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Ceramic or porcelain tiles are a popular choice for kitchen splashbacks, and for good reason. They offer the beauty and durability that many homeowners seek in their kitchen surfaces. If, however, you are looking for something a little different and maybe want to add a little pop to your kitchen, think about using glass to cover the wall space between your countertop and cabinets. There are a number of different ways to create a glass splashback, some of which you may not know about. Here are seven things to know if you’re considering this alternative for your kitchen.

subway tile glass

1. Glass tiles come in many different forms

rectangular glass tileWhat comes to mind when you hear the words “glass splashback?” You may picture glass mosaic tile. You may picture mirrored glass or maybe something completely different. The fact is that the options are almost endless. From basic 25 cm x 25 cm mosaics to longer, slender, rectangular tiles of varying shapes to rounded and irregular shapes, the choices may amaze you if you have not researched them recently.



Green Round Glass TilesMosaics may be the most common, but glass tiles are also available as larger individual tiles, much the way ceramic and porcelain tiles are. Mosaics are a bit easier to install and do not require the same amount of cutting as other, larger shapes do, but it’s important to know that these options are out there when you are selecting materials.




2. Glass can be colourful

coloursYou may also be surprised at the sheer volume of colours in which glass tile is available. Variations in opacity add to the quantity. Create a monotone, consistent look, or mix it up to add interest to your splashback. Whatever colour or colours you choose, the reflective qualities of glass will help brighten up your kitchen and may make it feel larger.





3. Your glass splashback doesn’t have to be ALL glass.

glass and ceramicMixing materials is a great way to break up the wall space above your countertops. If you love glass, but you’re not ready to sheath your entire wall in it, use glass as a highlight within a ceramic background. Your options include running a horizontal band of glass mosaic across he splashback, inserting glass at regular intervals or coming up with your own design that includes a mix of materials.



4. Nor does it need to be tile

glass sheet splashbackNot all glass splashbacks are made of tile. In fact, an increasingly popular trend is the glass sheet splashback. For this installation, a single piece of glass is cut to the size and shape of your splashback, painted the colour of your choice and attached to the wall. The paint is applied to the back side of the glass to prevent it from chipping and pealing due to exposure over time. Better manufacturers take the extra step of baking the paint onto the glass for even better adhesion and durability. Glass sheet splashbacks tend to give your kitchen a sleek, modern look and are, therefore, a more common choice in contemporary homes.



5. Glass is easy to clean

cleaning glass tilesIf you’ve ever tried to scrub grime off of a glass table or other glass surface, you know that you may need to scrub hard, but glass will eventually come clean. That’s not always the case with ceramic and porcelain, however, which are more porous than glass and, hence, more prone to staining. If you choose glass tile, though, be aware that the grout between the tiles will not have the same properties as the glass. Grout, like ceramic, is porous. Select a darker grout if you’re concerned about stains showing. Or, go with a glass sheet and you won’t have any grout to worry about.



6. Glass CAN break

Broken_glassOf course, you know this but the fact is that almost any splashback material can be cracked, broken or dented. Glass, however, can actually shatter. This is something to be aware of. Although a vertical surface like a splashback does not typically receive the impacts that a horizontal surface like a countertop or floor does, it is possible to damage a glass splashback by, for example, sliding a heavy pot into it. If your kitchen only receives normal use, don’t be afraid to use glass in your backsplash, but if your family is a little more rough-and-tumble consider a more durable material.




7. Glass has environmental benefits

broken glass backsplashCreamic and porcelain tiles require a tremendous amount of energy to manufacture. The process requires extreme heat be applied to the material for an extended amount of time. Glass, on the other hand, is one of the few infinitely recyclable materials used in homes today. If environmental friendliness is a priority for you, consider glass for your kitchen splashback. Even in its broken form, glass can be fashioned into beautiful art.




Non-porous, easily cleaned and environmentally friendly, glass is nearly the perfect material for the kitchen. It can be a little fragile, but for many homeowners, its beauty outweights any possible downside to using it for their kitchen splashback.




Tile is a perfect choice for flooring. While ever popular wood floors are making their way into more and more spaces, including kitchens, the strength, durability and beauty of tile ensure that it will always have a place in the home. If you’re installing tile in your home, your choices in materials, colours, texture, size and shape are many. Follow these tips to find floor tiles that suit your tastes and lifestyle.

tile floor


1) Durability is key. Not every tile is suitable for use on the floor. Glass mosaics, for example, are very appealing for walls and backsplashes, but will not hold up on the floor in a high traffic area. Porcelain and ceramic, on the other hand, are well suited for floor applications, but it is important to know just how durable the tile you select is. The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rates the durability of all glazed porcelain and ceramic tile on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most durable. For lightly trafficked areas in the home, such as a bathroom, a PEI rating of 2 or higher is acceptable. A rating of Stone tile floor3 or higher will work for moderately trafficked areas like hallways and living rooms, and a rating of 4 or higher is recommended for high traffic areas like kitchens and entryways.

Natural stone is your most durable option. Even if you do manage to chip or break it, it is typically a consistent colour throughout, so the blemish will barley be noticeable. Make sure you understand the maintenance recommendations of the stone you select, however. Some types of stone are naturally porous and, therefore, need to be sealed to prevent them from becoming stained or even from breaking down over time.


marble-floor2) Texture matters. Polished stone, marble and porcelain offer a high-sheen look that many homeowners findappealing. The downside, however, is that they can be very slippery, particularly when wet. If the look of these smooth, shiny tiles is something you simply can’t live without, go for it, but be aware of the slipping danger. If you’re installing them in a kitchen or bath that is frequently exposed to water, be especially careful. For a safer option, choose a tile that is textures or has a matte finish. Unlike many products for your home, tile is not necessarily something you want to buy online. It’s better to not only see, but to touch and feel the product before making a purchase.


large-bathroom-tiles-111216-1143-15-800x5603) Size has visual impact. The size of the tile you select becomes a feature of the design that can make your floor stand out or blend into the background. Tile size also plays trick on the eye, making rooms seem larger and more open, or smaller and cozier. Generally speaking, large tiles make a room appear larger, and by minimizing grout lines, they also make the room flow better and appear more open. If the room is too small, however, large tiles can seem overwhelming. Small tiles can work in small space too. By using a mosaic tile in a small bathroom, for example, you minimize the number of cuts required, which, not only makes the installation easier, it results in a more finished look.




4) Shape and layout can change your whole design. Square tiles can be laid side-by-side in a straight line, also known as a straight lay pattern to create a clean, simple look.

Tile floors and Inlays 2-9-2007 7-12-30 PM 720x1089They can also be placed in a staggered layout, also known as a running bond or brick pattern, to create more interest. There’s no rule, however, that floor tiles must be square. Rectangular, or plank tiles can be laid much the way hardwood floors are laid, in a staggered or variable pattern. You can also lay rectangular tiles in a herringbone pattern to really create something very dramatic.


There’s also no rule that every tile in a room must be the same size. Use smaller tiles or mosaics to create a border around a larger room and define the space, or create something totally unique with specialty tiles.


dark-floor-tiles-15) Colour does more than compliment your décor. You’re going to select a colour you like, one that compliments the other finishes in the room, like countertops and cabinetry, but it’s important to understand the overall affects that tile colour can have. Lighter colours tend to make a space feel larger and more open, while darker colours create warmth and coziness. Dark colours also minimize the appearance of dirt, making them a great choice for anyone who’s not a cleaning fanatic. Neutral colours are less likely to clash with furniture and more likely to appeal to homebuyers than bright colours, a consideration if you have resale in mind. Bright colours, however, can help you create a design that fits your personal style.


A floor tile worthy of your home is out there, but you’ll want to choose carefully because one of the features of tile that make it so desirable, durability, also makes it difficult to remove and replace. Combine these tips with your own specific needs and you’ll be pleased with the results every time you see, touch and feel your beautiful tile.


Want to read more?

Houzz: House Planning: How to Choose Tile

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