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Posted by Cris Carl | Jun 15, 2010

Glass Tile Fireplace

Get a warm, reflective glow in your room and choose from a wide array of tile colors.

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Radiance, variety and distinction await the homeowner who opts for glass tiling for his fireplace. Here we'll check out ideas for glass tile fireplace designs, from traditional to contemporary.

Most likely, your biggest problem when choosing glass tile for your fireplace will be the abundant selection of choices. You can easily tailor the look, color, texture and intensity of a glass tile fireplace, adding to the warmth and character of your home.


Typical Designs for Glass Tile Fireplaces

  • Confetti
  • Basket weave
  • Mosaics, floral, animal or tree patterns
  • Brick
  • Art deco
  • Stone wood
  • Bamboo
  • Herringbone
  • Icicles
  • Metallic
  • Iridescent
  • Stained glass


Does the thinset color matter for glass tile fireplaces?

Thinset is the mortar material you or your contractor will use to set your tiles. If you are doing the tiling yourself, always make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. In other words: read the bag. Generally, if you are using a preponderance of dark tiles, use a gray mortar. If you are using lighter tiles, use a white mortar for a better appearance.


The Costs of a Glass Tile Fireplace

Depending on whether you are doing the project yourself or hiring a contractor, cost will naturally vary. In general, for the tiles, you will pay between $5 and $35 per square foot. Thinset comes in 10, 25 and 50-pound bags. A 25-pound bag will allow you to install about 35 to 50 square feet of tile. Again, read the bag. You want to make sure you have the right kind of mortar for the tile you are going to work with. A 25-pound bag of thinset will cost between $10 and $35.


Functional Benefits of a Glass Tile Fireplace

Glass tiles are very easy to clean. All you need is glass cleaner and a sponge or paper toweling. Glass tiles readily adjust to temperature changes and are less likely to crack than ceramic tiles. Glass tile fireplaces enhance the lighting in the room as the fire refracts off of the tiles.


Estimating Materials

To determine how many glass tiles you will need to purchase, measure the surface you are tiling and add five percent to cover mistakes.


Iridescent Tiles

One of the most stunning choices for a glass tile fireplace is iridescent tiles. While many tile choices will refract light in varying degrees, none do it more than iridescent tiles. With each flicker of firelight, the light sparkles off of the tiles, creating a dramatic and warm centerpiece in the room. Iridescent tiles are best used in rooms that already have a lot of natural light. Think Mother of Pearl with an endless array of rich colors.


One last tip is to be careful if attempting to tile over metal or sheetrock. These two materials have varying reactions to heating and cooling. Installing glass tiles works best over a smooth, single-material surface such as concrete.


When redoing the look of your fireplace area, don't forget the mantel, whether or not you are using tile.

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