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elz_kitchen

backsplash advice, please

elz_kitchen
10 years ago

I'm thinking of getting a matchstick glass tile mosaic for my backsplash, but it's 1/8-inch thick and I'm wondering if it's going to be durable. There's a lot of grout, will that be a maintenance problem?

There are two adults, no kids, in the household. We both like to cook.

The tile is Artistic Tile's Satchmo Sticks in Coltrane Cream, we'll probably include a few contrasting tiles as accents.

Also, is there anything I should talk over with my installer about this tile? Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Artistic glass matchstick

Comments (14)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have no idea.

    But it's pretty!

  • davidro1
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Buy a product called "grout boost" for the grout. Web search for "grout boost" and read. Hope this answers most of the concern implicit in ".... There's grout, will that be a maintenance problem? ...." I installed it. The tiles were Hirsch Murano Vena (Random Pattern). White. 1/8" thickness.

    However, long before this product was invented, grout has been used, successfully, without it being a maintenance problem. But if you want a white or whitish grout to go with your white tiles and if you want it to remain white with less work than ever, get grout-boost. In general, I use a small small steamer and a little bleach to turn anything back to white. Hth.

    At 1/8-inch thick, it can only be glass tiles. A glass surface = as durable as glass = Good = have you ever seen glass break or be a maintenance problem? Your wall provides the mechanical backing. (= good.) What other aspect might you be concerned about, saying "... and I'm wondering if it's going to be durable...?

    If these tiles have a mesh already glued on the back, holding them all together, you can get a "Type 1" tile glue and use it; it grabs well onto your wall and will grab onto the mesh. (This answers the normal question about how to attach slippery glass. You rely on the mesh to do most of the work.) The glue will hold individual pieces of tile too. You could also set glass tile with Portland-cement based thinset (white!). It's all good.

    To set these tiles perfectly will require forethought. You are trying to avoid showing misaligned patches of perfectly set square batches of tile. My saying this assumes that the tiles come in batches glued together on a mesh. Draw straight horizontal lines along the backsplash as guides for your tile lines.

    In my kitchen, directly behind the grease-splattering cooktop I set two large glass tiles. (Large = 24" width). They were not from the same series of tiles, so the contrast is huge. Even though they looked the same color before starting. Cutting them means the wet saw passes shallow passes on both sides before you go for the cut. You could frame them with stainless Schluter Shiene profiles. Search on these words if you don't know what a schluter profile is.

    I put glass mosaic tiles in the rest of the kitchen. Like yours, mine were translucent. The net result was not the color seen in advance. The glass picks up and refracts other light sources, so its color varies, depending on the lights that are on. Even daylight is not the same "color" from one day to the next, because of cloud cover...

    There is another product you could buy if you wish. It's a primer made to stick to glass. Using this supposedly uniformizes the color refractivity of glass tiles that are translucent or transparent or mostly clear+colorless. It is a good to have kind of thing when you set huge tiles and want to ensure the back of the tile has some grip (not the case here because these are small tiles you have chosen).

    A white grout, with Grout Boost, will cause the colors that come out of your artistictile to pop out at you. The hues that are now barely visible, and the other shades that will occur, will be accentuated if your grout is white. This is good. I would not add any accent tiles at all. They will look out of place. Maybe, just maybe, a very small pattern as an eyedraw, like e.g. four tiles that define a rectangle somewhere. To do this mechanically correct requires you to set them individually and perfectly aligned.

    I mentioned above that my tiles were 1/8" thickness. In reality, there was some randomness is their thickness too. That's the style. It also makes it easier to set individual tiles into the grid.

    Who will be helping you set these tiles? What will you use to cut them?

    Hth

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  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great information. You're right, the tiles are glass matchsticks with a mesh backing.

    I guess I've been concerned about breaking or cracking the glass, if someone accidentally bumped it with a heavy cast iron pan or the like. Or staining the grout with a bubbling red sauce or a paprika-based dry rub. We often entertain large groups and might not wipe up a splash or spill the moment it happens. Durable and easy care are our words to live by.

    My contractor is going to install the tiles. We had been talking about bigger subway tiles, then I saw these and started thinking they'd look real nice.

    Thanks again for your help.

  • jlevinson
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    elz_kitchen,
    We recommend you not use Type 1 glue, which is a type of mastic. We suggest you use a highly modified white thinset. Our recommendation is Mapei Kerabond with Keralastic.
    As far as grout goes, we recommend you use a Urethane based grout like Star Quartz, for it's stain resistance properties. Star Glass, due to it's unique glass bead, provides added depth to glass installations and is a great choice as well.
    You might also choose to go the route of a Premium rapid setting sanded grout with polymer for stain-resistance, like Mapei Ultacolor Plus.
    Satchmo Sticks in Coltrane Cream makes for a beautiful backsplash. The President of Artistic Tile used that very product in his own kitchen in fact!
    Please let me know if you need any design ideas to compliment the Satchmo Sticks or have any other questions -- we can help you create a backsplash you will love!

  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My plans for ordering this tile hit a major setback when I asked the design associate how long it would take for tile delivery and she couldn't give me an approximate date. I wanted just a ballpark figure, will it be a week or a month? She said it could take a while, and couldn't be more specific. Like everyone else, I have events coming up, an installer to schedule and an urge to get the job done. If it wasn't snowing this morning, I'd be out visiting tile vendors.

  • jlevinson
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    elz, I can get you a date for when the tile can be delivered - can you please tell me which state you are in?

  • flwrs_n_co
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    First let me say I don't know anything about laying tile, BUT in this forum it's come up several times that sanded grout should NEVER be used with glass tile as it will scratch the surface when it's cleaned off. Please check this out if you're considering using the sanded grout recommeded by jlevinson.

    (My apologies jlevinson for questioning your guidance, but there have been very upset people on this forum who had their beautiful new glass tile scratched by the sanded grout they used.)

  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The product sheet for the Satchmo Sticks says not to use sanded grout.

    I'm in Westchester County, NY. Besides the Coltrane Cream, I'd like to mix in a few pieces of 2x2 New Hope Adobe and Winter Morning for accents, and maybe a silver leaf molding. I'll also need some liner tile for the edges, the adobe would be ideal.

  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    thanks, everyone, for your advice and input

  • edselpdx
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I was going to comment about how glass tile is going to be one of those "oh that's soooo 2008" things, but I love your choice!

  • jlevinson
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Elz,
    Assuming you need 200 sf or less, which is the case for the majority of backsplashes, the material is in stock and you can have it within one to two weeks. If you have ANY trouble, please call me (Laura Steele at 212-727-9331) and I will make sure you are taken care of.
    Elz AND Flwrs,
    Sorry about misquoting JLevinson regarding the sanded grout - anyone who wants to protect beautiful glass tile from getting scratched is a friend of mine! And we especially appreciate clients who read the product installation instructions as you have! I'll suggest you stick with Star Quartz or Star Glass, again please call me if you have any questions.
    I promise you will love your backsplash - you have great taste!

  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for the thoughtful input and for the info on the time frame. It's a small kitchen, we probably need something like 35 sf, tops.

    The design associate was enormously helpful in putting together the combination -- I showed my samples, pointed out some likes and dislikes, described some of my collections and activities, and she went to town. She also made sense of some of my vague remarks, such as "that looks good together but it needs some jewelry."

    A week or two doesn't sound too bad, though my DH is ready to paint the whole kitchen and be done with it.

  • newchapter
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    have you been to westchester tile in scarsdale/eastchester?

  • elz_kitchen
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    no, I don't know how I missed it