Glass tiles have high visual effect and often do a wander in any space by their beautiful colors and shimmers. I often used glass tiles for kitchen backsplashes, showers, wall treatment, spas and pool areas, etc… They are just like jewels for home while adding a touch of modernity to any kind of design. However, not all glass tiles come in same quality and their installation also more complicated than ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles. Before we talk about how to choose right glass tiles, let’s take a look at glass tile’s history.
Glass Tile History
Glass was used in mosaics as early as 2500 BC, but it took until the 3rd century BC before innovative artisans in Greece, Persia and India created glass tiles.
Whereas clay tiles are dated as early as 8000 BC, there were significant barriers to the development of glass tiles, included the high temperatures required to melt glass, and the complexities of mastering various annealing curves for glass.
In recent years, glass tiles have become popular for both field and accent tiles. This trend can be attributed to recent technological breakthroughs, as well as the tiles’ inherent properties, in particular their potential to impart intense color and reflect light, and their imperviousness to water. You can click here for more info
Types of Glass Tiles
- Cast glass tiles are formed in a liquid state at temperatures of 1600°F or higher. Cast glass surfaces are usually wavy or slightly textured with inherent folds, bubbles, and creases. The casting process produces color throughout the piece, similarly to marble – not the natural stone product used for countertops, but the little round marbles we played with as kids!
- Fused glass tiles are generally made from sheet glass that has been altered through heat. During the production process, multiple layers of glazes and similar materials are added in stages, which yields varying colors and patterns. Fused glass tile surfaces can be smooth, textured, uniform, or non-uniform.
- Coated glass tiles are made from sheet glass that has been altered at lower temperatures. These tiles will have color coatings applied to the back of transparent glass, which allows the back-coated colors to transfer through clear glass.
How to choose right glass tile for your project
The above 3 types of glass tiles are formed in the different temperatures. Usually the higher of the temperatures, the more durable glass tiles are. But of course, the proper annealing is quite critical to avoid crack or breaking due to the sudden temperature change. Cast glass tiles can be used for pool, flooring and outdoor. Coated glass tiles are recommenced to be used for kitchen backsplash.
The most important thing to choose glass tile is actually to ask manufacturers’ data sheet. Here is an example of the data sheet of what good quality glass tiles look like:
” manufactured by casting molten glass at 2500oF, mixed with mineral oxide colorants into molds. The raw materials are entirely recycled high quality glass, primarily waste and scrap glass from the automotive industry as well as recycled glass from CRT’s and glass containers from the food and pharmaceutical industries. As part of the manufacturing process all mosaics are fully annealed to enhance durability.”
Our glass mosaics are made to meet or exceed the requirements of ANSI A137.2 American National
Standard Specifications for Glass Tile.
– Chemical Resistance ASTM C650-04; – No Effects Class A
– Thermal Shock Resistance ANSI A137.2-7.9; No Defects – Pass
– Breaking Strength ASTM C648; – Passes
– Water Absorption ASTM C373; – Impervious
– Crazing Resistance ASTM C424; – Passes
– Facial Dimensions/Thickness ASTM C499; – Passes
– Warpage ASTM C485-09; – Passes
– Freeze/Thaw ASTM C1026-13; – Passes– Slip Resistance DCOF Acutest; – .33 AVG.
Installation instructions are provided with every box of glass mosaics. All tile installers should be familiar with the installation methods shown in The Tile Council of North America’s Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.
For detailed instructions related to specific installations contact your installation materials manufacturer for their most up-to-date recommendation of an installation system.
Custom gradation blends are offered in all sizes and layouts. Blends can include colors, finishes and textures. Dimensions of the finished installation should be provided when requesting a gradation blend.”
Hope you find above information helpful.
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