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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Install Glass Tile as a Decorative Border

Our friend Caleb Stephenson of Birmingham, Alabama, sent us a tip for giving ceramic wall tile a more fully finished look. The exposed edge of wall tile usually has a blunt, square shape that is not to everyone’s liking. Caleb’s solution is to add glass border tile as decorative trim around the perimeter of the wall tile, which eases the transition and gives the installation a more completed appearance. Check out the photos to see how a glass border of a complementary color enhances this backsplash and shower surround.


How To

You’ll need painter’s tape, a caulk gun, construction adhesive, the tile of your choice, glass-tile nippers, plus a special sanded caulk which has the appearance of tile grout.

Measure the glass tile, then apply painter’s tape along the wall to mark the outer edge of the glass, leaving a consistent gap for placement of the glass tiles. Keep the tape aligned with the wall tile to mask the drywall from any excess caulk and to provide the look of a crisp grout line when the tape is removed.

When installing wall tile, it’s a good idea to place the tiles in a dry run to troubleshoot any potential problems and plan any necessary cuts. Once you’ve got a plan, apply dabs of fast-setting construction adhesive along the back of the glass tile to reduce mess.

Press the tile to the wall and clean up any excess adhesive that squeezes out as you go. As you align the tiles, it’s important to maintain a consistent joint size between neighboring tiles to ensure even grout lines.

When you need to cut glass tile, the best tool to achieve a clean, straight cut is a set of wheeled glass-tile nippers, which is a hand tool that uses two opposing carbide scoring wheels to give the tile a clean break.

Once the tiles are firmly glued in place, carefully apply the sanded caulk into the joints and seams, then tool the bead to shape. Make sure the caulk is mold and mildew-resistant and intended for sinks, tubs and showers.

Carefully remove the painter’s tape to reveal crisp “grout” lines and your new decorative glass border.

Note: You can reach the professional remodeling team of Randy and Caleb Stephenson at handyrandyco [a]


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