14 Nov When Glass Says Class
Glass backsplash adds just the right color and dimension
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.
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.
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.”
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.