Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Modernize Your Kitchen with Glass Tile Backsplashes

5 minute read

Glass tile is one of the most popular options for kitchen backsplashes today. With its limitless color and style choices, unmatched durability, and endless design possibilities, it’s easy to see why.

Glass tile brings numerous advantages as a backsplash material. It resists staining, is easy to clean, and adds eye-catching style to any kitchen. Glass tile backsplashes are also very durable and low maintenance compared to many other materials.

Types of Glass Tile and Characteristics

Glass Subway Tile

glass tile backsplashes for kitchens

Glass subway tiles are a classic and versatile backsplash option. These small rectangular tiles look great in any style of kitchen. Their smooth glossy finish cleans up easily with just a wipe. Glass subway tiles come in every color imaginable, so you can perfectly match your kitchen decor.

While pricier than ceramic subway tile, glass is very durable and stain proof. The rectangular shape allows for many creative patterns. However, the small size of subway tile means installation takes more time and effort compared to larger tiles.

Glass Mosaic Tile

Glass mosaic tiles take backsplashes to the next level of creativity. Hundreds of tiny tile pieces mounted together let you make custom designs, patterns, and pictures. From retro geometric shapes to artistic murals, the options are endless.

Glass mosaic tiles add pops of color, interesting textures, and visual depth. However, they can be tricky for DIY installation due to the small tile size. Glass mosaic tiles also come at a higher price point than ceramic mosaics.

Other Glass Tile Styles

Glass tile backsplashes aren’t limited to just subway and mosaic tiles. Large format glass tiles make a contemporary statement. Pairing glass with natural stone or ceramic tile creates unique combinations. There are also glass tiles available in interesting shapes like circles, diamonds, and hexagons.

Why Choose Glass for Kitchen Backsplashes


Glass tile is an incredibly durable material resistant to cracks, scratches, stains, and water. It maintains its like-new shine for years. Glass won’t absorb stains from cooking splatters like some materials, so it simply wipes clean.

While accidents can break an individual tile, glass is less prone to cracks than ceramic or natural stone. Glass backsplashes stand up well to heavy daily use, humidity, and temperature changes.

Easy Maintenance

Due to its non-porous, stain-proof qualities, caring for a glass backsplash is simple. Using a gentle dish soap and water is typically enough to keep it looking spotless. It won’t absorb odors or cooking mess like other backsplash materials.

While the grout between glass tiles may need periodic sealing, the glass itself rarely requires sealing. A squeegee easily removes soap scum and water spots. Just take care not to use harsh chemicals or abrasive pads on the smooth surface.


Glass tile allows you to make a unique design statement. Available in every color of the rainbow, it complements any kitchen decor from modern to traditional. You can match existing countertops and cabinets or create exciting contrasts.

The high-shine, reflective quality of glass tile beautifully bounces light around the kitchen. It creates depth and visual interest on a previously dull wall. For a one-of-a-kind focal point, glass tile delivers.

Tips for Installing Glass Tile Backsplash

Find the Right Contractor

Due to the specialized nature of glass tile installation, hiring a knowledgeable professional is recommended. Look for someone experienced specifically with glass backsplashes versus general tile work.

Be sure to thoroughly check reviews and examples of past glass tile projects. Get at least three quotes to compare pricing and services.

Prepare the Surface

Proper prep work is crucial for a successful glass tile backsplash installation. Clean the wall surface thoroughly and fill any holes or imperfections. Check for moisture problems and address those before applying tile.

The substrate must be completely smooth and level for the tile to adhere properly. Fresh drywall or cement backerboard are ideal base materials.

Use Proper Materials

Quality materials are essential. Use a white polymer-modified thinset mortar recommended for glass tile instead of standard thinset. Only use grout approved for glass as well.

Have the necessary glass cutting tools on hand. Small spacers between tiles ensure consistent grout joint sizes. Always closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Follow All Instructions

Carefully following directions for prep, installation, and clean-up ensures the best results. Watch online video tutorials to better understand each step of the process.

Wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting glass tiles. Work slowly and cautiously for an accurate, professional looking finished product.

Alternatives to Glass Tile Backsplashes

While glass tile backsplashes offer lots of advantages, they aren’t the only option. Consider these other backsplash materials:

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles like subway tile provide an affordable and easy to install choice. Available in endless colors and styles, ceramic fits traditional to modern kitchens.

It’s not as durable as glass, but ceramic tile resists moisture and cleans up well. Just take care to seal the grout periodically.

Porcelain Tile

Known for durability and water resistance, porcelain tile is practically indestructible. It resists scratches, stains, and temperature changes. Porcelain offers a matte look that mimics stone, metal, and other materials.

While not as flashy as glass tile, porcelain is easy to install, care for, and can also serve as kitchen flooring. It provides a seamless look between backsplash and floors.

Natural Stone

For an elegant, upscale aesthetic, natural stone backsplashes like marble, travertine, or granite make a statement. Every stone slab has a unique natural pattern.

However, stone requires more sealing than glass or ceramic. It’s also prone to etching from acidic foods. Plus, natural stone comes with a higher price tag.


Metal backsplashes allow you to achieve a contemporary, industrial look. Stainless steel makes a professional chef’s kitchen. Copper and colorful enameled tin backsplashes are also trending.

Metals can show scratches over time and aren’t as hygienic as non-porous glass. But for a sleek, modern look, metal backsplashes deliver.

With all its advantages, it’s easy to see why glass tile is one of the most popular backsplash options. The unlimited colors, patterns, and styles paired with extreme durability allow you to make a backsplash that handles tough kitchen duty while matching your unique style.

While glass tile requires careful installation, the final results are well worth the investment. A glass backsplash instantly provides a kitchen with updated style, brightness, and visual appeal.