House to home: Timeless art of glass tiles

by name Newspaper - Published: May 18, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

Dear Debbie: We are doing a quick kitchen makeover and would like your advice about decorating the backsplash area to give the space some character. Are glass tiles going to get dated? We may be transferred in a year or so and are hoping to make a few upgrades that will help us sell. - Emilia

Dear Emilia: Decorating with tiles is a timeless tradition. All types of tile, from elegant marble or rustic terra cotta to ceramics in transitional patterns, have been utilized to beautify kitchens and baths. Apart from a few color choices that do become dated, their allure continues to grow.

Glass tiles have reached a new high in popularity. Colored glass is being used in large sheets on countertops as well as the dazzling array of glass tiles available for backsplashes.Colored glass tiles can be a surprising color shot in a kitchen that is monochrome, or full of stainless steel or wood. Glass mixes well with other tiles - stone and ceramic - to offer a wide variety of design patterns for a backsplash.

Be inspired by the choices available on sites such as interstyle.ca. Icestix are 1/2-inch-by-2-inch or 4-inch glass tiles that sparkle in a mosaic of textures and finishes. They can be run vertically or horizontally to form unique patterns. Agate glass tiles are made from recycled glass, and their rounded shapes add a jewel-like character to a surface. Dewdrops are a mix of 1-inch-by-1-inch glossy, iridescent and matte tiles in brilliant hues that are mesh-mounted for easy installation. The modern, crisp square shape of Glasshues tiles shown here come in matte or glossy finishes.

As well as on backsplashes, glass tiles can be applied to walls, tabletops and island.

Dear Debbie: I have a large, bright bedroom that I want to paint teal. I love the color, but it is very solid. Can you recommend a paint method that would give me a translucent effect and make the color more airy without losing the vibrancy of teal? - Su

Dear Su: This is where glaze becomes your best friend. A glaze is a translucent medium that, when mixed with paint, allows some of the undercoat to shine through. It does not dilute the color, but the translucent quality adds depth to your finish. Start with a light-blue base coat, then mix your favorite teal shade half and half with glazing liquid, and roll this over the light basecoat with a sponge roller. Allow to dry, and add a second coat of the colored glaze if you prefer a deeper color. It's best to experiment on a board until you get the vibrancy you are after.

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House to Home is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com.

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