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The Dos and Don’ts for Installing Glass Tiles

To install glass tile you’ll want to apply proper installation practices and you will need to gather the right tools. If you’re not skilled at glass tile or glass ceramic tile installation, you’re absolutely better off hiring a professional.

Seemingly minor details can make or break the success of your bathroom glass tiles or decorative kitchen tiles installation. While glass tiles are a long lasting, easy to care for and durable choice for bathroom design or a kitchen backsplash, glass tile does need to be placed correctly on a carefully prepared surface.

It cannot be emphasized enough that you prepare the surface properly before installing glass tiles.

Kitchen counter tops and walls, swimming pool bottoms, entry ways and many more locations are perfect for glass tile. Bathroom walls, backsplashes, shower walls and floors really come to life when decorative tiles are applied in a unique and colorful pattern.

Bathroom tiles such as a glass backsplash to protect the wall from water splashes will not have the kind of pressure on it during use that glass floor tiles will have.

A glass tile backsplash in the kitchen is another area where there are not the same stresses that glass kitchen tiles on the floor would endure.

The floor is an area you really want to pay attention to in the installation of glass or ceramic tile. After a successful tile installation, you will be able to stand back and admire the coordinated look of your freshly installed kitchen or bathroom glass backsplash with the walls, floors, and counter tops and we want to help you make sure your new tile lasts for years and years to come.

Here are some important points to remember when installing your tile:

  1. Make sure you or your hired installation expert installs a quality cement board substrate in wet areas such as when applying glass tile for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. 
  2. This is called the substrate. You’ll want to install an effective barrier to provide protection due to shrinkage and cracking. This is called a membrane. 
  3. Two excellent choices would be Laticrete 9235 waterproofing membrane or Laticrete Hydroban membrane. When applying mortar (called thin set) avoid low quality multipurpose thin set which is not ideal for glass tile installation. Glass tile is translucent and because of this you will get a brighter sparkling end result when using a lighter colored thin set. Darker colored thin set tends to dull the glass tile so it’s not a good choice. 
  4. Before starting to lay floor tile, make sure the surface is smooth, level and clean. An uneven surface will result in cracking of the tiles in a very short time when it is walked on. 
  5. Before purchasing tile, consider if your tile choice is practical for the area it will be installed. Tile for flooring is generally thicker than that for a shower wall, for example. 
  6. Floor tile is about ½ to ¾ inch thick and can bear the weight of being walked on. 
  7. Kitchen and bathroom countertop and backsplash glass tile is about 5/16th of an inch thick. 

Take your time choosing the right glass tiles for your remodeling project. You will choose size as well as color and texture. Usually larger tiles are used on floors and smaller on backsplashes and shower walls however there are no rules saying you can’t put small tiles on a floor and that you can’t frame a mirror with large tiles. So enjoy planning the tile design you want to enjoy for years to come. Start out by taking time to gather the proper tools, adhesive, membrane, grout, etc…to do the job right.