• In this video, This Old House tile contractor Joe Ferrante explains how to work with glass tile.


    1 Mix thinset mortar, then trowel a thin skim coat onto the backsplash wall.
    2 Smooth thinset with straight-edge trowel and wet sponge; let dry.
    3 Lay out the 12 x 12-inch tile sheets on countertop.
    4 Measure length and height of backsplash wall to determine tile layout.
    5 Spread thinset onto wall with straight-edge trowel.
    6 Press full tile sheet into the thinset.
    7 Cut individual tiles from sheet to fit around electrical outlets.
    8 Continue setting tile sheets across the backsplash wall.
    9 Use undercut saw to trim window stool so tile fits behind the trim.
    10 Use score-and-snap tile cutter to trim individual tiles to fit tightly around electrical outlet.
    11 Spread thinset onto the back of individual tiles, and press to wall; use spacers to maintain consistent grout joints.
    12 Use wet saw to trim tiles along the top of backsplash wall.
    13 Once all of the tiles are installed, allow the thinset to cure.
    14 Finish by using a rubber float to force grout into the spaces between the tiles; wipe off excess grout with a clean, wet sponge.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to hard
      It takes a few specialty tools and a lot of patience to set tile like a pro
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      Tools List

      • plaster trowel
        Straightedge trowel,
        used to apply thinset mortar
      • 30-foot tape measure
        Tape measure
      • wet saw
        Wet saw,
        used to make fine, precise cuts in tile
      • score-and-snap tile cutter
        Score-and-snap tile cutter,
        used to cut individual tiles
      • undercut saw
        Undercut saw,
        used to cut back of window trim to accept tile
      • Nut screwdriver
        used to remove cover plates from electrical outlets and wall switches
      • utility knife
        Utility knife,
        used to cut individual tiles from sheet
      • margin trowel
        Margin trowel,
        used to scoop mortar from bucket
      • grout sponge
        Grout sponge
      • rubber float
        Rubber float,
        used to apply grout to tile

      Shopping List

      1. Glass tile,

      sold in 12x12-in. sheets

      2. Thinset mortar

      3. Bucket,

      for mixing mortar

      4. Grout,

      for filling joints between tile