The pros, cons of using glass tile

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In
July 17, 2016

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I recently returned from a trip to my hometown of Cleveland. Trips back home always include packed schedules. This time around was no different. I bounced from house to house, making sure to spend some time with my many family members.

My cousin and her husband recently moved into a 1950s-era home. One of their major projects was redoing the bathroom floor. The existing bathroom floor was uneven, and so they had to get creative.

They weighed their options. They looked into self-leveling floor compound. However, this would entail leveling the entire floor, not just uneven spots, and also would raise the thickness of the floor. Making the floors thicker would mean they would have to redo the threshold into the hallways as well.

Next, they considered using glass mosaic tile. Because the individual tiles are small in size, the flooring can bend and flex in ways that larger tiles cannot. This meant they could install the tile directly over the uneven surface. Problem solved.

This was the first time I had seen glass tile used for flooring in person. The results were magnificent. Their beach-themed bathroom picks up the sheen of the floor and the reflections are nostalgic of shimmering waters. It made me wonder: What are the pros and cons to using mosaic glass tile for bathroom flooring?

Pros:

• You can install it over an uneven floor without level-resistant.

• It is easy to clean. Sweep regularly to keep it clear of dirt and debris. Then, clean with mild cleanser and a soft-bristle brush or glass cleaner and a soft cloth.

• The colors and pattern combinations are virtually endless, so it is easy to find tile that matches your d├ęcor. There are also many options for eco-friendly, recycled glass.

• The reflective nature of the tile can make small spaces seem larger.

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Cons:

• The glass can scratch and etch easily, which can result in dulling over time. Keeping the floor free from dirt and debris, which can scratch the surface, will help to minimize this.

• The tiles can get extremely slippery when wet. To help counter this, opt for smaller tiles. The grout between the tiles will help to break up the slippery surface.

• Prices add up. Glass mosaic tile can cost significantly more than ceramic tile per square foot (about double the price).

• Installation can be tricky, and should be done by a professional.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.