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Installation Guide

General Information about Glass Tile

Glass tiles are frost proof and impervious to water and stains. They are also resistant to fading, discoloration and chemical damage. These properties make them suitable for home and commercial uses. Common home uses include: backsplashes, bathrooms, swimming pools, spas and various other indoor and outdoor applications. Glass tiles are used commercially in restaurants, night clubs, spas, hotels, shopping malls and many other types of businesses. 

Since glass tiles are made of glass, the tiles are more susceptible to chipping and cracking than ceramic tiles. They can disintegrate if they are not installed correctly, if placed in an area where they are exposed to sudden and extreme temperature change or if they come in violent contact with hard metal objects. Always check with the manufacturer for specifications before you install.

Installation Tips for Glass Tile

Use white thinset if there is a chance (as in tiles with color fused on the back) that thinset color may show through the tile influence the final look.

·         Mix thinset with enough water that it is spreadable but not runny. Some thinset manufacturers suggest waiting 5 minutes once you have reached the desired consistency of cake icing. Follow manufacturers' directions.

·         As a rule, a 3/16 inch v-notched trowel provides ample coverage: the selection of trowel size should be determined by the variability of flatness of the substrate and back of the tile - and not by the thickness or size of the tile. Apply uniform coverage. Hold the trowel at a steady angle to assure an even application.

·         If you are using mesh-mounted, light colored glass tiles, check to see if the mesh is visible through the tile. When this is the case, trowel notch marks will also show through the tiles and the thinset needs to be skimmed.

·         Skim (flatten) the surface of the thinset application with the long flat edge of the trowel.

·         Press the tile sheets into the thinset very firmly

·         Thinset can be messy. When laying sheets of glass tiles, don't press so hard that thinset oozes up through the tiles.

·         Wait for thinset to dry, per thinset manufacturer's instructions, before grouting.

·         Information provided here is offered as a background and guideline. No warranty is implied. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

·         Use un-sanded grout to finish the installation. Work in sections and make sure to clean quickly after grouting.

Using glass tile in swimming pools

Use white thinset with a latex additive for submerged water applications. Use the latex additive instead of water for the mixing of the thin set. Please contact your local mortar and thinset provider near you for the proper products.

·         Mix thinset with enough latex additive that it is spreadable but not runny. Some thinset manufacturers suggest waiting 5 minutes once you have reached the desired consistency of cake icing. Follow manufacturers' directions.

·         As a rule, a 3/16 inch v-notched trowel provides ample coverage: the selection of trowel size should be determined by the variability of flatness of the substrate and back of the tile - and not by the thickness or size of the tile. Apply uniform coverage. Hold the trowel at a steady angle to assure an even application.

·         If you are using mesh-mounted glass tiles, the thinset needs to be skimmed.

·         Skim (flatten) the surface of the thinset application with the long flat edge of the trowel. Press the tile sheets into the thinset very firmly

·         Thinset can be messy. When laying sheets of glass tiles, don't press so hard that thinset oozes up through the tiles.
Wait for it to dry, as per thinset manufacturer's instructions, before grouting.

·         Use undsanded grout to finish the installation. Please consult with your local grout provider for the best grout for under water applications.

·         Make sure to clean quickly after grouting.

·         It is very important that the thin set and grout cure properly. It is suggested that no water is applied to the pools for 21 days after the glass tile is installed. Other available products are available if you need to fill up the pool with water sooner. Please consult with your installer and local thinset provider.

·         Information on these pages is offered as a background and guideline. No warranty is implied. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Cutting Glass Tiles with a wet saw

Standard (ceramic tile) blades that come with most wet saws should NOT be used to cut glass tiles - or the tile will tear, crack and chip.

·         Replace the blade by removing the casing and blade bolt from the wet saw.

·         Choose a seven inch, diamond electroplated glass tile blade that fits in the old blade's place.

·         Tighten the bolt and replace the casing.

·         For clean cuts and blade longevity, make sure that the tray is completely filled with water.

·         When cutting, press lightly and steadily allowing the blade to do the work.

·         Used as directed, a good quality diamond electroplated glass tile blade will last for hundreds of cuts.

Cutting Glass Tiles with a glass scoring tool

Use a glass scoring tool and straight edge to make straight cuts in thin format glass tiles.

·         Tilt the scoring tool on an angle to score the tile.

·         Once scored, place a wire or other thin object under the score, with the score facing up.

·         Place your thumbs or fingers close to the score, on either side. Press down with equal weight on both sides.

·         Tile will snap along the cut. Pull the tile apart.

Installation for River Rock Tiles

Use white thinset for your adhesive

·         Mix thinset with enough water that it is spreadable but