Glass Tile Backsplash Cost Guide
A glass tile backsplash is an attractive and unique way to protect the wall behind a countertop. This type of a backsplash may be used in the kitchen or the bathroom. Because glass tiles are available in so many different shades and shapes, a homeowner can achieve a unique look in the final result. Glass tile backsplashes have been popular, and due to their easy maintenance and wide appeal, they are likely to continue growing in popularity as homeowners renovate their living spaces.
Average cost per finished square foot of glass tile backsplash:
- Minimum = $9.13
- Maximum = $17.89
In addition to the cost of the glass tiles, homeowners who are installing a glass tile backsplash will encounter some additional expenses related to the project. Supplies such as grout and tile adhesive add an average of $1.48 per finished square foot of backsplash. The average hourly cost of labor for experienced tile installers to cut and place the tiles is $71.50. These installation costs are for a basic square or rectangular layout of the backsplash. If the homeowner desires a project that involves glass tiles of multiple sizes laid out in a complex configuration, installation costs will be higher.
Glass tiles for backsplashes are available in an endless array of colors, patterns, shapes and levels of reflectivity. A variety of processes and materials are used in the making of different types of glass tiles. New glass or post-consumer content may be used in the creation of glass tiles. The two primary types of producing glass tiles for backsplashes include the molten method and the molded method. In the molten tile method, glass is heated until it is molten. The liquid glass is then poured into a mold with dividers to create individual tiles. The tiles are cooled in an annealing oven so they do not crack or burst during the cooling process. Tiles produced in this method feature slightly different colors and textures even though they are created out of the same batch of glass. In the molded tile method, uniform pieces of glass are placed into ceramic molds and heated in a kiln. The glass is then annealed for hardening and strength.
There are two main types of glass tiles that can be used for the installation of a backsplash. These types are:
- Mounted Glass Tiles: These glass tiles are outfitted with a mesh backing that aids in the installation process and creates a uniformity in the surface of the tile. The mesh backing is applied at the end of the annealing process so that the backing becomes adhered to the glass.
- Unmounted Glass Tiles: These tiles do not have any backing material but are available in a wider range of color options than mounted tiles are.
Glass tiles are graded by the type of finish applied to the glass after the annealing process is complete. Glossy glass tiles reflect the greatest amount of light. A gloss finish is the basic type of finish that is applied to glass tiles. Glass tiles may also be frosted. This reduces the reflectivity of the glass and creates a cooler look to the backsplash. A matte finish is the least glossy type of finish and is often used as a backsplash in kitchens with built-in spotlights. The newest type of finish used on glass tiles is an iridescent finish. This type of tile reflects all colors of light and is ideal for use in rooms that receive plenty of natural sunlight.
Many different manufacturers create glass tiles. Homeowners may select locally owned and operated glass makers who use green technology and recycle local glass waste. Homeowners may also choose to go with a recognized manufacturer. Popular brands of glass tiles used in backsplashes include Absolute Glass, Botanical Glass, Creative Decor Tiles and Da Vinci Glass.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Glass Tile Backsplashes
Homeowners select glass tiles for backsplashes for many different reasons. The primary benefit of glass tiles is that they are resistant to moisture, sunlight and extreme temperatures, all of which may be encountered in a kitchen or bathroom where a backsplash would be installed. Glass tiles are easy to maintain and clean. All the homeowner needs to do is gently wipe the glass tiles with a soap and water solution or a commercial glass cleaning solution and wipe with newspaper to dry. Since glass tiles never discolor, they are ideal in areas such as behind the stove or kitchen work areas where dark-colored foods, grease and other items may come into contact with them. Glass tiles reflect light, making them attractive in rooms without much natural sunlight or in small spaces. The glass tiles will make the room appear larger and give the area a warm look due to the reflectivity of the surfaces of the tiles. Glass tiles are annealed to prevent chipping and scratching that may occur through everyday use. Many homeowners find that glass tiles are an affordable solution for their backsplash needs. The glass tiles offer long-lasting attractiveness and may add resale value to the home.
While there are many reasons to select glass tiles for a backsplash, there are a few disadvantages to using this material. Glass tiles cannot be repaired. If one of the tiles cracks, it will need to be replaced. Finding and matching replacement tiles may be difficult. The grout between the tiles may become stained or discolored and is difficult to clean. Glass tiles may reflect sound, which may be undesirable in private spaces like the bathroom. The tiles are heavy and walls may need reinforcement before installation takes place.
Last updated on Feb 9, 2015
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