What Should I Know About Glass Tile Installation?

  • If you are a handy person, It can be relatively simple process.
  • If you have never installed tile before, no problem. Watch as many videos and read as many tutorials as you can.
  • The single most important factors are knowledge and time, not experience. In fact, the worst mistakes, and botched jobs are completed by by so called professional that simply rushed the job.
  • Wet areas such as showers take more consideration, but there is plenty of help available.

Kitchens, Backsplashes and dry areas are a little bit easier, simply because there is no water involved.

Showers, tub surrounds, saunas are slightly more complicated simply because the substrate and structure are absolutely critical to a good job.

If you are a professional contractor, hired installer, architect, developer or if you are installing in a commercial areas – we strongly recommend reviewing and following the installation guidelines set out by The Tile Counsel of North America, (https://www.tcnatile.com/) as well as appropriate ANSI standards for installation.

Cutting Tile

Cutting glass tile is not difficult. But a little preparation goes along way. There are two basic way to cut glass tile. One method is with a power saw using a diamond glass blade, the other way is what we call ‘score and snap’. Both methods are used and both are acceptable, but you should be aware of where to use which one in order to assist in a smooth installation and clean cuts.

Score and snap

For straight line cuts, this is the preferred method. It’s clean, its accurate and its easy to learn. In order to accomplish this cut you need a glass scoring tool and a pair of ‘running pliers’ Both tools are not too expensve and are available at your local tile or glass shop.

Hole Cutting

Cutting holes in glass is often over looked as a crack preventative measure. Holes and inside corners or aften where the glass tile can fail. With a few tricks you can achieve certain success and avoid some pitfalls.

Cutting holes in glass is similar to using a circular wetsaw as described above. However, instead of cutting straight lines, you are new cutting circles – but the same principles apply. Make sure you are using the correct hole saw for glass, and make sure you are using the correct speed, or RPM of the cutting tool. If you have not done this before it is advisable to try a few test cuts on some scrap pieces. Go slow, use a lot of water and don’t rush the cut and you should be ok.

Wetsaw Cutting

This cutting is the preferred method for inside corners, or more difficult cuts. Trimming a tile, or minor adjustments. It requires a power saw and the appropriate blade for cutting glass. Do not attempt to use a saw that is designed for cutting ceramics or porcelain. It will cut the glass, but will leave a very poor finish with cracked edges. Make sure to use a lot of water and go slow.


Substrate refers to the material that the tile is actually adhere to. For most common application such as backsplashes this would be the drywall. Other applications such as showers or commercial applications may have concrete or cement backer boards etc. Each substrate should be clean, dry and cured before installation begins.


There are 3 types of acceptable substrates for Bodesi Glass Tile products:


  • Concrete – Cured a minimum of 30 days, Surface must be flat and smooth and may require surface repair
  • Cement Backer Board (CBU) – Hardibacker, Durrock, Fiberock,, PermaBase, Wonderboard.
  • Drywall – Dry locations are suitable for backsplashes or other small dry areas. Make sure it is dry, flat and clean.


In any case of substrate the installer should be well versed with e the substrate preparation and requirements as set out by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America)


Thinset and Adhesive

The adhesive used to install Bodesi glass tile is critical to a successful installation. Ordinary thinsets that are suitable for ceramic or porcelain are not used for glass tile installation. For glass tile it is required to use a modified thinset. This means that there is a polymer or other additive that has been added to the formula in order for the maintain somewhat pliable or elastic characteristics of the adhesive. This prevents cracking and ensures a positive installation.

Because glass may have translucent properties we advise to use high quality adhesives. Adhesives can vary in whiteness and color consistency. The following adhesives have the correct properties for installation of our glass tile in interior/exterior and dry and/or intermittently wet ares such us showers and bathtub surrounds and even saunas and spas. For underwater and pool applications please contact us or refer to your pool specialist for advice. For large projects that require multiple bags, a product with batch controlled for bag to bag consistency should be chosen.


Suitable Thinsets

The following thins set mortars are suitable for most applications. Please refer to the instructions and specifications on the packaging for details. Proper procedures must be used to acquire professional results.

  • ARDEX: X77 Tile & Stone Mortar
  • BOSTIK: Glass-Mate mixed with 425 Admixture
  • CUSTOM BUILDING PRODUCTS: Glass Tile Premium Thin-Set
  • LATICRETE: Glass Tile Adhesive
  • MAPEI: Adesilex P10 Bright White Thin-Set Mortar mixed with Keraply Mortar Additive
  • TEC SPECIALTY PRODUCTS: Super Flex Thin-Set Mortar * Bright White † Color controlled bag-to-bag consistency.


Organic adhesives such as mastic are not recommended as they are water based and may fail in certain applications. For small dry areas it may be acceptable but not recommended. Epoxy adhesives are generally not recommended, however, in certain applications they may be acceptable. Contact installation support for recommendations at 888 658 2488

Crack Isolation Membrane

Just as it sounds, crack isolation membranes create protective layer between tile and the substrate they are installed on. These are usually used on larger installations and or in wet areas such us showers or spa’s.  Some substrates can shift, warp, and deflect with heat or with age, it is advisable to use a crack isolation membrane to prevent cracking of the glass tile. There are various products available, please make sure to consult the membrane manufacturer for specific applications limitations and installation uses.



  • BOSTIK: GoldPlus
  • LATICRETE: Hydro Ban
  • MAPEI: Mapelastic AquaDefense
  • ARDEX: 8+9

Movement Joints

Movement joints are gaps in the installation that are necessary to allow the walls and substrate to move and shift. Usually these voids or gaps between the tiles are filled with a soft pliable material such as silicone. Often they are used where there is ‘a change of plane’, which really means when a wall meets another wall such as a corner, or where countertop meets the back splash. An Architect, designer or professional installer should be consulted in regards to size and amount of movement joint s required.

For best results it is important to adhere to the guidelines set out by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) regarding Movement Joints EJ171 in the current edition of the “TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation”.


These are general guideline only. Each installation is unique and it is the responsibility of the installer to use the correct techniques, methods and materials to ensure a successful installation.


Installation materials, conditions and techniques have a significant impact on the performance of glass tile. Therefore, installations are not warranted by Bodesi Glass Tile in any way. Any defect in Bodesi product or workmanship must be brought to attention before installation begins. No allowance will be made for labor, cost of replacement, or for any other charges after the materials have been installed. The buyer is responsible for the inspection and acceptance of our materials prior to installation. If any defects are noted, at the sole discretion of Bodesi Glass Tile, the defects will be replaced or refunded on a pro-rated basis on the amount of the total order.


For best results it is important to adhere to the guidelines set out by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) regarding materials and installation techniques the current edition of the “TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation”.