Technical Guides

Glass Installation and Maintenance

  1. Glass tile has a wide range of properties requiring the use of stable substrates and manufacturer-recommended setting materials. Direct-bonding glass tile to wood is not recommended.
  2. Many glass tiles are handmade and should be inspected prior to installation to ensure acceptable shade variations.
  3. Some glass tiles are not recommended for floor application, steam showers, swimming pools, etc. Ask us to verify manufacturer recommendations for a specific use.
  4. Glass mosaic tiles smaller than 3"x3" may be installed using appropriate ANSI methods: A108, A108.15 or A108.16. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each method before choosing.
  5. When installing individual tiles 3"x3" or larger, ask for the manufacturer's specific recommendations. Block your framing every 24" to prevent movement in the framing and cracked glass.
  6. Setting materials and trowels should also be selected and used in accordance with manufacturer's directions. Back-buttering can prevent trowel marks from showing through as well as the corrosive effects of cement outgassing.
  7. Waterproof membranes and transparent glass should not be used together as moisture gets trapped between the two and shows through.
  8. A glass scoring tool, a straightedge and a pair of glass run pliers are all that is needed to cut glass tiles. Sharp edges can be chamfered with a diamond pad. Some tiles can also be cut with a wet saw using a glass-compatible diamond blade. Make sure the blade is in good condition and that you cut slowly. Cut the tile face down to prevent chipping and use building paper, cardboard or tape to protect the surface of the glass from scratches.
  9. If you are drilling through glass tile to mount, for example, a glass shower door, use a diamond-impregnated core bit in conjunction with water to minimize the heat buildup that may cause cracking. Drill especially slowly before the bit exits on the back side.
  10. Make sure that setting materials have thoroughly cured before grouting (a minimum of 48 hours). A narrow joint with unsanded or epoxy grout is usually used.
  11. Nothing is easier than maintaining non-porous, homogeneous glass surfaces. Any mild, non-abrasive glass, window or tile cleaner will do.

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