Is Glass Tile Good for Kitchen Backsplash?

Glass tile can make for an excellent kitchen backsplash choice. With its reflective, sleek appearance, durability, and easy maintenance, glass tile brings a contemporary and stylish look to any kitchen. Here’s an in-depth look at whether glass tile is a good option for your kitchen backsplash.

What are the Benefits of Using Glass Tile for a Kitchen Backsplash?

There are many advantages to choosing glass tile for your kitchen backsplash:

Aesthetic Appeal

  • Glass tile adds a modern, stylish look to any kitchen. The sleek, glossy finish and reflective surface make the space appear clean and contemporary. Glass tile comes in a huge range of colors, finishes, and styles, allowing you to customize the look.

Easy Maintenance

  • Glass tile is very simple to clean – just use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away dirt and stains. The non-porous surface doesn’t absorb liquids and resists staining. This makes glass tile perfect for kitchen backsplashes which can get messy.


  • Glass tile is extremely durable and can withstand high impacts. The fired glass material is water-resistant and stain-resistant. Properly installed glass tile can last for decades without damage, discoloration or wear.

Light Reflection

  • The glossy finish of glass tile beautifully reflects light. This can make a small kitchen appear larger and brighter. Glass tile acts as a mirror, bouncing light around the space.


  • While prices vary, glass tile is very affordable compared to other backsplash materials like natural stone. Simple glass subway tile starts at just a few dollars per square foot. There are economical options for any kitchen budget.

Variety of Options

  • From mosaic sheets to large format tiles, matte to shiny, clear to colored – glass tile comes in endless options. Mix and match shapes, sizes and styles for a fully customized backsplash. Many manufacturers offer glass tile in coordinating collections.

What are the Potential Drawbacks of Glass Tile?

However, there are a few disadvantages to consider before installing a glass backsplash:

Grout Maintenance

  • Glass tile has grout lines which can become grimy. Regular scrubbing and sealing is needed to keep grout clean. Epoxy grout is easier to maintain than traditional cement grout.

Difficult Cutting

  • Glass tile requires specialized cutting using a wet saw and diamond blade. Improper cutting can result in cracked or broken tiles. This makes intricate designs and outlet cuts challenging for DIYers.

Improper Installation

  • Glass tile installation takes precision. Without proper prep and care taken to evenly spread adhesive, tiles can crack, break or fall off the wall. Hiring an experienced tile installer is highly recommended.

Condensation Buildup

  • The non-porous glass surface can lead to visible condensation and water droplets in kitchens with humidity. Ventilation is important to prevent excessive moisture.

High Cost of Material

  • Larger slab glass tiles or mosaic sheets can be quite expensive, leading to a higher overall project cost. Budget-friendly options do exist, but glass tile generally costs more than ceramic or stone.

Not Ideal for Floors

  • While glass can be used on floors, it is slippery and prone to breaking under impact. Glass tile floors require very flat, stable subfloors. It is better suited for kitchen backsplash use rather than high traffic floors.

What Kinds of Glass Tile Work Best?

When selecting glass tile, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Mosaic Sheets – Uniform glass mosaics mounted on mesh sheets are budget-friendly and easy to install. Great for simple, classic backsplash designs.
  • Subway Tile – Glass subway tiles with a rectangular shape mimic classic ceramic subway tile with added shine. Use for farmhouse, vintage or transitional spaces.
  • Large Format – For a contemporary, seamless look, choose large format tiles at least 4”x12” or larger. Fewer grout lines create a sleek appearance.
  • Metal Accents – Glass tile with metallic, iridescent or stained finishes add striking glamour. Use metallics sparingly as accents against solid glass tile.
  • Neutral Colors – Stick to clear, white, or light glass tile colors for backsplashes in most kitchen designs. Pops of color can come from appliances, countertops or decor.

How Much Does Glass Tile Cost?

Glass tile pricing depends on the type, size, thickness, and quality. Here are typical price ranges:

  • Glass mosaics on 12”x12” mesh sheets – $5 to $15 per square foot
  • Subway tile 3”x6” or 4”x12” – $6 to $20 per square foot
  • Large format tile 12”x24” or larger – $10 to $30 per square foot
  • Metal or premium glass – $15 to $50 per square foot
  • Installation costs – $5 to $15 per square foot

In total, expect to spend $10 to $30 per square foot for materials and professional installation. For a medium-sized backsplash of 30 square feet, total costs usually range from $300 to $900.

How to Clean and Care for a Glass Tile Backsplash

Glass tile maintenance involves:

  • Use a gentle cleaner like dish soap and water. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Seal grout lines with a penetrating sealer every 1-2 years.
  • Check for cracks – replace any broken tiles immediately to prevent damage.
  • Use a squeegee to eliminate water spots and film build up.
  • Don’t use abrasive pads or scrubbers which can dull the surface.

With proper installation and routine care, a glass tile backsplash can stay beautiful for many years in your kitchen!

Glass Tile Backsplash Design Ideas

Here are some popular ways to utilize glass tile for gorgeous kitchen backsplashes:

Subway Tile Patterns

  • Running Bond – Horizontal offset rows
  • Stacked – Vertical brick laid pattern
  • Herringbone – Angled tiles in zig-zag arrangement
  • Basketweave – Overlapping tile squares

Mosaic Glass Tile

  • As full backsplash surface or focal accent wall
  • Border along top of backsplash or bottom edge
  • Accent stripe inset between solid glass tiles

Mix and Match

  • Combine glass subway tiles with stone, ceramic or metal
  • Use mosaic glass sheet inserts with large format tiles
  • Contrast matte finish with light-catching shine

Color Pop Accents

  • Add single rows of colored glass tile randomly or in borders
  • Choose metallic glass tile to contrast with neutrals
  • Coordinate with kitchen decor colors

The Bottom Line

Glass tile can make a gorgeous and functional backsplash with the right kitchen design. The reflective surface, durability, and easy maintenance of glass tile lend well to kitchen use. Just mind potential drawbacks like grout cleaning and installation precision needed. With proper prep and care, glass tile backsplashes add stunning style and quality to any kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is glass tile suitable for kitchen backsplashes?

Yes, glass tile is an excellent choice for kitchen backsplashes. The durable, water-resistant and easy-to-clean surface stands up well to splashes and stains. Glass tile comes in many colors, shapes and textures to suit any design aesthetic.

Does glass tile need to be sealed?

Glass tile itself does not require sealing since the surface is non-porous. However, the grout between glass tiles should be sealed to prevent staining and damage. Use a penetrating grout sealer on cement grout lines. Epoxy grout is inherently water-repellent.

How long does a glass tile backsplash last?

When properly installed and cared for, a glass tile backsplash can last 20-30 years or longer without needing replacement. The glass tile itself is very durable and unlikely to show wear. Proper grout maintenance is key for longevity.

Can you install glass tile backsplash DIY?

It is possible for an experienced DIYer to install glass backsplash tile. But it requires specialty cutting tools, precision prep, proper thinset application and careful installation to prevent cracking. Hiring a professional installer is highly recommended.

What color grout looks best with glass tile?

Either neutral epoxy grout or matching cement grout provide a seamless look. White or very light grey grout also pairs well with glass tile without being distracting. Stay away from dark grout colors which can appear dirty over time.

Can you put glass tile backsplash in the shower?

Yes, glass tile and mosaics can be installed as shower surrounds. The water-resistant surface is ideal for wet areas. Use waterproofing membranes behind the tile and choose grout carefully to prevent moisture issues behind the glass.

How thick should glass tile be?

The ideal thickness for glass tile backsplash is 10mm or 3/8”. Tile at this thickness provides durability for the wall application while allowing for easier cutting compared to thicker options.

Can glass tile go on textured walls?

Glass tile should be installed on smooth, flat surfaces for proper adhesion. Textured walls need to be skim coated with cement board or a patching compound to achieve the required smoothness. Otherwise, tiles may crack or fall off over time.

Does glass tile show soap scum?

Yes, the glossy finish of glass tile will show water spots, film build up and soap scum very clearly. Use a squeegee after each use and regular mild cleaner to keep the surface free of deposits. Promptly wiping up spills also prevents staining.


With the right design considerations and proper care, glass tile can create a stunning backsplash in any kitchen. Take the time to choose the perfect style, colors and textures for your space. Budget for professional installation to ensure flawless results. With its reflective beauty and durable nature, glass tile is a backsplash option that will shine for years to come.