DIY Glass Tile Accent Wall

Our master bathroom is my little getaway.  Two years ago, I completely overhauled it by painting the walls and ceiling, refinishing the vanity, replacing the light fixtures and faucets, spray painting the tub faucet and other bathroom fixtures, framing the bathroom mirrors, and installing crown molding.

Remember the before?

Here’s the after.  More photos may be found at my Master Bathroom Reveal post.

I absolutely adore the way this bathroom turned out, but wanted to take it one step further by installing a glass tile accent wall on the main wall above the garden tub.  Installing this wall took me a full weekend to do, but in all, it was easy, affordable, and well worth it.  A full tutorial of how to install a similar wall in your own home is below!

First, choose the tile you want for the wall.  Tile can get really expensive, but you can avoid that by checking out the clearance sections of any home improvement store near you.  I found these 12″ x 12″ meshed tiles on sale for $3 each at Lowe’s.  Measure the wall by measuring and multiplying the wall’s height by its width.  I recommend buying a few additional tile sheets than you actually need, just in case you make any mistakes along the way.

Other supplies you need:
– 1 tub of tile adhesive (also known as thinset or mastic)
– 1 mosaic tile cutter ($10-$15 at a home improvement store or craft store)
– 1-2 tubs of pre-mixed grout in a color of your choice
– 1 notched trowel
– 1 rubber grout float
– 2 large sponges
– 1 bucket and access to water
– 1 pair of scissors
– Disposable gloves (Or live it up and get dirty. That’s the tomboy in me.)

Then, clear out the space.  Scrub the wall with a damp rag just to get rid of any dust or dirt buildup. Definitely place down a drop cloth or a couple of trash bags because this whole project is going to be real messy.

Start in the top or bottom corner of the wall, and complete one row at a time.  Scrape on a thin layer of adhesive onto the wall, using the straight side of your notched trowel.  You don’t want to slather too much adhesive, or it’ll ooze out from the cracks of the tile.  Work in small sections.

Once the layer of adhesive is good to go, run the notched end of the trowel over it to create a line of divets.  This will help set the tile firmly.

Then, place one sheet of tile directly onto the adhesive.  Press it down all over to ensure a tight grip.

Move on to the next, and repeat!

Use the mosaic tile cutter whenever you need cut the tile.  This tool is extremely effective and doesn’t result in shattered or sharp glass.

To use it, simply place the two circular, sharp ends over the middle of the tile where you want it to be cut.  Then squeeze the handle (no prior scouring or anything is necessary!).

The tile piece should snap quickly in two.  You might have to squeeze a little harder if you’re working with a combination of glass and stone tiles.

If the sheet of tiles is too big for the particular section you’re working on, simply trim off the mesh backing with a pair of scissors.

And that’s really it.  Easy, right?  The hardest part is that this is a tedious job, especially if you’re covering an extra large surface completely with tile.  Turn on a movie or crank up some music to keep yourself from going stir crazy.

It took me about eight hours to complete the wall, so I waited to grout the tile until the next day.  If you want to get it all over with in one day, just wait at least 4-6 hours after you adhere the tile to the wall for the next step.

When you’re ready to grout, you’ll need your bucket(s) of pre-mixed grout, a rubber float, sponges, and a bucket.  Fill up the bucket with water.

Take a glob of grout onto the float, and swipe it across the wall in small sections.  The goal is to apply the grout without leaving behind too much grout on top of the tile.  The float will help ensure that the grout will be pressed into the grooves of the tile.  Feel free to use your hands to apply the grout if it’s an awkward section and the float doesn’t fit within it.

Dunk one of the sponges into the bucket just enough to dampen it.  Then scrub the section of tile with the sponge to remove all of the excess grout.   Rinse, wipe again.  This is really easy for glass tiles, but if you have any stone ones intermixed, you’ll have to throw in a little more effort into scrubbing the grout off.  Take your dry sponge, as well, and then wipe off any water or grout residue that’s left over.

Pick up the rubber float and grout again, and repeat the process until the wall’s finished.  This part is pretty easy, but just like the adhesive step, it’s time-consuming.  Definitely turn on some Netflix while you work.

When you’re completely finished with grouting, you’ll just need to buff the tile to make the glass shine.  I found that the easiest way to do this is to take one of those blue kitchen sponges (non-abrasive kind), soak it in water, and give the wall a thorough scrub.  Follow suit with paper towels to clean the water up.

Then, take a step back and enjoy your handiwork!

A few details: 

I absolutely love this wall; it’s my favorite part about our DIY bathroom.  If I could, I’d install glass tile accent walls everywhere!

Where would you like to see a glass tile accent wall in your home?

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI’m Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt’s Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It’s Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different… Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt’s OverflowingIt’s So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

7 thoughts on “DIY Glass Tile Accent Wall”

  1. OMG…this is absolutely fabulous. I so want to do this in my bath. Thanks so much for sharing! What an awesome idea! I would love for you to sharing this great post at our WIW Linky Party. I hope you can join us.

    Paula

    Like

  2. This is so lovely. I've always wanted to try it but kind of assumed you needed tiling expertise or specialized tools that were expensive. Now I feel like I could do this! Pinning it & planning to feature. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do!

    P.S. Did you just tile around your shelves or take them down and how long did you have to wait until the wall was dry/could get wet?

    Like

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