Most glass tiles are not suitable for use on contact surfaces, such as counter tops, floors and other high-use surfaces. Even glass tiles that have been produced for this precise application should still be avoided, as they are prone to cracking. The exception to this is the ultra-glass tiles that are purpose made for use as flooring tiles and have been proven to not crack or ware excessively. When used as a back-splash, glass tiles can give a kitchen a very modern look and is often preferred to porcelain tiles for this application. These tiles can be very difficult to install due to contraction properties you don’t find in other tiles. Glass tiles tend to be a lot more expensive that clay-based tiles, so it might be an option just to use a few in your bathroom installation, as decorative accents.

One of the main problems with fitting glass tiles, is their transparency which tends to magnify any residue under the tile. This might seem quite obvious but even something as subtle as a trowel ridge can show through quite clearly. This can leave an uneven finish, often leading to the tiles having to be re-laid. The first step is to make sure all dust and dirt is cleaned from the back of the tile, so that this won’t be seen once the tile is fitted. Glass tiles on that are greater than 4 inches should be lightly back buttered before being set. This helps prevent pockets of air from forming under the tile, which can lead cracked or lifted tiles. It is important that the tiles are fully bonded to the cement to ensure an even finish.

Small glass tiles can come face mounted, with paper attached to the finished side with glue. Spread out some tile adhesive on the surface and then place the tile un-papered side down and allow it to set. After a couple of hours, wet the paper side of the tiles, allowing the water to fully penetrate the paper. Leave again for twenty minutes and then peel off the paper. If it does not lift easily, do not force it off, just leave it a little longer and add more water. Use a damp sponge to remove any remaining paper and then you will have a beautifully finished floor. If you follow these simple rules, you will be left with a tile finish that will be the envy of all your friends.