History of Glass Mosaic Tiles

Glass Mosaic Tiles

Glass Mosaic Tile Series- Part 1: Why Glass Mosaic is a Great Building Material for Architects, Interior Designers and Home Improvement Diys


Mosaic history can be tracked back to 2000 B.C. in ancient China. And glass mosaic becomes popular in architecture during the period of Risorgimento (Renaissance).  Glass mosaic have been extremely popular in Asia during the 1980s and become diminishing in 1990s. However, in the earlier of 21st century, with the new technology development, glass mosaic comes back strongly in Asia and becoming more and popular in North America since 2004.

Merits of glass mosaic characteristics

The new manufacturing technology seems that nothing is impossible in terms of colors, sizes, styles, as well as materials used in glass mosaic. So the great variety is a distinguishing characteristic of this building material. Also, glass mosaics have very broad spectrum of applications due to its IMPERVIOUS nature. Glass does not absorb any water (a technical materials term as “zero water absorption rate) thus it has no shrinkage or expansion issue thus can be used both indoor and outdoor applications.  A lot of materials have due to materials can absorb water inside thus will have the expansion or shrinkage problem when the temperature changes, when the water absorption rate exceeds a certain degree, it can not be used as outdoor materials, for example, ceramic tiles, the ANSI standard define the water absorption rate is less than 0.5% which can be used as outdoor building products.

Big variety of applications

Glass mosaics can be used for a variety of building Installations such as both indoors and outdoors, for residential flooring (if the surface is polished, not recommended for flooring application for the slippery), walls, Pillars & Columns , artwork, furniture, baths, kitchens and swimming pools.  Your imagination is the limit for the application for a building, thus it attracts architects and interior designers’ attention but DIYs can also certainly use the glass mosaic to shine your remodeling project. Appropriate usage of glass mosaic may refresh your eyes everyday after the glass mosaic tile installed.

With today’s manufacturing technology, glass mosaic can be custom made based on your design, if you are talking to the real manufacturers with the updated technology and expertise. The turnaround time to make a custom sample can be amazingly as short as 5 business days. Yes. 5 business days to make a sample based on the size, color code or a real sample you get from somewhere else is a realistic which is not even can be imagined 5 years ago.

Materials used to make the glass mosaics

Originally, glass mosaic type is vitreous glass mosaic, which was used widely to make swimming pool. But with the fast technology and workmanship developed during the past 5 to 10 years, glass mosaic evolved to the main categories in addition to the original vitreous glass mosaic as:

1.       crystal glass mosaic, which can be see through so it gets the name as “crystal”, but with the color paints on the back of the mosaic makes thousands of colors are possible;

2.       iridescent glass mosaic, which have iridescent coatings on the surface of glass mosaic to make the glass mosaic reflecting different colors, which is great materials for night club, casino and entertainment places’ decoration;

3.       metallic glass mosaic, this is a very special materials that the color is not on the back of a mosaic, but the color is melted into the fusion of glass in a extremely high temperature environment. When the glass fusion out of the kiln and cool down, the color is part of the glass inside evenly distributed thus the color is through the whole mosaic.

4.       Van Gogh glass mosaic, which went through the similar manufacturing process as metallic glass mosaic. The difference is that metallic glass can be told that it is obviously glass but the Van Gogh glass mosaic kindly give you the oil paint texture of its surface.

5.       Stone glass mosaic. Stone mosaic is another kind of great decorative building materials for more than 2000 years history. People are creatively blending the glass and natural stone to make it stone glass mosaic, which usually have high level of luxury but also very natural.

Giving the high demand and competition among manufacturers, we believe the innovation will be taking place fast and new types of glass mosaic could be created from time to time.

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