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What are the Different Types of Glass Wall Tile?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Glass wall tile is a popular addition to kitchens and bathrooms in today's home remodeling projects. Glass tile is available in many different textures, finishes, colors and styles. The great thing about glass wall tile is that it reflects light and can give bathrooms and kitchens an airy, sparkling look.

The most basic type of glass wall tile is completely clear and smooth. The clear, non-color allows it to fit in with any kitchen or bathroom color scheme while creating a look of elegance. One drawback when using smooth, clear glass tile is that the adhesive backing will also show. Therefore, care should be taken to choose attractive tile backing. Seeing how the tile looks up close such as in a showroom is a good idea before buying transparent glass wall tile.

Frosted, bubbled or etched clear glass tile doesn't show the adhesive backing as much as the smooth variety does. Frosted tiles have a cool icy look, while bubbled glass wall tile features bubbles within each clear square. Etched glass tile has a white decorative design over the clear glass. The etching is created with a laser glass cutter, sandblasting or an acid solution.

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Slumped glass wall tile is rounded rather than flat and square. It's created by melting glass into molds. Subway glass tile is a version of ceramic subway tile and the rectangular tiles are fairly large. Subway tile is named for the tiles used in the original New York underground transportation system. These larger tiles are often used in bathrooms such as in shower areas or on the lower part of bathroom walls.

Mosaic glass tiles are small squares that are usually sold in sheets with clear meshing holding each tile onto the sheet. These types of glass wall tiles are available in many colors. Light colored mosaic glass tiles include clear and barely-tinted tile made to look similar to sparkling gems such as amethyst and aquamarine. Earth-toned mosaic glass tiles are rich and translucent such as warm amber or copper shades. Glass wall tiles sold in sheets may be all one color or they may feature tile in a color scheme such as many different shades of browns and blues on one sheet.

Recycled glass wall tile is popular in ecofriendly home remodeling projects. This type of glass tile is made from recycled glass bottles that are first crushed before being formed into tiles. The colors and patterns of recycled glass tile vary widely and unusual shapes such as round tiles or sheets of mixed squares and rectangles are available.

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kylee07drg
Post 4

My aunt has some glass kitchen wall tile that looks like it belongs in a swimming pool. The tiles are literally pool blue, but they are marbled with white and lighter shades of blue, so they look like water.

I have actually seen tiles like this for sale in pool stores. I wonder if she might have bought tile that was actually intended for a pool by mistake.

Every time I go in her kitchen, I feel like I should wear my swimsuit! It looks cool, but it feels so out of place.

cloudel
Post 3

@Kristee – I also detest seeing the backing through the tile. Recycled glass tiles are my favorite, because they are usually opaque.

I got a good deal on a bunch of recycled tile, and I used it to spruce up my bathroom sink area. Though it didn't look as shiny as the decorative tile in my sister's bathroom, it did appear to be very sturdy. I like how solid and tough it seems.

DylanB
Post 2

I got some glass mosaic wall tile to do a small mural in my living room. I kept it simple, using just a couple of colors and utilizing placement to create an interesting design.

I got some tiles that resembled amber, and I used them to make the outlines of mountains. I then used some frosted blue glass to make a lake, and some yellow glass tiles to create a sun.

I used more of the frosted blue to create a sky, and I threw in a few etched pieces here and there to make clouds. I had a simple plan to follow, and I loved the result.

Kristee
Post 1

I did my own glass tile backsplash last year, and I bought the clear kind of glass mosaic tiles. I had no idea that the backing would show until I had already put a couple of tiles in place.

I decided to return the tiles and get the kind with bubbles to hide the backing. I loved the look of the glass, but I couldn’t deal with the backing showing. The bubble glass tiles looked so much better.

I went back and got some more later and I put the tiles all along the bottom half of my kitchen wall. I think it adds so much life to the room!

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