Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Random Cracking Glass Tile Mosaics Swimming Pool

Most of the time, cracking in swimming pool glass tile mosaics can be explained by poor installation practices or shoddy workmanship.  Other times the cracking occurs without rhyme or reason in random tiles.
Random Cracking

Random cracking of glass tile mosaics is rarely the fault of the installer.  It is usually the symptom of inherent stresses within the glass tiles.
(Click on an image to enlarge it)
Random cracks in Oceanside Glass Tile Mosaics

But, without a "before and after" inspection of those same exact cracked tiles, there is no way to say with absolute certainty that the glass is to blame.  So it will become a case of finger pointing and blaming each other.

(Click on an image to enlarge it)
Random cracks in Oceanside Glass Tile Mosaics
Pre-Existing Stresses

A consumer or installer cannot be certain that any individual piece of glass tile does not possess a preexisting stress or flaw from the manufacturing process.

The only way to be absolutely sure, is to inspect each tile prior to installation... Time consuming and costly for sure.

Failure to Inspect
I do not know of any manufacturers of glass tile mosaics that perform a visual inspection of every single glass tile, prior to shipment.  Again, it would be too costly and time consuming.  

I'm sure that there are computerized optical inspection systems that could be employed, but after all it is "only glass tile."  The cost simply does not outweigh their liability for a few cracked glass tiles.

Protecting Yourself

The best way to protect yourself prior to an after installing glass tile mosaics, is to closely follow the installation instructions.

Unmounted sheets from each lot, color and pattern should be stored in a safe, cool & dry location.  Should there ever be a suspected failure, these samples can be tested at a materials testing laboratory for thermal shock resistance and inspected for preexisting stresses.

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist 
"Creating water as art."™ 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa © 
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or at 408-776-8220