When one thinks of tile products for the home, ceramic or porcelain tile may immediately come to mind. However, glass tile products are another option that can be considered for various projects.
Different Manufacturing Methods
To begin with, there are three main types of glass when it comes to tile. Below is a list that outlines the different types, which are cast glass tile, fused glass tile, and coated glass tile.
- Cast glass tiles are formed in a liquid state at temperatures of 1600°F or higher. Cast glass surfaces are usually wavy or slightly textured with inherent folds, bubbles, and creases. The casting process produces color throughout the piece, similarly to marble – not the natural stone product used for countertops, but the little round marbles we played with as kids!
- Fused glass tiles are generally made from sheet glass that has been altered through heat. During the production process, multiple layers of glazes and similar materials are added in stages, which yields varying colors and patterns. Fused glass tile surfaces can be smooth, textured, uniform, or non-uniform.
- Coated glass tiles are made from sheet glass that has been altered at lower temperatures. These tiles will have color coatings applied to the back of transparent glass, which allows the back-coated colors to transfer through clear glass.
Different sizes and formats
From here, glass tiles are divided into sub-categories, usually by size. Large format is usually considered to be larger than 3” x 3”. Mosaic glass tiles are those between ¾” x ¾” and smaller than 3” x 3”. Mini or micro-mosaics are tiles smaller than ¾” x ¾”.
Additionally, there are a few key differences between glass tiles and ceramic and porcelain tiles that end-users should be aware.
- Glass is usually less resistant to abrasion and impact.
- It is more sensitive to thermal shock, so great care should be taken when using in areas where rapid temperature change may take place, such as fireplace surrounds or near a cooktop.
- Glass tiles expand more than ceramic and porcelain, so additional movement must be accounted for during installation.
- Glass tiles need to be set with premium mortar systems to provide proper adhesion.
If you are curious for more information or would like to know if glass tiles are the right choice for your project, you may contact Conestoga Tile for more information.