Installing Glass Tile

This information is offered as a guideline. No warranty is implied. For best results, hire a tile installer experienced in the application of mesh mounted glass mosaic tile.

Installation Specifications for Glass Tile: Installers please read carefully before beginning installation!

Glass Tile Design Tiles are made by fusing cut glass in a high temperature kiln. Extra caution and attention to installation instructions is recommended for a successful installation.

To prevent simple mistakes when installing glass tile there are some basic procedures that are different from installing ceramic or stone tile.

Our glass tiles may be installed on exterior and interior wall areas, in hot or cold temperatures, and even in wet or dry locations. Fused glass tile is not recommended in high traffic floor applications and should not be exposed to high abrasion, thermal shock, impact, or installed on a flexible surface. However, our tumble-frosted glass can be installed on the floor.


Make sure that glass tile is installed over the proper substrate. This is one of the most important factors in ensuring a good installation.

Since glass tiles are transparent any crack in the tile is visible, the use of a crack suppression membrane is strongly recommended. Many substrates continue to cure and shrink over a period of months and a crack suppression membrane prevents shrinkage or movement of the substrate. If a crack suppression membrane is not used neither the manufacturer nor the dealer will accept any responsibility should any cracking occur.

Glass tile should be installed over a clean, sound, and flat concrete substrate, with a steel trowel and fine broom finish, free of contaminates including curing compounds.

Substrate should be free of cracks and in water areas should be waterproof. If necessary, use the installation material manufacturer’s membrane for crack and water protection.

Allow for expansion joints whenever substrates change.

Do not install glass tile on Chipboard, Particleboard, Masonite, Press Wood, Plywood, or Asbestos Boards.

For pools and fountains we recommend installing s mortar bed according to TCA P601-98.

Installation Steps:

  1. Flatten the area for tiling with white think-set mortar. (2-component, flexible acrylic thin-set mortar system formulated for exterior and interior wall installations).
  2. Spread the adhesive with a notched trowel following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Spread only as much adhesive that will be worked within a 15 minute time period.
  3. Take off any protective paper or plastic paper on the mosaic (this does not include the mesh or the paper face mounted material)
  4. Cover or “back-butter” each piece of glass tile with the flat edge of the trowel to provide a void-free installation and good contact with the mortar bed.
  5. Glass tile should be set in place and tapped gently with a grouting float to insure 100% full bedding and a true surface. (For Paper face mounted glass – let mortar cure 75% and remove paper with clean sponge and water – thus allowing for readjustment of tile if necessary) Allow to completely set until firm before grouting.
  6. Excess adhesive must be cleaned from the surface and grout joints with a wet cloth or sponge while the adhesive is fresh.
  7. When working with glass tile, it is important to immediately eliminate any voids or air pockets in the setting bed that can affect the visual qualities of the glass.
  8. Glass tiles come in paper face mount or mesh backing on the back of the tile for easier installation and spacing however make sure to leave a minimum of a 1/16” (1.5mm) spacing between each glass tile sheets.

Grouting and Pointing Joints:

Grout joints should be packed full and free of all voids and pits. Excess grout should be cleaned from the surface as the work progresses, while grout is fresh and before it hardens. Prior to grouting test a small area to make sure the surface does not scratch during grouting. It is recommended to use a latex additive in the grout for increased performance.

  • No acids should be used for cleaning grout haze.
  • Due to the impervious quality of glass, the grout will take longer to begin setting up.
  • Use a damp sponge for the final clean washing and smoothing of the grout joints.


Use a high quality wet saw with a diamond “cut-off” or carbide blade. We recommend using a tile blade designed for cutting glass.

  • To prevent rough edges, glass tile must be cut in an extremely slow manner.
  • Turn the tile upside down for cutting to minimize chipping or the colored backing.
  • Cut edges should be stoned or sanded smooth after cutting.


The contractor shall take all necessary precautions to protect the finished work from damage by other trades. Do not allow construction traffic on fresh tile or grout joints. Allow the grout to cure for a minimum of 7 days before aggressive use or steam cleaning.


Use a glass cleaner and a soft lint free cloth for cleaning glass tile. To remove soap scum or water deposits a minimally abrasive cleaner and soft bristle brush can be used.


This information is offered as a guideline. No warranty is implied. For best results, hire a tile installer experienced in the application of mesh mounted glass mosaic tile.