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Glass Tile Information

Photo of Recycled Glass Tile

There is nothing like glass tile flooring when it comes to making a statement in your home or business. Whether that statement is vibrant and expressive or classy and sophisticated, glass floors can certainly catch the eye. Glass is the result of a fusion of silica, soda, and lime, and when made by man can be colored any color imaginable. Glass tile flooring can be given a frosted or an iridescent effect, or it can even have its clarity enhanced.

Clear glass floors are unique in that they can often be illuminated with lights from beneath. In addition, since glass tiles reflect light rather than absorbs it, a glass floor will make the most of any natural and artificial light sources in a room. This can increase the feeling of space in your room, the more light, the larger a room can feel. Glass tiles may be used as the primary flooring, or to accent another type of flooring such as ceramic tile. To top it all off, installing a clear glass staircase can take glass flooring to the next level.

Photo of Glass Panel Flooring

Glass flooring is usually purchased in tiles that can range in size from under 1 square inch to over a square foot. Glass floors are also available in laminated glass panels which can be as large as a square yard (anything larger may be impractical for a tile floor installer to handle). Laminated glass has been treated to resist falling apart or shattering, similar to the safety glass used in a car windshield. This type of glass floor is so thick and durable that it is often used in modern skyscrapers or glass walkways to create completely see–through flooring. Glass tile floors can also be made from recycled glass making it a “green” choice. For example, terrazzo flooring (pieces of glass poured into concrete or resin) is commonly made from old glass bottles and jars, as are some glass tiles. Also, old glass tiles are commonly recycled to make new glass tiles, making this type of glass flooring eco-friendly.

Though there are thousands of different glass tile types and styles, only some are fit for use on floors. For instance you should almost never use glass wall tiles for flooring. Be sure to install tiles that have been specified by the manufacturer to be used as glass flooring. Also, be sure to clean glass tiles with a manufacturer–approved cleaner to maintain their beauty. Using the wrong cleaning products can leave behind a residue that can dull the floor. Find more information below on buying, installing and cleaning glass tile flooring.

Glass Tile Installation Basics

Most glass flooring can be installed indoors or outdoors and can even resist freeze/thaw conditions. Glass can also resist damage from acid rain and many chemicals. Being that glass is water resistant, it is commonly used in pools and on shower floors. Note: If installing in pools or on a shower floor, be sure to choose textured glass tiles to reduce the chance of slipping. With smaller tiles (1 square–inch or smaller), the frequency of the grout lines can also help in preventing a slip. Intricate glass tile mosaics are often used in areas such as bathrooms, pool decks, and entryways for this purpose.

Glass flooring installations are often intricate and require extreme precision. For this reason, a professional installation is recommended.™ has compiled a directory of professionals in your area. To find the right flooring installer for your project, simply search by zip code using the locator tool at the top of this page. If you are an avid Do It Yourself (DIY) homeowner and choose to go ahead and take this project on yourself, be sure to check out the™ Quick Tile and Stone Installation Guide and the Full Tile and Stone Installation Guide. Always refer to the manufacturer recommendations for glass tile flooring installation.

Glass Tile Cleaning, Care and Maintenance Basics

When properly installed, glass floors can be as durable, if not more durable, than ceramic tiles. You can keep your glass floors looking new by simply sweeping up dirt and debris daily. It's important you sweep on a routine basis as dirt can scratch the floor. Damp mop when needed, adding a manufacturer–recommended cleaner when a little extra cleaning power is necessary. Never use anything abrasive to clean glass flooring as this can dull the surface. Quality glass tiles will not discolor or fade over time, and when properly cared for, can last a lifetime. For a full glass flooring care instructions, visit's™ Tile Flooring Care Guide.

Buying Glass Flooring

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Now that you know the basics about glass flooring, you should have a good idea as to whether or not glass flooring is the right choice for you. When you're ready to shop, we’ve got you covered.™ has gone the next step and located flooring retailers and installers in your area. Use the Search for a Professional feature (at the top of the page) to find a flooring retailer and/or installer who can meet your needs. We've also provided a Tile Buying Guide complete with a Tile Buying Checklist to help ensure that you make the right choice. Armed with this information, you can feel confident that you have the tools in hand to make an educated decision when it comes to buying glass tile flooring.