Glass Tile Backsplash
and Recycled Glass Tile

Glass backsplash tiles are very retro and also very attractive. A glass tile backsplash can bring a very different look to your kitchen, if you want your kitchen backsplash to stand out, this is the way to go. On the other hand if you simply want a nice coordinating glass tile to match another part of your kitchen these are great for that too, there are many different colors available.

A glass tile backsplash in the kitchen is commonly made from recycled glass. Using recycled glass tile is a great way to incorporate a little bit of eco-friendly material into your kitchen design. 

More and more eco-friendly materials are available for home remodeling projects; getting an earth friendly remodel is quickly becoming very easy.

Glass backsplash tiles are not an inexpensive material. Glass tiles start at $5 per square foot and continue on up to $20 per square foot. Installation costs are also quite steep due to the difficulty of cutting the glass.

gray and white glass tile backsplash

The colors are almost endless and so are the textures. Mixing and matching different colors for accents, such as a border or divider between rows, is a great way to add a personal touch. As well as adding an interesting way to stand out from the crowd.

Mosaics can be made from free templates that are readily available online, and most are free. Mosaics are generally done from templates because it's much easier and cheaper to cut the tiles to shape than forming each one individually. Some glass cutting skill is required to shape glass tiles with a glass cutter.

Sizes range from 1/2" square, to 4"x 8" glass subway tiles, in glass backsplashes for the kitchen. There are also many other shapes on the market too, shapes like round and oval are also quite common. A glass tile backsplash is a great way to add a different look to any kitchen.

A glass tile backsplash is scratch resistant and very easy to clean. Scratches on a glass tile backsplash is of no concern, so this should not be a negative for this application. Glass is not porous so cleaning is a breeze but the grout can get dirty. If the grout is sealed properly, and regularly, the grout will stay clean and in good condition.

A good way to add glass backsplash tiles to your design without overpowering the overall look is to incorporate them with another material, like ceramic tile. Using glass subway tiles to separate the top and bottom sections of tile is a great way to add glass into the design, without having the glass completely take over. Another idea is to scatter a few in with other tile materials; this too will infuse a retro look without having it take over the design.

glass and stone tile backsplash

Glass tiles are a fabulous way to add a different look and feel to any kitchen, but I recommend getting some samples before you decide to buy enough for your kitchen. These tiles are a love or hate type of material, but with the expanding selection there is a style sure to please everyone.

How To Install Glass Tile Video

One thing to note in this video is, the drywall needs to be primed to seal the porous drywall joint compound, as well as the paper on the drywall itself. The instructions on your bag of mastic or thinset will say the same thing, so priming is a must.

Glass tile is most often used as a backsplash because glass is very smooth and not good for floors. Although there are many more textures available today than there were in the past, so you may be able to find a glass tile for the floors, but I still would not recommend it for floors. Maybe a shower floor, but not a kitchen floor.

 It also has a tendency to crack when pressure is applied to it. It's still quite strong but it does not resist flexing without cracking. The backsplash area is perfect for these tiles. Terrazzo is good for floors but tiles may not be the best choice.

Recycled glass comes in two main forms, terrazzo and tile. The terrazzo glass tiles are made by combining broken glass that is mixed with resins to form the tile. Terrazzo comes in sheets or in individual tiles. Enviroglas has a wide assortment of different colors and styles of terrazzo.

Recycled glass tile is made by taking glass and melting it down and reforming it into glass tiles. This is more intensive due to the time needed to sort the glass into the colors needed to make the tile.

The solid glass tile is also more resource intensive due to the extra energy needed to melt the glass. This is still a great way to recycle used glass because it's still more efficient than making the glass from raw materials.

A glass tile backsplash installation needs special tools for cutting, such as a glass cutter and/or a tile wetsaw, as well as special skills to cut the glass correctly without breaking the tile in undesired shapes. This skill just takes a little bit of practice, and anyone can do it.

Special mastic needs to be used as well to install these tiles correctly. Using a latex modified mastic or thinset is the best way to go, but always check the documentation on the thinset bags to be sure it will work with glass.

If you want to add recycled glass to your kitchen to lessen your environmental impact, great. You may also be interested in recycled glass countertops to go with your glass backsplash. Using recycled materials is a fabulous way to preserve our environment and also a great looking alternative to ceramic and stone backsplashes.

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