These instructions are provided as a general guideline for the installation of glass tile in pools and water features. Some installations require a more detailed specification. An experienced, professional tile installer, who is familiar with the following procedures, should perform the work. Please read and understand these instructions before beginning any work.
The owner or owner’s representative is responsible for determining the acceptability of the product prior to installation. Our glass tile is a hand-made, artistic product. Variation in color, shade, tone and size is normal. In many cases, there will be folds, wrinkles and bubbles in the glass. These surface characteristics are inherent to the cast glass manufacturing process and should be expected. Upon delivery open and inspect each box of tile.
Mosaic tile – Verify sheet-to-sheet color consistency by first comparing each sheet, from the backside to one another. Next, compare the face of the sheets by laying them adjacent to one another and comparing the visible portion (edge) of the mosaic tiles.
Un-mounted tile – Verify color acceptability prior to installation. Translucent tile should be inspected and compared to one another on a white background. Prior to or during installation blend the entire order to promote a visually consistent installation.
No adjustments will be made after installation.
The performance of a properly installed thin-set tile application is dependent upon the durability and dimensional stability of the substrate to which it is bonded. The following information details the recommended pool and water feature substrate preparation method for glass tile and is general in nature.
- Based on the soil report, pool tanks must be engineered and constructed to support a glass tile installation.
- Pool tank construction must be reinforced concrete.
- Defects in the concrete tank must be repaired prior to the commencement of tile work.
- Concrete tank surface must be free of grease, oil, wax or other coatings; pressure wash if necessary.
- Concrete tanks must be made watertight through the use of a cementitious waterproofing.
- Perimeter Joints – See “Movement Joints”
- Cementitious Waterproofing – See “Waterproofing”
- Mortar Bed Bond Coat – See “Acceptable Thin-Sets”
- Mortar bed – Mix at a ratio of 1 part portland cement (ASTM C-150) to 4 parts damp sand (ASTM C-144) by volume. Walls ¾” nominal, floors 1 ¼” nominal
- ANSI A118.10 Waterproof Membrane (Optional) – See “Waterproofing”
- Tile Bond Coat – See “Acceptable Thin-Sets”
- Glass Tile
Cement mortar beds must be cured a minimum of 7 days prior to glass tile installation.
- The ideal working temperature for most thin-set and grout products is between 50° and 90°F. Exterior installations must be protected during installation and curing from direct sunlight, excessive heat, wind, rain and freezing temperatures.
- Elastomeric waterproof membranes applied to the cement mortar bed may be beneficial in freeze-thaw climates.
- All submerged applications must be cured a minimum of 21 days prior to submersion or heavy water use, unless otherwise specified by the thin-set and grout manufacturer.
Due to the translucent nature of glass tile, the color of the thin-set will affect the appearance of the installed tile. We recommend the use of specific white thin-sets, some mixed with specific latex admix (see list below). However, these products will vary in their degree of whiteness and color consistency. Confirm the thin-set color is acceptable prior to installation. For projects that require multiple units of thin-set, dry batching (pre-mixing) the units of thin-set powder may be necessary to avoid bag-to-bag color variation. All submerged applications (pools & water features) must be cured a minimum of 21 days prior to submersion or heavy water use, unless otherwise specified by the thin-set and grout manufacturer.
When mixing thin-set or grout:
- Measure liquid and powder per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Machine mix at a maximum of 300 rpm.
- Allow the thin-set or grout to slake (sit) 10-15 minutes.
- Re-mix (repeat step 2) and do not add more liquid or powder.
- CUSTOM BUILDING PRODUCTS: Glass Tile Thin-Set Mortar
- CUSTOM BUILDING PRODUCTS: MegaFlex Crack Prevention Mortar
- CUSTOM BUILDING PRODUCTS: MegaLite Crack Prevention Mortar
- DURABOND: D70 High Performance Extremely Flexible Mortar
- HYDROMENT: ReFlex Ultra-Premium Latex Modified Thin-Set Mortar
- LATICRETE: Glass Tile Adhesive
- MAPEI: Adesilex P10 Bright White Thin-Set Mortar mixed With Keraply Mortar Additive*
- TEC SPECIALTY PRODUCTS: Super Flex Premium Performance Universal Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar
* Color controlled for bag-to-bag consistency.
- Organic adhesive (mastic) – due to yellowing and low bond strengths
- Epoxy – due to low flexibility
Movement joints are essential for the success of most tile installations. Install movement provisions according to the “2011 TCA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation” method EJ171-11. A flexible sealant, recommended for submerged applications, is required between the tile and all restraining abutments (i.e. the decking or coping), at all inside corners and directly over any joints in the concrete tank. In-field movement joints are required every 8’ on center in exterior applications or 20’ on center in interior applications. An architect or design professional should be consulted when specifying the exact number and location of each movement joint.
There are a wide variety of flexible sealants available for use in tile installations. Each sealant product will vary in type, application and performance; consult the sealant manufacturer for specific recommendations and limitations.
When installed in pools, we recommend grouting your glass tile with a cement-based sanded grout* (will not scratch the tile). Blue, green and red grouts may not be appropriate for submerged applications. Consult the grout manufacturer for specific use recommendations and limitations.
Detailed grout selection information is available in the Installation section of our website (www.aquabellatile.com).
- Epoxy Grout – Due to low flexibility and degradation from ultraviolet light (sunlight)
There are a wide variety of anti-fracture and waterproofing products available for use in tile installations. Each membrane product will vary in type, application and performance. Consult the product manufacturer for specific recommendations and limitations. The following is a brief list of common waterproofing materials:
Cementitious Waterproofing –
- AQUAFIN: 1K
- MAPEI: Planiseal 88
- MERLEX: Super Blockade
ANSI A118.10 Waterproof Membranes (Optional) –
- AQUAFIN: 2K/M
- CUSTOM BUILDING PRODUCTS: RedGard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention membrane
- HYDROMENT: Black-Top 90210
- LATICRETE: Hydro Ban
- MAPEI: Mapelastic 315
- TEC: HydraFlex Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane