Grout and installation tips for matte/frosted glass tile?

bethinncJanuary 7, 2014

I've chosen a 1" x 6" offset mosaic matte (frosted) glass tile for my kitchen backsplash (pardon the kitchen question here, but as my question is specific to tile installation rather than kitchen aesthetics, I thought this would be the better forum). The color is a soft white.

The tile tearsheet says to "seal matte finish with a penetrating sealer before and after grouting". Does that make sense? I wouldn't think you'd seal a glass tile like you would a stone tile (and in fact my search turned up at least one thread here about glass tile troubles caused by the installer using a sealer), but maybe the matte finish gives the sealer something to adhere to? Would there be a particular type of penetrating sealer to use?

Also, any recommendations on grout? The tear sheet specifically says to use unsanded grout with the gloss tiles, but doesn't say anything about the matte tiles. Is there a benefit to using sanded grout if it isn't contra-indicated with the frosted tiles (I'm assuming there's less danger of scratching)?

Here is a link to the tile tearsheet if that might be helpful.

I'm not DIY-ing this, but at this point in my renovation I've learned the hard way that I should try to know as much as possible about the various options so I can make sure the contractor does things the way I want in the end.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


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I haven't been to these forums in months and right off the bat see a question I can help with :)
We installed glass tiles in our bathroom and was told to seal them before and after with a penetrating sealer to keep the grout from staining them. We did that...except for one tiny corner I overlooked. And yes, you could see the difference. Thank goodness it was in an area that no one will notice and it wasn't that much of a color difference.

IIRC, the sanded vs unsanded is grout line size. Use sanded on the smaller grout lines. I'm sure we used AquaMix sealer.

ps...the hardware isn't black. It's venetian bronze :)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Thanks monicakm, pretty tile! Glad to hear a first-hand account that using a sealer on the glass tile was a good thing.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Monica wrote it backwards wrt sanded/unsanded grout. Sanded grout should be used when the grout lines are anything wider than 1/8 inch. Unsanded grout only for narrow grout lines, 1/8 inch or less.

I work with all kinds of glass tile for mosaics. We never seal any type of glass tile. I'm very interested to learn that there's a visible difference!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Oh good grief! Yes I did get it backwards :( Had to go back and see for myself that I said that...I did. Sorry!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:52AM
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It's obvious you know what you're talking about, Monica! I think your typing hand just had a little hiccup.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 5:58PM
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Thank you both very much for your help!

Curious if anyone else has used a sealer on matte glass tile...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:49AM
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