My Glass Tile Changed Color. How can I adjust the color back?

QUESTION

My Glass Tile Changed Color. How can I adjust the color back? - I had a glass tile kitchen backsplash installed and the installers used a white grout. The glass tile was pale aqua, pale blue, pale grey..like water ripples, now it is dark teal, dark blue and dark grey and the white grout is the first thing that you notice. I have search everywhere for a grout colorant that will restore the color and characteristics of the tile. I just tried adding acrylic turqoise from Ben Franklin to Aqua Mix Buff and applied it on a test piece of tile. It looks very subtle with the tile and the tile colors have returned to their original state I'm wondering if it is ok to go ahead and do this with the whole backsplash. The backsplash has no sealer on it and I talked with Aqua Mix and they said they didn't recommend it but couldn't give me a reason why.

ANSWER

ANSWER - Normally it is due to the color of the thin-set adhesive that affects the color of the glass tile.  I suppose the grout color can to, but generally speaking white grout doesn't distract from the color and is the color you normally want to use.

If you have tested this out and verified that if you change the grout color you will get the look that you want then go for it.  No manufacturer is going to approve of you to alter their product.  They have no way of knowing if your alteration will be a problem or not, so if you do it then it is experimental and at your own risk.  Aqua Mix in the past would match most any color, so you can ask if they will match the color you want.  Good Luck.

12 thoughts on “My Glass Tile Changed Color. How can I adjust the color back?

  1. MB Grabon says:

    I have the same problem. Backsplash of recycled glass tile installed about a month ago, with white unsanded grout. The tiles are small hexagons with each little piece colored either pale aqua, light grey, and a darker aqua in a random pattern. Now, a month or so later, the pale aqua and light grey pieces seem to be washed out, and the darker aqua has darkened, so it stands out in a cartoonish way, rather than blending in as in the original tile. Can anything be done?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      if the glass tile color is changing that is odd, particularly if the adhesive you used did not affect the color.

      Some glass tiles come with a white coating on the back so that the adhesive will not show through as many glass tile products are translucent to some degree. and I think it could be considered a defect.

      If in fact the color of the glass is fading or changing and if the manufacturer of the glass tile did not disclose that could happen, then I would see that as a defect and I would file claim with the glass tile manufacturer.

      From a forensic point of view, for us to investigate the problem to determine what caused the change in color, we would have to remove some of the tiles, and obtain some tiles of the same that were not installed, and then we would have our testing laboratory per form a petrography to evaluate the differences.

  2. Steve Patrick says:

    My contractor put polyethylene over the glass tile and it has yellowed. Is there any want to get it looking good again other than removing the polyethylene? And what would be the best way to do that without harming the tile?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Polyethylene is usually a plastic film like in a painter drop cloth. I’m assuming you mean that there was some sort of coating applied over the glass tile and the coating has turned yellow. Epoxy coatings are known for turning yellow unless they are specially designed not to. The best thing to do is to remove the coating. Find out who the manufacturer is of the coating and find out what to use to strip it off. Glass tile does not need any type of coating to put over it.

  3. Kay says:

    Maybe you can help me. I have a vision in which crafted glass tile would indeed make this project amazingly beautiful. However, my dilema is trying to remove the white receptive coating on the back. Would you know what I could use to remove the coating?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      It may be a ceramic coating on the back of the glass tiles, but I’m not sure. There are not standards dictating what that coating has to be made of, but if they are applying it when the glass tile is hot, then it is probably a ceramic material called engobe. Probably the best way to remove it is to grind it off with a grinding wheel brush.

  4. Donna says:

    hello i purchased white glass tiles and the store rec-amended me to use light gray grout not telling me my white tiles would turn gray is there any way to remove this grout and put white grout to bring back my white tiles in the kitchen

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Probably not. There are grout colorants where you can change the color of the surface of the grout, but with the translucent glass tile it is picking up the color of the grout below the surface. Plus it may be more likely that the installer used a gray thin-set adhesive that has caused the glass tiles to pick up that color. Normally translucent glass tiles should only be installed with white thin-set mortar. Or you can always add color to the thin-set mortar to make it any color you want to affect the appearance of the tile installation.

  5. Tom says:

    I just had a new glass tile backsplash installed. The countertops are a modern style… cream and gray granite. I didn’t realize it but the glass backsplash has a green tint to it and it doesn’t look so great with the cream and gray countertops. I used a gray grout to try and connect the colors…but the green tint on the glass backsplash is kind of distracting. Is there anything I can do to alter the green tint a little? I’m thinking about using a translucent spray paint (Krylon stained glass aerosol paint in smoky gray) and lightly misting the backsplash with it…in hopes of slightly altering the green tint color to a grayish tint color. I would also have to spray a light coat of clear coat on it to ensure that it won’t easily scratch. Does this sound like a good idea? Has anyone ever tried this? I will practice on a few of the left over tiles before I do the actual backsplash. Thanks for any feedback and comments.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      It would not be recommended to spray anything over the glass tile as it is very dense and likely whatever you put on would eventually peal.

      What can make a difference is if you change the grout color. If you grout the same tile with different colors it can dramatically change the appearance of the tile. You could grind out the existing grout but it is tedious and you could chip tiles. Or you can use an epoxy grout colorant of your choice of color and it might alter the color to some degree. Of course you do need to experiment to see what will work.

  6. Karen says:

    I have frosted glass pale seafoam and pale blue tiles to make border in shower. Will this color change after install? Seems like most comments are about the clear white glass that changes.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If the glass tile is translucent in any way then the color the thin-set adhesive and/or the color of the grout can affect the appearance of the glass tile after it is installed. That is why normally a Glass Tile white thin-set mortar adhesive is used to adhere the tile. You should take a section of the glass tile that you are going to use and adhere it to something with the thin-set and grout color that you want to use to make sure it is acceptable before doing the entire installation.

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