TechTip – Glass Tile
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Interstyle Glass Tile for Swimming Pool Applications
All of Interstyle’s glass tile products are perfectly suited for use in swimming pools, water features and in any environment where they may be occasionally or continuously immersed in water.
Interstyle’s glass tile products are made by fusing colored ceramic glazes with select float glass at high temperatures to create a very durable glass tile. This process ensures that there will be no color deterioration regardless of the environment that the glass tile is exposed to. Glass tiles are impervious to all liquids and are not affected by moisture, normal pool chemicals, UV, typical cleaning products or temperature, even in installations where the glass tile may frequently be subjected to freezing conditions.
Almost all of Interstyle’s glass tiles are made with a unique texture on the backside, this “microporous” texture allows for an exceptionally strong bond to be created between the setting material and the tile.
All of Interstyle’s made to order mosaics and assemblies can be ordered as either back-mounted on fiberglass mesh or face-mounted with a clear plastic film, the production lead-time and price is the same for either option. We strongly recommend, and most pool tile installers prefer, the face-mounted mosaics and assemblies to ensure the best possible bond between the glass tile and the substrate.
Installing Glass Tile in a pool or water feature
Interstyle’s recommended method of installing glass tile differs from industry standard methods in the following areas;
- Install glass tile only over well-cured, stable substrates,
- Substrates should be leveled prior to the installation of the crack isolation membrane. Do not use thin-set to level the substrate under glass tile.
- Since any crack in a glass tile is very visible, the use of a crack isolation membrane (ANSI A118.12) over the entire surface is strongly advised. Many substrates such as mortar beds may continue to cure and shrink over a period of months, and a crack isolation membrane prevents shrinkage or movement of the substrate from transferring through to the tile.
To ensure that the highest possible quality of installation is achieved Interstyle recommends some details that may differ from industry standard;
- use only white thinset,
- because of the potential translucency of glass tile 100% coverage of thinset must be achieved against the back of each tile,
- we strongly recommend that all glass tile be installed with a high-quality two component white thin-set mortar,
- the manufacturer of the preferred installation materials should be consulted to ensure that the installation materials manufactures recommended and most up to date installation materials system is used,
- trowel ridges should be flattened before pressing the glass tile into the thinset to ensure that no voids exist behind the glass tile.
Allow for a control joint wherever substrates change and as prescribed in section EJ171 of TCNA’s Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. (www.tileusa.com).