Guide: How to Tile a Glass Tile

How to Tile a Glass Tile


Tiling glass tiles requires specific considerations to ensure a successful installation. This article will guide you through the process of tiling glass tiles, addressing the unique aspects and providing useful tips. By following these steps, you can achieve a beautiful and durable glass tile installation.

Prepare the Tiles

Examine the Tiles:

Before starting the installation, it is essential to carefully inspect the glass tiles. Check for any chips, cracks, or defects that may affect their integrity or appearance. Additionally, pay attention to color variations as glass tiles can have slight variations in shade.

Do a Mock-up:

Creating a mock-up of the tile layout allows you to visualize the final result and make any necessary adjustments before installation. This step helps ensure that the tiles are positioned correctly and that any patterns or designs align properly.

Blend and Clean the Glass Tiles:

Glass tiles may have slight color variations, even within the same batch. To achieve a uniform appearance, it is recommended to blend tiles from different boxes during installation. Additionally, clean the tiles with ammonia or isopropyl alcohol to remove any dust, dirt, or residue that could affect adhesion.

Clean the Glass Tiles:

Before applying the tiles, it is crucial to clean them thoroughly. Use ammonia or isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth to wipe the surfaces of the glass tiles. This step ensures that the tiles are free from any contaminants that could compromise the bonding process.

Prepare the Surface

Apply a Coat of Mortar:

To create a suitable surface for tile installation, apply a coat of mortar to the substrate using a trowel. The mortar should be spread evenly and provide a firm foundation for the glass tiles.

Gradually Add More Mortar:

When applying the mortar, work in small sections and gradually add more mortar as needed. Spread the mortar in straight lines in one direction, ensuring a consistent layer throughout the installation area.

Install the Tiles

Apply Thinset into Divots:

Before setting the glass tiles, apply a small amount of thinset mortar into any divots on the back of the tiles. This helps ensure proper adhesion and prevents air pockets from forming.

Place the Tiles Evenly:

Position the glass tiles evenly on the surface, using a standard float to tap them into place. Make sure they are level and aligned with the desired pattern. Take care not to slide the tiles once they are set in the mortar.

Offset the Sheets:

When working with mosaic glass tiles, it is common to install them in sheets. Offset the sheets slightly to minimize visible sheet lines and create a seamless appearance.

Remove the Paper Backing:

If the glass tiles have a paper backing, remove it at a 45-degree angle. This step should be done carefully to avoid disturbing the tiles’ position.

Make Adjustments to the Set:

While the thinset is still workable and pliable, make any necessary adjustments to the tile set. Ensure that the tiles are properly aligned and that the spacing between them is consistent.

Grouting (using Starlike grout)

Mix the Starlike Grout:

Prepare the Starlike grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This two-part anti-acid epoxy mortar is specifically designed for glass tiles and provides excellent adhesion and durability.

Spread and Bed the Grout:

Spread the Starlike grout over the glass tiles, ensuring that all the joints are adequately filled. Use a grout float to press the grout into the gaps and create a smooth, even surface. Remove any excess grout from the tile surface.

Remove the White Emulsion:

After the grout has set for the recommended time, use a Tile Doctor scrub pad and water to remove the white emulsion that forms on the surface of the glass tiles during the grouting process. This step helps reveal the true color and clarity of the glass tiles.

Remove Additional Haze:

Once the grout has fully cured, remove any remaining haze by cleaning the tiles with a mixture of dish soap and water. Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the tiles gently, ensuring that all residue is removed.


Tiling glass tiles requires careful preparation and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a successful glass tile installation. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes throughout the process. If you are unsure or lack experience, consider hiring a professional with expertise in glass tile installation.

Important Considerations:

Follow Manufacturer Instructions and Building Codes:

Adhere to the specific instructions provided by the tile manufacturer and follow local building codes and regulations. These guidelines ensure a safe and proper installation.

Use Adhesives and Grouting Products for Glass Tiles:

Glass tiles require specialized adhesives and grouting products that can accommodate their expansion and contraction properties. Ensure that you use products specifically designed for glass tiles to ensure long-term durability.

Consider Hiring a Professional:

Installing glass tiles can be challenging, especially for those without experience. If possible, consider hiring a professional with expertise in glass tileinstallation. They will have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the unique characteristics of glass tiles and ensure a successful installation.



Frequently Asked Questions about Tiling Glass Tiles

Can I install glass tiles on any surface?

Answer: Glass tiles can be installed on a variety of surfaces, including drywall, cement board, and existing tile. However, it’s essential to ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and properly prepared to promote good adhesion. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific surface requirements.

Do I need to use a special adhesive for glass tiles?

Answer: Yes, it is recommended to use a thinset mortar specifically designed for glass tiles. Regular tile adhesives may not provide adequate bond strength and flexibility to accommodate the expansion and contraction properties of glass tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate adhesive for your glass tiles.

How can I prevent visible sheet lines when installing mosaic glass tiles?

Answer: To minimize visible sheet lines, offset the mosaic sheets slightly during installation. By shifting each sheet, you can create a more seamless and continuous appearance. Take care to align the tiles properly and maintain consistent spacing between them.

How do I clean glass tiles after installation?

Answer: To clean glass tiles after installation, use a non-abrasive, mild cleaner recommended for glass surfaces. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers that may scratch or damage the tiles. Gently wipe the tiles with a soft cloth or sponge to remove any residue or stains.

Can I cut glass tiles using a regular tile cutter?

Answer: While a regular tile cutter can be used to cut some glass tiles, it may not be suitable for all types of glass. Brittle or textured glass tiles may require a wet saw with a diamond blade for clean and precise cuts. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cutting glass tiles.

How long should I wait before grouting glass tiles?

Answer: The waiting time before grouting glass tiles can vary depending on the adhesive used and environmental conditions. Generally, it is recommended to wait at least 24 to 48 hours to allow the adhesive to fully cure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific adhesive you are using.

Can I use any type of grout for glass tiles?

Answer: It is important to use a grout specifically formulated for use with glass tiles. Regular cement-based grouts may stain or scratch the glass surface. Look for grouts that are labeled as suitable for use with glass tiles and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application.

How do I prevent scratches or damage to glass tiles during installation?

Answer: To prevent scratches or damage to glass tiles during installation, handle them with care and avoid sliding or dragging them across the surface. Place a soft cloth or protective material on the surface to prevent direct contact. Use tile spacers to maintain consistent spacing and avoid excessive pressure when tapping the tiles into place.