Planning and Designing a Glass Tile Floor

Jim Williams
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If you are updating your floors you may be considering installing glass tiles in one or several rooms. Glass is a popular option because it is flashy, versatile, easy to clean, and provides a world of design options. Colored glass, mosaics, and other stylish choices make glass a worthy option in a variety of settings. If you are considering glass tile, be sure to properly plan to make sure you are taking the right precautions. 

Step 1: Where Will You Install Glass Tiles?

Knowing where you will install your glass tile floors is the first step in making the best flooring decision for your space. Glass looks great in bathrooms, kitchens, and is often used as countertops, borders, and backsplashes. Glass tiles also looks great around bathtubs and toilets. 

Glass tiles can certainly work for many flooring applications, but if you are installing your glass tiles in a high-traffic space, you may want to consider using glass as an accent piece. Glass will not hold up as well as other materials in areas that endure a lot of wear and tear, so be careful when planning your glass tile floor.

Step 2: What is Your Flooring Budget?

Be clear about your budget before you start shopping for glass tiles. Glass is moderately priced and varies from $7 to $30 per square foot. While this doesn’t make it the most expensive flooring material on the market, it is not the cheapest either. Again, if your budget is smaller, you may want to consider installing glass tiles as an accent or border on your floor.

Step 3: Which is More Important – Design or Function?

Does design or function matter more to you? Making this decision will make planning your glass tile floor a lot simpler. If you are installing glass tiles in an area that is more for decoration than durable function, then glass is a great option. Glass tiles are strong, but are more known for adding beauty and color to floors, walls and countertops. If you require a long-lasting floor that will stand up to pets, children, and other wear and tear you may want to choose a sturdier material.

Ask yourself these questions when planning and designing your glass tile floor in order to be certain you are making the right choice. By taking your time in the initial planning stages your floor is likely to be the best fit for your newly remodeled space.

Step 4: Designing Tips

Once you have decided that glass tile is for you, now it's time to create a design strategy. Design experts suggest balancing a neutral (white or dark) tile with a more vibrant color. Keep in mind that all dark tiles can make a room look smaller, so if the room is already small, keep it light. If you're working with mosaics or designed tiles, those work well lining cabinetry or a floor. Another practical pointer: avoid sandblasted or matte tiles around cooking areas, as these are less resistent to stains than a high-gloss surface. Remember the tried and true design tip: keep it simple and create a design that expresses your personality.

More Resources:

This Old House, "How to Work with Glass Tile"

San Francisco Chronicle, "Installing a Travertine and Glass Backsplash"

Houzz, "Glass Tile Design Ideas"

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