Glass tile installations have become very popular and are a growing market share. Glass tiles are ecologically sound (many glass tile are made from recycled glass) and offer a wide range of colors.
The key to achieving a good installation is substrate preparation. Substrate preparation is the #1 factor that accounts for the success or failure of an installation. Surfaces need to be clean, level and stable. It is highly recommended to use a waterproofing/crack isolation membrane prior to installing glass tiles to prevent shrinkage or movement in the substrate. We suggest Hydroment Gold, a Latex-Based Anti-Fracture and Waterproofing Membrane.
It is imperative to install all glass tiles with a quality white latex-fortified Portland cement thin set, as this will have the least affect on the color and transparency of the tiles. Some suggestions include Hydroment StoneWall High Performance-Non Sag Mortar or Hydroment ReFlex Ultra Premium Latex-Modified Thin Set Mortar. Never use any multi-purpose or regular thin set mortars or any type of mastic as this will may result in failure. To install the glass tiles, skim coat the substrate with the thin set using the flat side of the trowel then use the proper notch side of the trowel to install the tile. Press the tiles into the thin set ensuring that the back of the tiles are completely coated and flat.
After the thin set has cured, you are ready to start grouting. We suggest the use of Bostik's TruColor Pre-Mixed Urethane Grout. TruColor is excellent for glass tiles, offers the ultimate in color consistency, crack resistance and stain protection, TruColor never needs to be sealed! TruColor is a clean as you go product so we suggest you grout as far as you can reach (10-12 square foot area). Clean and rinse sponge in water and wring nearly dry. Please read installation directions for all products used to be assured of a successful installation.
From the Floor Up, a Blog for the Flooring Professional