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Form and Function: Glass Essentials Meets Designer and Specifier Needs

Form and Function: Glass Essentials Meets Designer and Specifier Needs

Tile expert, David Fatula, talks about the advantages of Island Stone’s new Glass Essentials Collection


Shown here: Glass Essentials 2” x 8” glass field tile in Midnight Gloss

David Fatula, Director of Technical Services for Island Stone, has decades of experience supporting tile installers around the world. The Philadelphia native embraces the Island Stone ethos of work hard, play hard. He’s a dedicated educator, always looking for ways to continuously improve processes so that our customers get the most value from their experience with Island Stone. 

In the rare moments that he is not talking tile installation, he’s a prolific fundraiser for cancer research, and of course, a surfer. Naturally curious, he’s always trying to find new ways to innovate and bring customer-focused value to the Island Stone brand.

Our Superman David Fatula takes a wave off our Cali coastline.

In this article, David talks to us about the many benefits of Glass Essentials, our new glass tile collection that offers accessible design for any space. When completing a design project, finding the middle ground between traditional and stylish can be tricky. The solution is a tile collection that bridges accessible, on-trend and personal, signature style. Glass Essentials gives homeowners and designers the ability to effortlessly blend everyday colors and shapes with our designer tile offerings.


Glass Essentials 3” Hexagon pattern in Tule Gloss (left) paired with designer tile offering Rhythm stone cladding in Sandstone Mint (right)

“Design is an emotional response,” said David. “We can’t ignore the fact of how important resale value is for people to consider when doing a renovation. In order to be successful, and to give people what they want, we have to look at what people want to buy.”

While some style trends, like maximalist pattern on pattern and big, bold color splurges, may appeal to bolder buyers, many designers are more likely to play it safe-but-stylish with neutral color patterns and geometric shapes. Glass Essentials offers what people expect and are looking for, while also adding some other options that are a little different.


Glass Essentials Elongated Hex pattern in Pure Silk Matte 

“Glass Essentials has many benefits, but the most obvious one is how it ties into accessible design,” said David. “By offering shapes that people are comfortable with, we can serve people’s wants, but also push the boundaries of design a little with new, updated sizes and additional colors.”

These fused glass tiles provide designers with flexible options: rectangles in three sizes (2” x 8”, 3.5” x 12”, and 6” x 12”) that install in stack, brick, or herringbone patterns; 3” hexagons; and elongated hexagons measuring 3.5” x 5.5”. By supplementing our designer tile offerings with Glass Essentials you can tell a large, cohesive and budget-conscious design story. View the full press release about the products here. 


The Glass Essentials patterns shown in Stratos Gloss

 “One way traditional products are used to create unique looks is when designers choose the hexagon or the elongated hexagon on a vertical surface in a unique color,” said Fatula.

Unique color offerings are important to any design project, and our robust color palette—available in blues, greens, and neutrals—means Island Stone's Glass Essentials tile comes in a shade for every space. With an eye on traditional and future-trending hues, whether your client is a maximalist, a minimalist, or somewhere in-between, you can find what you are looking for.

Glass Essentials Elongated Hex pattern in Azure Matte 

“Glass Essentials bridges what people expect and are looking for in a tile with some real technical benefits,” said David. “For starters, it’s back-painted. A lot of glass tile is entirely translucent, but the Essentials line is more forgiving to install due to the back paint. The back paint also allows the hexagon and the elongated hexagon to be mesh-mounted, which speeds up installation.” 

Now, this doesn’t mean that installation shouldn't be prepared and carried out carefully. Glass tiles are less forgiving of poor preparation or workmanship than other types of tile. David takes pride in providing installation guidelines that both professional tile installers and DIY homeowners alike.

“Technical language is valuable and important in showing the unique value propositions of Glass Essentials,” he said. David Fatula offers the following key talking points for Island Stone tile showrooms to help aid the conversation with architects, designers and specifiers. 

Key Technical Talking Points for Glass Essentials: 

  • Glass Essentials is a fused glass tile with a durable back paint. The back paint is applied in excess of 1025°F and is what gives the glass its color.
  • The Glass Essentials line consists of unmounted field tile, mounted mosaics and a liner/trim tile. The mosaic glass tile is back-mounted with an alkali-resistant mesh and a non-water-soluble glue.
  • Glass Essentials can be cut easily with either a score and snap tool or wet cut with a continuous rim diamond blade made for cutting glass tile (do not dry cut glass tile with a power tool).
  • Glass Essentials meets or exceeds the requirements, for use in an exterior freeze/thaw environment and/or submerged application, found in “ANSI A137.2 American Nations Standard Specifications For Glass Tile”. In independent, third-party testing, Glass Essentials was rated as impervious, passed the 300-cycle freeze/thaw test, passed the thermal shock test and received a Class A rating in the chemical resistance test.
  • Glass Essentials mesh-mounted mosaics can be successfully specified and installed in submerged applications such as pools, spas and water features. The mesh-mounted glass tile exceeds the submerged, bond strength requirement found in “ASTM C482 Bond Strength”.
  • Matte finish Glass Essentials has a dynamic coefficient (DCOF) of greater than 0.42 so it can be specified for interior level walking surfaces, expected to be walked upon when wet.
See the Glass Essentials Use Chart for specific product recommendationsPlease email to place an order for samples.