Small format glass tiles are sold mounted on sheets to facilitate installation. They typically measure 3/4 inch or 1 inch square, although some larger sizes like these 2 inch tiles are also available. To install, you will need thinset adhesive, water, a mixing tool, measuring tools such as a ruler, a chalk line and level, and a 3/16 inch v-notched trowel.
Covering the substrate with a crack suppression membrane gives added protection. Membranes come in sheets, although a liquid variant is also available. A roll on membrane can be easily marked to assist placement of the tile sheets.
Use white thinset if there is a chance (as in tiles with color fused on the back) that thinset color may show through the tile influence the final look.
Mix thinset with enough water that it is spreadable but not runny.
Some thinset manufacturers suggest waiting 5 minutes once you have reached the desired consistency of cake icing. Follow manufacturers' directions.
As a rule, a 3/16 inch v-notched trowel provides ample coverage: the selection of trowel size should be determined by the variability of flatness of the substrate and back of the tile - and not by the thickness or size of the tile.
Apply uniform coverage. Hold the trowel at a steady angle to assure an even application.
If you are using mesh-mounted, light colored fused glass tiles, check to see if the mesh is visible through the tile.
Notice the mesh lines through these two inch tiles. When this is the case, trowel notch marks will also show through the tiles: the thinset needs to be skimmed.
Skim (flatten) the surface of the thinset application with the long flat edge of the trowel.
A tradeoff to skimming is that the notch ridges would have strengthened the thinset's bond.
To compensate, press the tile sheets into the thinset very firmly.
Thinset can be messy. When laying sheets of glass tiles, don't press so hard that thinset oozes up through the tiles.
Wait for it to dry, as per thinset manufacturer's instructions, before grouting.
Information on these pages is offered as a background and guideline. No warranty is implied. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.