Many of the beautiful kitchens seen in design magazines photos now feature glass tile backsplashes. Installation is as easy as traditional tiles, but there are some special instructions to follow when working with glass tile.
Special Note: If this is your first time working on a tiling project, click on this link for learning how to install a kitchen backsplash. Be sure to attend the 11 am Tiling Clinic every Saturday morning at your local Home Depot store for more tips and tricks of the trade.
Once you have measured the square footage needed for the backsplash, add 10% to complete the design. Your sales associate can help you calculate the amount needed.
Special Blade for Cutting Glass Tiles
When cutting glass tiles, you will need to use a glass cutting blade and a rubbing stone to smooth out the rough edges. Be careful – the glass surface scratches easily and the edges can cut you! (This blade can also be used to cut other tiles.)
Suggested Products for Setting Glass Tiles
1. Setting the tile can be easy using SimpleMat for mortarless installations. This works for small areas and when using glass tiles as an accent.
2. If you prefer using a mortar – as my tile specialist recommends - select a white thin-set mortar - gray is okay too. NOTE: Other color mortars may detract from the beauty of the glass.
3. You can also use a Glass Tile Thin-Set Mortar kit.
Special Tips for Grouting Glass Tiles
1. Use only a non-sanded grout to avoid scratching the glass tile.
2. My tile specialist also recommends using the “thinner” rubber grout float for beginner DIYers. You will have more ability to push the grout and the float is lighter in weight and more flexible to use.
3. Use a soft cloth (like an old bath towel) or cheese cloth to polish and buff your glass tiles. The grout haze will be gone and the end result is a shiny new backsplash!
Please keep us posted on your tiling projects – especially those with glass tiles – and we LOVE to see your photos. Happy tiling!
Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!
Designingwoman has already answered your question regarding cutting those fragile mosaic tiles in this same thread above the ones we posted. She states...
"Place the glass tile on an inexpensive 12x12 flat tile to give it some support while running through the wet saw. (You will be cutting through both tiles and this should provide sufficient support for the glass tile as well as give a sharp cut.) Remove the tape from the glass tile and be sure to dry off the backing with a paper towel. Then continue with your glass tile installation. "
In terms of cutting mosaic tiles, the best and easiest way to achieve a tight area cut is by using a wet saw. It ensures the tile edges are straight and not jagged in any way.
Getting a 'perfect cut' is usually a tall order when cutting any tile, and your edges should be installed that will be covered or not seen when you are done with the project. For example, you would save leaving those edges for behind wall switch cover plates, and corners that will be covered up with moulding or bullnose tiles and grout.
Using hand-held glass cutters shown earlier in the thread can work too, but the wet saw is really the way to go, regardless of size of type of mosaic tiles you have.
Hope this helps you out,
I am using the small 3/4 glass tiles. I was wondering, How do I cut the tiles to fit in a tight area, they seem to small to be able to use a wet saw?
Hello elect_answers and thanks for the great lighting tip. The pucks are a great and economical source of light for showcasing the backsplash and adding counter light for tasking. Your local store and homedepot.com have a great assortment. Best of all, the new puck lights have LEDs, easy install options, and dimmer capability.
For more ideas on under cabinet lighting using pucks, click here.
Hello Community: When the backsplashes came to our store, and we got a display installed and it looked fine to me, but not an eye catcher. Then after some requests for help from people in the area we put 3 "puck" type halogen lights on the display. WOW! What a difference , they really shine almost like they are still wet, and stand out, adding a lot to the area, highlighting how beautiful they really are. The white light of the pucks does not change the beauty of the colors in the tile. I was surprised and impressed.
Hello ROCKWRIGHT and welcome to The Community! We are glad you are here. I am sorry about your experience at your local store and want to help you with your project.
The glass tiles are definitely a beautiful investment and the finished look will be worth all your hard effort.
There are several ways to tackle cutting a 1”x1” tile in half. I have had a similar problem in the past and I used a small piece of quarter-round molding under the cabinet to make up the space differential. (I know this is not the answer you are looking for - but it was quick, inexpensive, and saved me time that I would have spent using nippers to cut the tiles in half!)
You may have an issue with the color transfer from the backing that creates the color on some glass tiles. (Some tiles have the color all the way through the glass while others only have the color on the “underside.”) Test cut a scrap piece of the glass tile to see if there is any color transfer. If the color bleeds, consider cutting with a nipper, snap cutter or rail cutter. If the color holds, continue with the project.
Use blue (painters) tape on the top and bottom of the glass tiles before cutting. This will secure the tiles and keep them from shifting plus it will not leave a residue.
Be sure to use a diamond blade to give a sharper cut when using the wet saw (see the note in the original post) – and wear safety glasses.
Place the glass tile on an inexpensive 12x12 flat tile to give it some support while running through the wet saw. (You will be cutting through both tiles and this should provide sufficient support for the glass tile as well as give a sharp cut.) Remove the tape from the glass tile and be sure to dry off the backing with a paper towel. Then continue with your glass tile installation.
Best wishes on your project and please send us photos of your finished project!
I AM TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW TO CUT THE 12 INCH X 12 INCH / 1 INCH X 1 INCH GLASS TILES I PURCHASED.
I NEED TO CUT ABOUT A 1/2" OFF OF A ROW OF TILE TO FIT MY BACKSPLASH. HOW DO I HOLD THE TILES IN PLACE IF I USE A WET SAW? LOCAL STORE WAS NO HELP.
Hello QEPPRO and welcome to The Community!
I looked on our website and saw that these nippers are under $15! They can cut glass tiles up to 1/4 inch in thickness. A reviewer said that they cut “through glass tiles like butter with a clean cut every time.”
Thanks for adding this great tool to our materials list for installing glass tiles and reminding us to use eye protection.
In addition to the the Glass Cutting Blade(SKU# 593447) and Rubbing Stone (SKU# 290440) that are listed in this blog, a Glass Tile Nipper (SKU# 867683) works really well when needing to cut shapes in glass tile. Simply use the nipper like scissors to trim glass tile to fit around pipes, cabinets and walls or create eye-catching glass mosaics. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when cutting glass, either with a blade or with nippers.
Hello MosaicLoft! Thanks for the update. I have never tiled outside before but you are giving me some great new ideas. I recently attended a large regional flower show which featured numerous outdoor living vignettes. There were several displays that featured glass tile in outdoor applications - and they were beautiful!
I have usually used unique landscape pavers and various decorative stone for my displays, but I am looking forward to incorporating glass into my summer designs.
Peace, love, and glass tiles!
A membrane is only necessary in the most extreme applications, and is more about assuring the substrate doesn't get exposed to the elements and cause damage to the tile layer. As long as the tile is "vitreous" (meaning non-porous) it holds up very well through freeze-thaw cycles. This is because it doesn't absorb water. A non-vitreous tile such as a tile with a layer of coloring on the back, can absorb water that when it freezes expands and breaks apart the material.
All of MosaicLoft's tile at The Home Depot is vitreous and therefore is fine for outdoor wet/dry freeze/thaw installation.
Happy mosaic tiling!