With the desire to infuse your home with artistic personality of glass tile, here are some simple instructions and tips to making your glass tile dreams a reality. So go ahead, get your hands dirty. Or should we say grouty.
With design and construction technologies ever changing, installation methods aren’t always the same for every product. Despite years of experience, no tiling installation should occur without carefully reading the instructions provided by the manufacture. Yes, we mean this.
Installation should always incorporate an Anti-Fracture membrane as a protection layer to prevent cracking during the curing process. Additionally, manufactures recommend using a white a thinset mortar. Due to the tile’s clear luster, white thin set is best to allow its natural state to fully shine and not be altered.
When it comes to grout, despite the rumors, both Sand grout and Non-Sand grout can be used, but again, consult the manufactures installation guide to ensure that any warranties remain un-voided. Before installing, be sure you are applying over a suitable substrate like concrete or cement backerboard. Divide your work area into small sections starting with the focal-point. With that said, here are some easy installation steps:
- Using a the flat edge a trowel with a 3/16-by- ¼” V-notch, cover the to-be-tiled area with the thin set in a fanning-like motion for even application of about ¼” thick.
- Once evenly applied, comb thin set horizontally with the notched edge of the trowel held at a slight angle to the wall. Remove any excess thin set.
- As the previous step leaves a linear effect, you will need to smooth the thin set using the flat side of the trowel so the notched visuals to not show through the glass tile.
- Next, you are ready to apply your tiles. If using a meshed back mosaic, apply each sheet with the mesh facing the thin set. If installing paper faced mosaics, apply with paper facing up. Carefully apply mosaic sheets into the setting bed ensuring evenly spaced grout lines. Each applied sheet after that will need to be placed on a uniform level with even spacing. A good way to achieve this is to use a wooden block and gently hammer each individual and side-by-side sheets until accurately placed and leveled.
- When installing paper faced mosaics, wait 20-30 minutes before gently removing the paper. Do this by blotting the paper with a moist sponge several times. Once saturated, slowly peel off paper starting from the upper corner pulling diagonally.
- With paper faced mosaic, you may notice a few tiles have shifted out of place. Simply nudge tile back to into proper position one at a time.
- Remove any excess paper residue with a damp sponge.
- You may need to cut individual tiles to properly fit around outlets or other obstructions. Do this by using two-wheeled glass clippers.
- To apply, each individual tile needs to back-buttered before placed with a layer of thin set.
- Allow thin set to cure for a period of 48 hours.
- Next step is to apply the grout. When mixing grout, let it sit until any air bubbles have dissipated.
- Working on small sections at a time, wipe tiles with a wet sponge until glass surface is slick.
- Apply grout with an epoxy grout float, pulling it horizontally and vertically over the tile making sure to carefully work it into the joints. Once joints are filled, pull the float diagonally across to remove excess from surface.
- Mold joints to eliminate high, uneven points by wiping the tile in a circular motion with a wet sponge.
- Remove traces of grout by lightly wiping clean with a damp sponge in a diagonal motion.
- After another 48 hour curing period, remove any final grout haze with a clean, dry soft towel.
With the undeniable beauty of glass tile mosaics, don’t feel pressured to take on the installation alone. When in doubt, contact a local contractor. For any further help or inspiration, feel free to give us a call at 866-705-1340.