Which is better, paper backing or mesh backing for glass tiles?
A very common question when selecting glass for a kitchen backsplash is whether it should have a mesh backing or a paper liner. This can be an easy answer or it can be a complex answer. There are two different types of glass mosaic you will get one or the other.
The first type of mosaic is a translucent glass. A translucent glass is a type of mosaic that you could hold and see through it. The most common types of glass that is translucent is a recycled glass or a type of oval, round or brick tile. Most translucent glass tiles are paper faced. The reason most of these are paper faced is because the mesh backing can be seen through the glass tile.
When installing this type of glass tile, you will want to use a small notched trowel when spreading the caulk over the installation surface. After spreading the putty, you’ll want to flatten or knock down the trowel marks. The reason for doing this is that when installing the glass tiles, you do not want to see the trowel marks through the glass tiles.
Another key to keep in mind when installing translucent tile is to make sure the surface behind the tile is white. If you have a painted kitchen and the walls are currently a dark or strong color, that color could show through the glass tile. If you are installing translucent tile, make sure the surface is painted white first, and be sure to use a thin coat of white as well.
The second type of glass is where the glass itself is a type of crystal. glass with the color backed on the back. Most 4mm or 8mm crystal type glass is clear and then the tile color is applied to the back of the tile giving it the color. There is normally no concern about seeing the mesh backing through this tile. The same precautions must also be taken into account for installation.
The last thing to consider is the grout. To play it safe, the best grout to use is an unsanded grout or a specialty grout. The reason you will use an unsanded grout is that there are no sand particles in the unsanded grout. Sand particles found in the sanded grout can possibly scratch the surface of the glass. Specialty grouts do not contain grit particles, including epoxy grouts and urethane grouts.
Always check with the supplier if you have any questions regarding the choice of tile for the project at hand.