When Glass Says Class

When Glass Says Class

Glass backsplash adds just the right color and dimension

In a perfect world, you would remodel your master bathroom all at once, making every selection in advance to ensure all components of the finished product complement each other.

In reality, remodeling in stages is sometimes forced upon us. In this case, the latest addition of a recycled glass countertop, new vanity, mirrored cabinets and sink were supposed to mark the completion of this bathroom overhaul. But there was something noticeably missing.

The counter area needed a backsplash for a finished look that pulled the whole room together.

But with new beige Travertine tile in the shower stall and separate tub, ceramic and bamboo floors and stained cherry vanity, in addition to the countertop design and contrasting wall colors, pulling it all together isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The focal point was the counter top and the colors of the walls. Anything that was to be added had to respect that, not compete with it.

The first option we looked at was a monochromatic color scheme using ceramic mosaic tiles that are close to the putty color of the side walls, with a few smaller glass mosaics dropped in to pick up the terracotta color in the counter and face wall. It was flat. We decided to consider linear glass mosaics.

Using linear glass mosaics added more dimension. There was one color grouping that stood out at the start. And it is what we chose in the end.

It’s natural but is it green?

All in clear, colored glass, which is made from natural materials, this product has the perfect burned orange color to pick up the face wall and terracotta spots in the counter. It also has a yellow-based beige that blends into the side walls and picks up the Travertine color from across the room.  The clear pieces reflect and hold the gray and blue sheens from the countertop and the purple picks up the color of the vanity.

Though there was still stock available, this particular style has been discontinued. It is supplied by Daltile, which now offers many styles that contain recycled content or have Green Squared Certification. If content or environmental certifications are important to you, always check.

Selecting the tile is only the beginning.  Working with glass mosaics is challenging, so you will be ahead of the game if you find an experienced contractor.

Skill matters

Contractor Rod Bates knew to test the material with his wet saw. Unlike some glass tiles, this one has a white backing on it that serves to hide trowel marks in the white thinset that will be used to adhere it to the wall.

“You don’t want to cut this from the front, see what happens?” he says after a test cut that has left jagged edges. “When I cut it from the back, through the backing, I can get almost perfectly straight edges.”

Before the tiles go up, two electrical outlets have to be pulled out, away from the wall so they can be mounted later on the new tile instead of the dry wall.

In 10 square feet of space, it takes about three hours to cut and place the tiles on thinset. They are allowed to set overnight. Then, Bates grouts the tile the next morning. We are a little disappointed in the grout, which is lighter than the sample once dry.

But overall, the color and texture of the glass is amazing. It’s almost a completely different room.©


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