There are some products that seem to be identifiable with modern design, at least they are to me. One that seems to be the most popular is the use of mosaic glass tiles. This is probably for several reasons, not the least of which includes:
It’s very affordable
There are several manufacturers of glass tiles where the costs can range from as little as $4.15 a square foot to a higher price of around $125 a square foot for material (but I’m not really going to focus on the $125/ft tile today). With glass tiles, you can expect to pay a little more for installation because they are harder to install because the tile is non-absorbent and for the difficulty in making quality cuts. You will also need to use a latex-modified grout since glass tiles are non-absorbent and as the grout dries, there is less likely chance that the tiles will pop off. You can also use an epoxy grout because it is resistant to water marks and stains but is harder to use and can add unnecessary cost. Either way, you should use an unsanded grout because the joints will be less than 1/8″.
Wide variety of available colors and patterns
Ann Sacks – really amazing product but typically very expensive. The good news is that frequently the area you are interested in tiling isn’t that large so we will go ahead and splurge by putting in something really special. Kitchen back-splashes are always prime candidates here.
Bisazza – another amazing line but probably the one we use the least. The quality of the tile is really high and you can tell a difference when compared side to side with the glass tile products from other manufacturers. I finished a project last year where the owner wanted a dark black pool and was planning on using a dark stain on the plaster at the recommendation of her pool contractor. Once I explained that black stained plaster will not actually be black but rather dark gray which would make the water look dark blue, she didn’t want to use it. I ended up using a very dark purple metallic Bisazza tile to cover the entire pool and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful pools I have ever seen. Of course, this was amazingly expensive and a suggestion I would not have made to most clients.
ModWalls – another online company that sells directly to the public. I love this company and have used their product in my own home. Great color selection, great patterns, exceptional value, the quality of the glass was great (very little pitting on the surface) and the customer service was fantastic. When the tile order for my house was delivered, about 1/3 of the boxes were mis-labeled and had the wrong pattern inside. I put a call in and they sent out overnight the correct product out to us so that our construction schedule wouldn’t slip. Most online retailers will either require you to send the product back before they send out the correct order, or charge you twice and then credit your account back once they receive the returned merchandise. Not these folks (at least that wasn’t my experience). Service is a big deal and this company delivered.