Tips for Installing a Glass Tile Backsplash

Posted by Ben Thompson on 03.24.11

Glass tile is a beautiful addition to any home, but installing it can be tricky. Follow these tips below to make sure your work is as beautiful as your vision.

1. Each tile needs to be “back-buttered.” Setting material needs to be smoothly applied to the back of each tile for 100% coverage.

2. Cut glass tiles using a high quality diamond wet saw. If you don’t own one… RENT one! The glass is very brittle so cut the tile face down and cut painfully slow. The adage is true, let the saw do the work and don’t force it. Your patience will be rewarded.

3. Use a belt or bench sander to smooth each cut edge of the tile to minimize the appearance of chips.

4. Use tile spacers for vertical applications. Some people bury space in the corners of each tile. We don’t recommend this because it’s too much of a fight and often you’ll have problems grouting. Instead, just stick one leg of the spacer between each course of tile (2 per tile for horizontal joints, 1-2 per vertical joint). Remove the spacers after the tiles set (usually 24 hours) and then grout.

5. Sealing grout is such a pain in the butt. Consider using a grout product like TEC XT Grout that resists staining therefore does not require grout sealer. Remember, when grout joints are <1/16″ use unsanded grout.

Topics: Love Where You Live, Thompson Times, Bathrooms, Kitchens, Thompson Tips, Care & Maintenance, tile, installation