Choosing a stylish glass tile backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom can completely transform the look and feel of the space. With so many sizes, colors, and textures to pick from, finding the perfect glass tiles for your backsplash project may seem daunting. Here is an in-depth guide on where to buy glass tiles for backsplashes, how to choose the right type of tiles, installation tips, and beautiful backsplash design ideas to inspire your home renovation.
Purchasing Glass Tiles for Backsplashes
When looking for glass tiles to use for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash, you have several excellent options for finding quality products at affordable prices. Here are some of the best places to shop for stylish and durable glass tile backsplashes:
Home Improvement Stores
Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer a great selection of glass mosaic tiles, subway tiles, and penny tiles for backsplash projects. The advantages of shopping at these stores include:
- Convenience – With locations across the country, you can easily visit a store near you to view and purchase tiles.
- Inventory – Large home improvement chains stock a wide range of backsplash tile sizes, colors, finishes, and designs. You are likely to find plenty of options to suit your style.
- Affordability – Home improvement stores offer very competitively priced tiles. You can often find sales and discounts on tile products as well.
- Immediate Availability – You can purchase tiles and take them home right away for your project. No waiting for shipping.
Some popular and affordable glass tile lines carried at Home Depot include:
- Hampton Carrara Mixed Glass Tile
- Mercury Mosaics Peel and Stick Backsplash Tiles
- Smart Tiles Metro Glossy Subway Glass Mosaic Tile Sheets
Tile Specialty Stores
For a wider selection of unique, high-end and designer glass tiles, visit a local tile showroom. Tile specialty stores have knowledgeable staff that can help you find the perfect tiles and may even provide installation. Benefits of shopping at a tile specialty store include:
- Expert Guidance – Tile experts can answer questions and make recommendations to ensure you pick the best tiles for your space and needs.
- Larger Selection – Specialty stores have a huge array of colors, designs, borders, and tile sizes you won’t find at general home improvement stores.
- Customization Options – Many tile stores can create custom designed tile patterns and arrangements to match your unique vision.
- Samples and Displays – Tile displays and sample boards make it easier to visualize how tiles will look in your space. Stores may also allow you to take home samples.
Some popular glass tile brands sold at specialty tile shops include:
- Ann Sacks Glass Tiles
- Oceanside Glass & Tile
- Villi Glass Wall Tiles
- Stone & Pewter Accents Mixed Sea Glass Subway Tiles
For convenience and the widest selection, shop for glass tiles online. Reputable retailers like Wayfair, Overstock, and Amazon have a huge inventory of stunning and affordable glass tiles for backsplashes. Benefits of buying tiles online include:
- Convenience – Tiles are delivered directly to your door so no trips to the store.
- Bigger Selection – Online retailers have a vast inventory that is searchable by color, style, finish, size, and other filters. Makes finding your perfect tiles easy.
- Affordability – Lower overhead costs allow online tile sellers to offer great prices, sales, and bulk discounts.
- Reviews – Read customer reviews to learn about quality, appearance, and ease of installation before purchasing.
Highly-rated online glass tile brands include:
- Ivy Hill Tile – American-made artisan glass tiles
- Backsplash.com – Large selection of all types of affordable backsplash tiles
- Kenroy Home – Stylish mosaic and subway glass tiles for backsplashes
- Mercury Mosaic Tile – Peel-and-stick self-adhesive glass tiles
Direct from Manufacturers
For uncommon glass tile designs and colors, consider ordering directly from a tile manufacturer. Benefits include:
- Customization – Many manufacturers will work with you to create custom handmade glass tiles to match your unique needs.
- Larger Format Tiles – Manufacturers often offer glass tiles in larger sizes like 12″x24″ that are harder to find in stores.
- Rare Styles – Access unique techniques like fused glass tiles.
- Discounts – Manufacturers may offer discounts for ordering tiles directly.
Some of the top glass tile manufacturers include:
- Oceanside Glass & Tile
- Stone & Pewter Accents
- Lunada Bay Tile
- Villi Glass Tiles
- De Sousa Glass Tile
Choosing the Best Glass Tiles for Your Backsplash
With limitless options for colors, patterns, and styles, selecting the ideal glass tile design for your backsplash can be fun yet challenging. Keep these tips in mind when picking backsplash tiles:
The color of your glass tiles will set the tone for your whole kitchen or bathroom. Choose hues that match your decor and cabinetry. Cool tones like blue and green glass tiles coordinate well with stainless steel and chrome while warm earth tones pair nicely with wood cabinets. For a bright and cheerful vibe, opt for vibrant primary colors like red, yellow or turquoise glass tiles.
Common glass tile shapes include:
- Subway – Classic rectangular tiles in 2″x4″ or 3″x6″. Streamlined and versatile.
- Mosaics – Tiny glass tiles mounted on sheets to form intricate patterns. Available in squares, hexagons, penny rounds and more shapes. Provide beautiful texture.
- Brick – Small rectangular glass bricks. A uniform stacked brick pattern is pleasing.
- Penny rounds – Dot-shaped glass tiles give a whimsical polka-dot effect.
Finishes and Textures
Glass tile finishes affect the look and feel of the backsplash:
- Glossy – Smooth reflective shine for a bright and sleek appearance. Easy to clean.
- Frosted – Etched glass to diffuse light softly and hide grout lines. Provides a soft matte look.
- Iridescent – Shifts colors depending on viewing angle for ocean-like undulating hues.
- Metallic – Infused with luminous metals like copper, gold or silver for shimmering opulence.
- Embossed – Molded with patterns like diamonds, waves, flowers for added visual interest.
Don’t be afraid to combine glass tiles varieties. Mixing colors, shapes, and sheens creates depth. Some ideas:
- Combine glossy and frosted glass tiles
- Blend metallic and iridescent glass mosaics
- Frame subway tiles with a row of mosaics
- Accent colors with clear glass tiles
Backsplash Tile Sizes
Smaller 1″ mosaics and 2″x2″ tiles allow you to create intricate geometric or artistic patterns. For a more seamless look, install 4″x12″ subway tiles. Extra-large format 12″x24″ tiles make a dramatic design statement and have fewer grout lines. Choose a size that matches your design vision.
Glass tiles cost $5-$50+ per square foot based on the type, size, finish and brand. Opt for more affordable tiles like subway or mosaic sheets for whole backsplashes. Reserve pricier designer, handmade, or large format glass tiles for focal areas like behind a range or above the cooktop.
How to Install a Glass Tile Backsplash
Once you’ve selected the perfect glass tiles, proper installation is key to creating a backsplash that will last for years. Follow these best practices:
Prep the Surface
Remove existing backsplash material completely. Repair any dents, holes or imperfections in the wall to ensure it is smooth and flat. This allows the tiles to adhere properly.
Pick the Right Adhesive
Use a premium polymer-modified thinset mortar adhesive specifically formulated for glass tiles. This creates the strongest bond. Avoid mastic adhesive, which is not ideal for walls.
Make Proper Cuts
Avoid hand cutting glass tiles, which can chip or shatter them. Use a wet tile saw with a diamond glass blade instead for clean smooth cuts.
Use the Right Grout
Choose an epoxy grout or polymer-modified sanded grout. Unlike regular cement grout, epoxy won’t scratch the glass surface or discolor.
Seal and Grout
Once tiles are firmly set, seal the tiles and grout lines to prevent stains and mildew growth. Use a penetrating sealer formulated for glass tiles.
Glass tiles are easy to keep clean. Wipe up spills promptly so moisture doesn’t seep behind tiles. Use a gentle glass tile cleaner for regular upkeep. Re-seal as needed to renew stain protection.
For a flawless finish, consider hiring a professional tile installer experienced with glass tile backsplashes.
Gorgeous Glass Tile Backsplash Design Ideas
The brilliant shine and stunning range of colors available with glass tiles let you get creative with beautiful and unique kitchen and bathroom backsplash designs. Here are eye-catching ways to implement glass tile backsplashes in your home:
Vibrant Ombre Blend
Create a vibrant ombre color transition by blending complementary colored glass mosaics, like deep orange fading to light peach. The fading color effect adds beautiful dimension.
Vibrant ombre backsplash fading from orange to peach glass mosaic tiles. Image Source
Install a stunning focal point over the range or sink with an explosion of metallic glass mosaic tiles emanating from the center in a sunburst design. Gold, copper and silver tiles radiate warmth.
Golden copper sunburst mosaic glass tile backsplash. Image Source
Moroccan Fish Scale
For an exotic global vibe, install shiny fish scale-shaped glass tiles in an interlocking pattern. Combine blue, green and white for striking contrast.
Blue fish scale patterned glass tile backsplash. Image Source
Alternating positive and negative shapes create interest. Here, large format clear glass tiles edged with frosted glass rectangular tiles generate a cool geometric rhythm.
Clear and frosted geometric glass tile backsplash. Image Source
Make a bold assertion with an oversized custom cut glass tile focal point, like an abstract circle or starburst in a contrasting color.
Blue circle glass tile backsplash. Image Source
Channel vintage charm with rectangular aqua and royal blue tumbled glass subway tiles in a classic brick pattern. Suitable for farmhouse to contemporary spaces.
Vintage blue tumbled glass subway tile backsplash. Image Source
Crisp white back-painted glass subway tiles arranged in an offset grid pattern keep the look clean lined and contemporary. Great for showcasing countertop textures.
White back-painted modern glass subway tile backsplash. Image Source
Natural Stone Look
Capture the organic texture of natural travertine and marble with glass tiles that mimic the veining, movement and shades of cut stone. Installs easier than real stone.
Ivory and tan faux travertine glass tile backsplash. Image Source
Make a dramatic statement by contrasting vibrant glass mosaics and natural stone. Here, an organic green, blue and brown stone backsplash gets a jolt from electric orange mosaic insets.
Vibrant orange glass mosaic tile colorblock with natural stone backsplash. Image Source
AlternatingDirectional patterns add movement and visual intrigue. Here elongated turquoise subway tiles laid vertically alternate with metallic penny round mosaic tiles laid horizontally.
Horizontal and vertical patterned glass mosaic backsplash. Image Source
answers to frequently asked questions about glass tile backsplash
Glass tiles can make a gorgeous backsplash but also raise lots of questions for homeowners. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about backsplashes with glass tile:
Are glass tile backsplashes hard to install?
Glass tiles themselves are not necessarily harder to install than ceramic or porcelain tiles, but extra care must be taken to avoid cracking or chipping the glass which can happen if tiles are cut poorly or bumped into other hard surfaces. The smooth glass surface also requires using a high quality tile adhesive and grout to avoid tiles slipping. Overall it is best to follow careful installation steps or hire an experienced tile pro for flawless results.
Do glass backsplashes show grout lines?
Clear or light colored grout lines will be visible between glass tiles. Some homeowners embrace these as part of the design, while others prefer to minimize grout lines and hide them as much as possible. Choosing smaller format glass tiles like mosaics makes grout lines less obvious. Use matching colored sanded grout for a more seamless look. Alternatively, wide format tiles have fewer grout lines.
Are glass backsplash tiles hard to clean?
The glossy non-porous surface of glass tiles makes them one of the easiest backsplash materials to keep clean. Glass won’t absorb stains and resists mold and mildew growth. Simply use a non-abrasive glass cleaner and soft cloth. Avoid harsh cleaners that can scratch or etch the smooth surface. As long as grout is sealed properly, glass tile backsplashes just need routine wiping down.
Can you use glass tiles on shower walls?
Yes, glass tile is an excellent water-resistant material for walls in showers and tub surrounds. Textured glass tiles provide traction underfoot. Use proper installation methods like waterproof membrane and anti-fracture thinset to allow for movement and prevent cracks. Glass tiles make old fiberglass surrounds look stylish again.
Do glass backsplashes crack or scratch easily?
Quality tempered glass tiles are quite durable and resistant to chips and scratches when installed properly on backsplashes. Tempering creates internal strength. On walls, glass tiles avoid the abrasion and impacts that floor tiles experience. Dishes or cookware won’t typically damage these tiles. Just take care not to drop heavy objects directly on glass tiles which may cause cracks or scratches.
Can glass backsplash tiles be cut to size?
Yes, glass tiles can be cut to size with a wet saw fitted with a diamond blade designed for smooth glass cuts. This is useful for edge pieces