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How to Work with Glass Tile

In this how-to video, This Old House tile contractor Joe Ferrante tiles a kitchen backsplash with translucent glass tile

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.