How to Put Glass Tile Backsplash in Kitchen

Installing a glass tile backsplash can add a touch of elegance and visual interest to any kitchen. With proper planning and preparation, you can achieve a stunning backsplash that will be durable, easy to clean, and enhance your cooking space. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to put glass tile backsplash in your kitchen.

Selecting the Glass Tiles

When choosing glass tiles, you have numerous options in terms of colors, sizes, and textures. Consider the overall style of your kitchen and what kind of mood you want to create. Small mosaic tiles in metallic hues can give a glamorous effect, earthy natural stone-looking tiles create a calming vibe, while large format subway tiles make for a classic, clean style.

Some popular options include:

  • Metallic glass tiles – These tiles come in colors like copper, bronze, silver, gold. The shiny surface bounces light around the kitchen.
  • Iridescent glass tiles – These have a color shifting surface, displaying different hues. They add a colorful, playful look.
  • Frosted or etched glass tiles – The matte finish diffuses light softly. Good for a muted style.
  • Clear glass tiles – These maintain the sleek, transparent look of glass. Available in glossy or frosted.
  • Subway tile shape – The rectangular size gives a classic backsplash style.
  • Mosaic tiles – Tiny glass tiles mounted on sheets create a mosaic effect.

Considerations When Selecting Glass Tiles

  • Choose smaller tiles for a busy pattern or larger tiles for a cleaner look
  • Make sure tiles are rated for wall use
  • Consider texture – smooth tiles showcase the color while crackled tiles add visual interest
  • Complement other materials in the kitchen like cabinetry and countertops

Prepare the Work Area

Installing a glass tile backsplash requires careful preparation of the work area:

  • Remove existing backsplash if there is one
  • Thoroughly clean the wall surface and fill any holes or damages
  • Apply painter’s tape along the edges and around outlets or switches on the backsplash area
  • Cover the counters, stove, and floor around the backsplash area with rosin paper or plastic sheeting to protect from messes

Safety Gear

Be sure to use safety gear when removing old backsplash or cutting new tiles:

  • Safety goggles for eye protection
  • Dust mask to avoid inhaling debris
  • Work gloves for protection during demolition

Tiling Tools Needed

Gather all the tools and materials required for the tiling project:

  • Notched trowel for spreading tile adhesive
  • Bucket for mixing adhesive
  • Tile spacers to maintain even grout lines
  • Tile cutting tools like a snap tile cutter or wet saw
  • Grout float for applying grout between tiles
  • Grout sealer to seal grout lines
  • Sponges and buckets for cleaning
  • Carpenter’s square to check right angles

Installing the Glass Tile Backsplash

Follow these steps for proper installation:

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

  • Remove any remaining debris, grease etc with a degreaser and rinse thoroughly.
  • Allow the wall to dry completely.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the perimeter of the backsplash area.

Step 2: Apply the Tile Adhesive

  • Mix the adhesive or thinset to a smooth, lump-free consistency according to package directions.
  • Use a notched trowel to comb it onto the wall area, using the trowel size recommended for the tile size.
  • Spread only as much as can be tiled in 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Set the Tiles

  • Place the first tile in a corner, using tile spacers against the edges.
  • Press each tile firmly into the adhesive with a slight twisting motion.
  • Check lines are straight and tiles are evenly spaced as you go using a level and measuring periodically.
  • Cut any edge tiles as needed with tile cutter.

Step 4: Let Tiles Set

  • Allow tiles to set for at least 24 hours without disturbing them.
  • Remove painter’s tape and check for gaps or raised edges.

Step 5: Grouting the Tiles

  • Mix grout with water to a thick peanut butter consistency.
  • Apply grout over the tiles using the grout float pressing into joints.
  • Let it set for 5-10 minutes and then scrub off residue.
  • Wipe clean and allow to dry for 72 hours.

Step 6: Sealing the Grout

  • Apply grout sealer using a paintbrush. Allow to penetrate and wipe off excess sealer.
  • Reapply sealer as needed every 6-12 months.

And that’s it – you now have a stunning glass tile backsplash that will make your kitchen shine! Admire your handiwork and enjoy cooking in your newly improved kitchen.

FAQ About Installing Glass Tile Backsplash

Here are some commonly asked questions about installing a glass tile backsplash:

Do Glass Tiles Need Special Treatment or Sealing?

Glass tiles themselves don’t require sealing or special treatments before installation. Check that there is no factory applied protective coating and remove if there is. Make sure to use white thinset adhesive suitable for glass tiles. After grouting, apply a penetrating grout sealer.

What Type of Adhesive is Best for Glass Tile?

Use a white latex modified thinset adhesive to install glass mosaic tile. It provides a strong bond and spectralock guaranteed performance. Make sure the thinset is suitable for the tile size and approved for glass tile installation.

How Do You Cut Glass Tiles?

Use a quality wet saw with a diamond glass cutting blade to accurately cut glass mosaic tiles. For irregular cuts, score the tile with a tile cutter and break over a dowel. Use safety goggles and mask to avoid dust.

Can Glass Tile Backsplash Go All the Way to the Ceiling?

Yes, glass mosaic tiles can be installed from counter to ceiling as a full backsplash. Consider using accent strips, inlays, or borders to break up large expanses. Check building codes for electrical outlets placement and provide insulation behind tiles.

How Long Does a Glass Tile Backsplash Last?

A properly installed glass tile backsplash with grout care can last 20-30 years or longer. Use quality setting materials and grout sealers. Re-seal grout yearly. Replace any cracked or damaged tiles immediately to prevent moisture damage.

What’s Better for Kitchen Backsplash: Subway Tile or Glass Tile?

It’s a matter of personal preference. Subway tile gives a classic look. Glass mosaic tile provides striking visual effects. Glass tile is easier to clean but more prone to cracking. Subway tile is very durable and economical. Choose based on your kitchen’s style.


Installing a glass tile backsplash boosts the visual appeal of any kitchen by introducing eye-catching light effects, texture, and color. Carefully plan the design, select quality glass tiles suited for walls, and properly prepare the installation area. With meticulous installation techniques, like using the right adhesive and grout, the glass tile backsplash will maintain its beauty for many years of everyday use. Sealing and annual resealing of grout lines preserves the finish. A glass backsplash is a worthwhile investment to upgrade your cooking space and make meal prep a more pleasant and inspiring daily ritual.