. This quality makes it best suited for wet or constantly submerged areas. They are easy to clean, maintain, and they never discolor. Glass tiles have a varied application in black slashes of drawing-room, dining, kitchen, bath-room etc…, They are also used to highlight certain features. The spot lighting has further increased their use. Although glass tiles are complex to install the benefits and beauty makes us over see.

Production methods determine look and feel of a glass tile. There are four major types of glass tile based on their manufacturing method.

They are Smalti tile, Fused glass, Sintered and Glass casting

In addition, there are two other eminent glass surface treatments for these tiles: slumping and etching.

Smalti tile is type of glass tile which is Frosted glass, or opaque glass. It has been in use from ancient times. “Smalti” is an Italian word, and refers to a glass paste. Smalti is made by mixing molten glass with metal oxides for color. Translucent Smalti is a popular variant of smalti glass tile. It looks like stained glass with uniform colors.

Byzantine Glass is another smalti variant made from thinner slabs of glass. Metallic Smalti is a swirl of a copper-bearing mineral added into the molten glass before it is pressed. Gold Smalti are made by applying a gold leaf and a thin layer of blown glass.

Fused Tile is manufactured using the fusion method. In this type a flat glass is cut into tiles shapes and then fired in a furnace. The clear glass will show the tile until treated with a color. In this method colors are added to the top or bottom of the glass. Fused glass tiles are characterized with a translucent area and a layer of opaque color visible through the tile. These tiles are further treated with an etching or other coating, for aesthetics or abrasion.

Sintered glass tile is a variety made by pressing glass powder into dies and then heated until the particles fuse. The color is either added into the powder or added topically after cooling. Unlike smalti tiles, sintered tiles tend to have a uniform look. This milky and scratch-resistant finish makes it versatile.

Cast tile is made by inserting chunks of glass into a mold which gives it a layered look. Most recycled glass tile products are made using this method making it environment friendly.

Glass tile, Glass casting, kitchen Glass Tile, Smalti tile, Fused glass, Sintered, Glass casting

All these variants can be treated to slumping and etching. Slumped glasses are curved into convex/concave shape during firing. Etched glass is a process of applying a thin-translucent layer on the surface of a tile. All these features give glass tile a unique appearance which is unachievable with the conventional tiles. The reverberant and depth of color makes them unique.

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How to Install Glass Tiles

Glass tiles, mosaic tiles, kitchen Glass Tile, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, ceramic bathroom tiles

Among the numerous tiles available, homeowners are increasingly choosing glass tiles that add a unique look to their homes. Glass tiles are available in an assortment of colors, sizes, designs, shapes and styles that can easily blend with the decor of any room. In case you are thinking about installing glass tiles, you can choose amongst the various options, such as clear glass, frosted and bubble glass tile. Any of these glass tile options can easily spruce up any room in your home.

Choosing amongst these unique and beautiful tiling options is a daunting task, but once you have made the selection, it is time for installation. Installing glass tiles is not that difficult for experienced DIY enthusiasts; however, amateur DIY enthusiasts may need to be little careful while performing the task. If you are planning to install glass tiles, foremost, ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment needed to complete the task.

For installation, first, you need to prepare the substrate; ensure that the surface on which the tiles need to be installed is smooth, flat and without any cracks. The substrate should also be dry as well as perfectly clean so as to effectively apply the adhesive. Next, you need to apply is the thin-set; generally white, acrylic modified thin-set mortar is recommended by experts. It is usually available in pre-mix form, and is thus easy to use. Make sure not to use mastic adhesives, as these tend to become yellow with passing time.

Glass tiles, mosaic tiles, kitchen Glass Tile, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, ceramic bathroom tiles

For applying the thin-set, you can use the notched side of a 3/16″ V-notch trowel, which is easily available in the market. Hold the tool at an angle of 45° to the substrate for applying the adhesive. Make sure that the thin-set is thick enough to provide a strong grip, but not too thick as it may result in uneven surface, along with irregular spots and shrinkage. In case there are any ridges, you can smoother them with the long flat edge of the trowel, while taking precaution not to remove any thin-set.

Once the thin-set is appropriately applied, its time to install the glass tiles. You can cut the tiles into small pieces as these are easy to install. You can either use a mosaic glass cutter with blades shaped like small wheels or use a wet saw. After getting the desired size, ensure that the tile’s mesh side is clean, dry and free of any dust or debris. Be careful to install the tiles with its mesh side facing the contact surface. To ensure a tight, even bonding with the thin-set, use a wooden block held against the tile sheets and tap on it lightly. Make sure to remove any excess adhesive from the edges. Leave the tiles undisturbed during the curing time, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Glass tiles, mosaic tiles, kitchen Glass Tile, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, ceramic bathroom tiles

After this, you can grout the joints with the help of rubber grout float, for increased performance and longevity of the glass tiles. It is advised to choose white colored un-sanded grout with a latex additive for fine finish; however, you may also choose other colors for added effect. Last but not the least, add an anti-microbial and mildew inhibitors that will protect the tiles against mold and mildew menace.

Following these simple steps, you can efficiently install the beautiful glass tiles in your home, adding to its aesthetic appeal.

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