A Complete Guide To Tiling A Glass Surface

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Tiling is a task many homeowners tend to undergo themselves, though some wonder if it’s possible to save themselves the time and cost of removing the glass before putting down your new tiles. The answer is yes. You can undoubtedly tile over glass, but there are a few steps needed to do so and still achieve a flawless, professional look.

After getting your supplies, sand down the glass and put your grout across the entire surface; make sure your tiles are level, and if they are not, try again. Next, apply your colored grout, wipe excess off the tiles, and wait 24 hours to add your grout sealer. 

Applying tile to a glass surface is doable and saves time and money. Without removing the glass to tile your wall, you can forget about several steps and tons of cleanup, not to mention the disposal of the glass and possible injury. So now, let’s learn more about tiling over glass!

Can You Apply Tile onto Glass Surfaces?

Closeup of manual worker in protection gloves pushing the tile

Yes, you absolutely can tile on a glass surface. The key to successfully doing so is to prepare the surface and gather the needed tools and supplies before starting.

It can even be cheaper to tile over the glass surface rather than trying to remove it. However, since then, you will have to plaster over it again and could end up with a rough and uneven surface, which makes the placement of the tiles more difficult.

Tiling over a glass surface is also faster, given the fact you are skipping over multiple steps of taking off the glass and smoothing out the surface underneath. 

What Supplies Will You Need?

Step 1: Cleaning and Priming Your Surface

After you have gathered all your tools and assembled your work area, you want to prime the glass surface. First, prime the glass by sanding it with a medium-grade sander or sandpaper. 

If using a sander, be careful not to apply too much pressure that could crack the glass. Using sandpaper is easier for novice sanders.

Step 2: Adding Grout and Tile Spacers

Using a trowel, place a generous amount of grout on a small portion of the glass where you plan to put the tiles. Smooth out any lumps with the trowel while creating lines throughout. You want it to have a rough surface instead of a smooth one. 

If using individual tiles instead of a sheet, place your spacers between each tile as you lay your first row of tiles down. 

Step 3: Adding Your Tile

Floor tile installation for house building

Making sure your tiles are straight to create a uniform appearance is essential for the general application of the tiles. To achieve this, use your level by setting it on the initial top row of tiles once done. If the surface isn’t level, remove the tiles and try again by shimming the surface with a small piece of wood. 

Since glass is cut with exact dimensions, your tiles will likely be level on the first try, but it is always wise to check, just in case.

However, if you find they aren’t level, the grout is still wet, and you can remove the tiles to place them properly now instead of later when the grout is dry. 

Once the first two to three rows of tiles are placed, and each has been tested to be level, wipe away any excess grout seeped through the tile pieces with a damp rag or sponge. This will cut down on cleaning up in the next step. 

Step 4: Applying Grout and Letting it Dry

Using either a colored or clear grout, cover the entire tiled surface using a flat trowel. Wipe off any excess from the face of the tiles with a damp rag. The remainder of the grout should stay between the tiles, creating a seal to protect the surface and the individual tiles. 

The last thing to do is wait 24 hours and apply the grout sealer as an extra layer of precaution against mildew and mold growth. 

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