What Size Trowel to Use to Apply Glass Tiles to Bathroom Wall


Glass tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the modern designer's needs, and with such variety comes a wide array of installation requirements, ranging from methods used to the size of the trowels used. Knowing which method works best for which sized tiles can help you create the perfect aesthetic for your bathroom wall.

Glass Tiles

  • Glass tiles are becoming more common as designers and homeowners look for new and innovative ways to design bathrooms different from the ceramic and porcelain look of yesterday. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, thicknesses and even colors, allowing the modern project a wide array of design options to suit any personal preference. Most glass tiles are thin and require a proper layer of adhesive behind them in order to achieve structural integrity.


  • Trowels are the backbone of any tile installation, whether it is glass, ceramic, porcelain or natural stone. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from 1/8-inch notched trowels all the way up to 1/2-inch notched trowels. They are used in the application of the adhesive behind the tile, bonding the tile to the installation surface.

    The type of notch varies in addition to size, with V notches and square notches being the two most common. They require no difference in application; rather, it is a way for brands to differentiate from the competition.

Size Does Matter

  • The thickness of the notch in the trowel is of vital importance to the type of installation. If the glass tiles are 1-inch-by-1-inch or 2-inch-by-2-inch tiles on a sheet, a 1/8-inch notched trowel is the preferred tool because it will apply just enough adhesive without allowing excess, which would ooze through the grout joints otherwise.

    From 4-inch-by-4-inch tiles up to 8-inch-by-8-inch tiles require a 1/4-inch notched trowel, while 10-inch-by-10-inch and 12-inch-by-12-inch tiles require a 3/8-inch notched trowel. Tiles larger than 14 inches by 14 inches require a 1/2-inch notched trowel in order to apply enough adhesive for a proper bond.

    Trowels can be found at home improvement stores.

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