Glass tile is steadily becoming more popular with interior designers and consumers alike. But its popularity is far from being new. The decorative and functional qualities of glass tiles and mosaics have been appreciated for centuries. In fact, they were in use during the days of the Roman Empire.
The biggest difference between the early Roman tiles and the tiles of today is in the manufacturing processes. In ancient times, glass tiles were made strictly from raw materials, and some modern-day manufacturers continue to make tiles this way. However, there has recently been a growing trend toward manufacturing them with recycled glass.
As with all forms of recycled manufacturing, making glass tiles from post-consumer and post-industrial glass is much less expensive than using raw materials. Additional savings are also gained through the manufacturing process itself, since less energy is required to make the tiles with recycled glass.
An added benefit of using old bottles, broken windshields and industrial scrap glass is that it keeps these non-biodegradable materials out of our landfills. By saving raw materials, using less manufacturing energy and having the ability to be a recycled again, glass tile made from recycled glass certainly qualifies as an environmentally-friendly, “green” product.
Regardless of how it is produced, glass tile is available a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, and sizes. Some tiles are opaque, some are translucent and some are iridescent. Mosaic patterns run the gamut from small sheets to border strips to large murals. Contrasting solid borders and accent pieces are also available. Surface textures can be smooth or slip-resistant, and there are several dimensions of square and rectangular shapes to choose from.
Glass tiles also have a wide variety of applications. Although most commonly used for bath and kitchen walls, countertops and floors, glass tiles can also be used in spa and pool areas as well.
If you are looking to add new color and sparkle to your kitchen or bath – and feeling the luxury of ancient Rome – then glass tile is the perfect choice for you.