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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Glass tile: manufacturing defect or installer snafu?


I inspected some glass floor tile with scratches a few months ago. The consumer has called me and sent pictures showing the problem is highlighted on “rolls’ on the edge of the glass and quoted “Imery’s Performance on Waviness” on a glazed surface as the cause of a defect. I’m not perfect and may have missed this as it was not as apparent as it is now. Would this be a defect in the finish or would the manufacturer say it was scratching and not covered under a warranty?


It appears to me that “Imery’s Performance on Waviness” likely relates to glazes on ceramic tile. I am personally not extremely knowledgeable on glass tile so I do not know if that particular criteria applies to glass tile.

Please take a look at the Glass Tile Selection and Installation Guide in the Product Selection Guide section of TCNA Handbook. You will want to specifically read the “Determination of Aesthetic Defects” section and the “Abrasion Resistance” section under the “Performance Requirements” heading.

The Determination of Aesthetic Defects paragraph in the TCNA Handbook is a basic description of the types of aesthetic defects that could be inherent in the various types of glass tile. 

ANSI A137.2 (American National Standards Specifications for Glass Tile) Section 4.4.1 is the starting point for evaluation for facial and structural defects in the manufacturing process. Section 7 of ANSI A137.2 contains the detailed evaluation procedure and criteria for determining aesthetic defects. That section contains too much information to review here. The distributor and/or the manufacturer of the glass tile should be able to tell you whether the tile was tested to or met the visual aesthetic defects criteria of ANSI A137.2. If it did, any inherent defects in the actual tiles in question may possibly be acceptable in the installation. I suspect that much consideration may have to go into making this determination.

The Abrasion Resistance paragraph in the TCNA Handbook is a basic description of ASTM C1027 for glass tile. ANSI A137.2 section is a detailed discussion of the Visible Abrasion Classifications – classes 0, I, II, III, IV and V – with class 0 being the most susceptible to abrasion and class V being the least susceptible. Again, the distributor and/or the manufacturer of the glass tile should be able to tell you whether the tile was tested to ASTM C1027 for abrasion resistance performance and which classification range the tile falls into. If, for example, the tile is a Class 0 but was installed on a floor where sand could be tracked in causing the tile to become scratched, it may have been the wrong selection for the application. On the other hand, if the tile had a suitable abrasion resistance rating and was manufactured to and met or exceeded the ANSI A137.2 requirements for the installation application, then you may potentially begin considering whether the installed tile might have a manufacturing defect.

The distributor and manufacturer should be able to assist you in identifying the characteristics of the glass tile and suitability for expected traffic in this particular installation. 

The place to continue your research into glass tile is the TCNA Handbook and ANSI A137.2. If you don’t yet have a copy of ANSI A137.2, one can be purchased from the NTCA Online Store. 

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