Is glass mosaic tile too fragile for a kitchen countertop? Is it difficult to install?


Is glass mosaic tile too fragile for a kitchen countertop? Is it difficult to install?

Asked by Pinar Alscher, Oakland, CA

I want to put in a glass mosaic tile countertop in the sink area of my kitchen. Is glass tile too fragile? It looks pretty solid to me. My sister thinks that mosaic tile is a pain to work with, because you have to get each little piece in. Is that true?

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Richard Reilly's picture

Glass mosaic tile can be very solid if installed without voids under the tiles. Most mosaic tile is either netted together in the back, or held together by paper on the front, making it easier to manage and install. Tiles can be easily separated by cutting the netted backing or paper facing with a utility knife.

However, durability and ease of installation are just part of the equation when considering "green" material choices in the kitchen area. It is important to find out about the source of the glass tiles as well as the chemical makeup of the tile adhesive and grout you plan to use. Double-check packaging and labels to ensure the products are safe for use in food prep areas?look for the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certification logo. Also, check products for VOC (volatile organic compounds) content and give preference to materials that contain the least amount.

Look for recycled glass options such as products by Sandhill Industries and Oceanside Glasstile, both of which offer recycled content up to 100 percent. An alternative to the mosaic tiles is a product such as IceStone, which has high recycled content, is VOC-free, and has earned Cradle to Cradle certification. This product is made of recycled glass mixed with cement to create a highly durable concrete surface.