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Recycled Glass Tile - Add Beauty To Any Kitchen Backsplash

Jul 14, 2008
There has been a huge effort for communities to establish and promote recycling programs to help keep some of the glass out of the landfills. Most glass recycling is used in products that are not seen from the naked eye. For example recycled glass is used in asphalt for roadways, insulation for your home, backfill for construction projects and even in some reflective paint.

Bathroom and kitchen designs are often the focal points of today's homes. Fixtures, colors, style and lighting are all elements often used in these spaces. For homeowners hoping to incorporate a unique design while being environment friendly, recycled glass can provide that to them.

The up and coming area for the use of glass is in recycled glass tiles. Most companies who are producing recycled glass tiles are using anywhere from 30% up to 100% post consumer waste of glass.

Recycled glass tiles are produced by melting down waste glass or unusable glass in a heated furnace in which the temperature will exceed over 2000 F. The molten glass is then stamped or poured into their appropriate mold, hand trimmed and even ground down to its form. The beauty of the recycled glass is that the variations in each tile is what gives it the their distinct characteristics.

Glass tiles can be used anywhere normal ceramic tiles would be installed. Recycled glass tiles have the benefit of being resistant to chemical and stains which makes it nice to be used in wet areas. Recycled Glass tiles can be used on floors, walls, backsplashes, countertops, tabletops and among other areas in your home.

The thing to remember about the recycled glass, is that about 80% of the glass tiles are transparent. This means when you are installing the glass tiles, make sure your background(area of installation) is painted white. When using your thinset(which you want to use white), you want to use a very small trowel for installation. This helps to eliminate the trowel marks that could be visible after the installation. The smaller the trowel the better. When using a smaller trowel, you press the glass tile mosaic it will flatten down the trowel and give it a smoother, cleaner look and install.

The color choices and available sizes for recycled glass tiles are growing every year. They even have solid, matte, iridescent, and clear colors available. Most common sizes available are 1" x 1" usually paper faced, and 1" x 2" paper faced as well. Keep in mind that there are companies that offer a much wider variety of sizes available. The thing to remember or consider about paper faced products is it does make it nicer for installation, however you do need to pay close attention to the product that you recieve. The most critical is taht of the iridescent colors. From the backside of the tile, you cannot tell if it is iridescent or not. To be safe I suggest peeling a couple of the glass tiles to make sure that you either have or do not have an iridescent glass tile, depending on what you order.

Using recycled glass tile in your home is a way to add color and beauty and also a way for you to help out our environment and keep some of the glass out of our landfills.
About the Author
Bruce Mendes has been in the retail trade business for 15 years specializing in flooring and cabinetry. He has a high end showroom in Central Ohio and a web presence at . If you have any questions or comments you can email him at
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