If you are considering installing a tile floor in your home or office, you may be aware of the variety of ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile available to choose from. What you may not know is that glass tile also makes a great flooring option. At Floor Coverings International Seminole we have an extensive selection of all of these tile types, and here we will discuss the details of glass tile.
Types of Glass Tile
Glass tiles come in four main types: smalti, cast, fused, sintered.
Smalti tiles aren’t common in flooring. You will mainly find them in mosaics. Smalti tiles are usually small, colorful, and textured. They are made by melting silica together with sodium or potassium carbonate, which is combined with metals for stabilization and metal oxides to add color. A paste is formed from these materials, which is then fired and rolled into a slab, cooled, and then cut into pieces.
Cast tiles are made by combining glass chunks in molds and firing the mix until it merges into a single mass. This process typically results in a layered or textured look. Most tiles made from recycled glass are made using the casting process.
Fused tile is made from multiple glass layers that are fused together under high heat. Color is usually added either under the glass or on the surface. It is common for fused glass tiles to be translucent, allowing the color layer at the bottom to show as light refracts through it.
Sintered tile is made from glass powder that is pressed into dies and fired. Once the heat fuses the particles together the result is a tile that is generally more uniform in appearance than something like a smalti variety.
The Pros and Cons of Glass Tile
The positive and negative aspects of glass tile are largely the same as ceramic tile.
Cons: On the downside, glass tile is not a good insulator, so it will tend to be cold in the winter – even in the Seminole, Largo, and Clearwater areas. It is also potentially slippery when wet, but choosing a tile with a slip-resistant surface or an etching treatment can ameliorate this issue. Glass tile is quite hard and durable, but it is possible to scratch it, and it may need more frequent cleaning to keep it looking its best.
Pros: The upsides of glass tile are that it is easy to clean, many unique looks are possible, it is highly stain and mold/mildew resistant, and it is fire retardant as well. Glass is also a non-porous material, so it makes for a nice flooring option in rooms with higher moisture content, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Its colors won’t fade, it is resistant to temperature changes, and it is an environmentally friendly tile option, especially when a 100% recycled variety is used.
You have a lot of flexibility when using glass tile, as it lends itself to many design possibilities. If you’re considering it for your home or office, be sure to contact the flooring experts at Floor Coverings International Seminole to arrange a free in-home design consultation. We’ll help you choose the tile that’s right for you!
Photo Credit: Martin Capek