Glass has been used in mosaic and tile applications for thousands of years—with artisans in Greece, Persia, and India creating tiles as far back as the 3rd century BC. Today, glass tiles are commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and pools in both floor and wall applications. Homeowners in the greater Columbia, Cayce, Blythewood area admire this material for the stunning designs and shiny finish it provides. Read on to learn more from the team at Floor Coverings International Columbia East, and consider if this tile type is the right choice for your next home improvement project.
Types of Glass Tile
Glass tile is manufactured in four primary methods: smalti, sintered, fused, and cast. Different production methods will affect the look and feel of the final product. For instance, smalti tiles are opaque and textured, while sintered tiles have a uniform surface and milky coloring.
Fused and cast methods are more common for mass-produced glass tile. To make fused glass, thin layers are stacked together and fired in a kiln until the layers bond. This creates a translucent tile, where color is typically added to the top or bottom face of the glass.
With casting, chunks of glass are placed in a mold and heated until the pieces melt into each other. Recycled glass is typically processed using this method. The resulting tile usually has a layered or textured look.
Glass tile is popular due to the wide range of colors and vibrant styles. The tiles generally come in small, mosaic pieces—including ¾ inch wide rectangles with varying widths, 1×1 inch squares, and 1×1 inch hexagons. For ease of installation these mosaic pieces may come pre-joined in larger sheets. For larger tile pieces, opt for subway tiles that come in 3×6 inch rectangles.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Glass Tile
Glass tile allows for easy maintenance. It is non-porous, making it a great choice for rooms with water-use such as kitchens and bathrooms. It is also naturally mold and mildew resistant and can be cleaned with any all-purpose cleaner.
One drawback to glass tile is how slippery it can be. Certain tile options have been processed with a slip-resistant surface, but other tiles are only meant for wall applications. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to verify that your application fits with suggested use for the product.
For more assistance choosing the right glass product for your next tile project, call the team at Floor Coverings International Columbia East. We offer complimentary, in-home consultations and bring all our samples to you in our mobile flooring showroom.
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