Of all the various factors that go into creating a great interior design, light is one of the most important. Good lighting makes a space usable and accessible. It also makes it appear larger and more welcoming. There are many ways that you can increase light in interior design, but for some small and dark spaces, the most effective ways to brighten the area is to boost the light that’s already there, rather than trying to add additional sources. This means incorporating reflective surfaces like glass tile into the overall design.

Brief History of Glass Tile

glass tiles on bathroom walls While many people think of glass tiles as a modern or contemporary product, this material has actually been around since the 3rd century BC. Glass was originally used as far back as 2500 BC as parts of decorative mosaics – small tiles pieced together to form a larger image. As glass production increased, so did the ability to create larger and more durable tiles, with artisans in Greece, Persia, and India the first tiles made entirely from glass.

Most glass tiles can be roughly grouped into two categories; color through glass, which is often handmade and color backed glass, which is often machine made with color applied as a foil to the back of the tile. Both types of glass tile will reflect light, but their appearance can be very different. Color through glass has pigment in the glass itself. This color may be solid or varied depending on the style, brand, and manufacturer. Color backed glass is actually clear; the color is only on the back. They can have a richer color and depth, and tend to be more consistent in color and shape, giving them a more contemporary appearance.

Benefits of Glass Tile in Interior Design

Natural looking glass tilesGlass tiles have a lot of benefits for your interior design, no matter what type you use or where you use them. Glass is a sustainable or green material; it can be recycled endlessly and most glass tiles do contain at least some recycled content. Because glass is a reflective surface, any light in the room reflects off it and amplifies, increasing the sustainability of the design; with glass tiles in the room, you may need less artificial light.

In addition, glass tile comes in a wide range of colors, styles, and designs. Handmade glass tiles may have varying textures and colors, small air bubbles, and other unique design elements. Color backed glass tiles are often vivid and bold in color, giving you a beautiful focus for the space, as well as an increase in light. And all glass tiles can come in varying sizes and shapes, this includes mosaics, which each catch the light individually letting them sparkle to large tiles with smooth surfaces and clean edges for a quieter aesthetic.

Places to Use Glass Tile

Glass tiles can be used anywhere in the home. But if you’re including them in your design to help boost light, the two most effective places to use them are the kitchen backsplash and in the bathroom.

Glass Tile Kitchen Backsplashes

Glass tiles as a kitchen backsplashGlass tile backsplashes can be created in many different ways, to help brighten the kitchen. Run them along the countertops, focus them behind the cooktop, or extend them to the area above and around the cabinets as well. For example, if you want to add a little reflection to the room as a whole, you could use a mixture of glass and stone mosaics over the entire area. Or, you could use a mixture of tiles along the counters, and boost the light behind the cooktop more by switching to a focus of glass tiles in this area alone.

As with any backsplash design, choose colors and textures for your tile that will reflect other things going on in the room. For example, a traditional space may use hand cut glass mixed with stone in natural colors, while a contemporary kitchen may use large, brightly colored tiles.

Glass Tile in the Bathroom

Glass tiles used in a bathroomDepending on the type of glass you are using in the bathroom, you may be able to install it anywhere – including on the floor. Not all glass tile is suitable for floor use, so always double check before choosing to use it in this area.
Otherwise, glass makes a beautiful shower tile, either as the main tile in the shower or as an accent. Showers that don’t have their own light source can be dark, making glass a good choice for this area.

Another highly recommended area is around the bathroom mirror. Both the mirror and the tiles around it will help boost light, making it easier to use the sink area. As with the backsplash, you can choose to mix the glass with other materials, or to use it by itself. The more glass you include in an area, the more you’ll be able to increase the light.

Brighten Up Your Rooms with Glass Tile

Glass tiles on a ktichen wallAdding reflective surfaces to a room is a popular practice to boost the sustainability of a home. By using glass tiles to do so, you help increase not only the light and sustainability, but also the aesthetics at the same time. If you’ve been thinking of adding glass to your home, stop in today to see some of our glass tiles and learn how to incorporate them into your home.