Frequently Asked Questions

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Custom blends/gradients
Customer service


Custom blends/gradients [back to top]

 What is the lead time for a custom blend or gradient order?

 Custom blend and gradient production can be accomplished within 2 weeks from the point of us receiving your 50% deposit (this does not include shipping time), depending on order size. The remaining balance including shipping will be due prior to shipment.


 Is there a minimum order requirement?

 There is no order size limit.  For custom blends, you may order as little as one sheet.  For custom gradients, you may order as little as a single gradient column.


 Can I pay for the entire order up front, rather than paying a deposit amount first?

Yes.  The total amount billed will include shipping.


 Can I get a sample?

 Yes, you may order a single custom blend sheet or gradient column as a sample. Samples are billed as an order for one sheet or one column.


Is every sheet of my custom blend exactly the same?

Each sheet has its own unique "random" blend. No specific pattern is created or replicated.


 How do I place an order if I am away from my computer and/or unable to use the online custom blend/gradient tool?

 You may place a custom blend or gradient order by fax (541-552-0861) or by email at We will need very complete information. Please provide your bill-to and ship-to addresses, phone numbers for each, your email address and payment information. For a custom blend order, provide all colors and percentages of each to blend, as well as the total square footage. For a custom gradient order, provide all colors in order from top to bottom, as well as exact total height and width.


 Can I create a custom blend or custom gradient using different tile series and "mixing" them together?

 Yes, as long as the tiles you want to combine are all the same size.  For example, if you choose 3/4" tile size from the drop-down menu, the tool will give you the option to blend together color palettes from four different lines – Classic, Luster, Aventurine, and Pastille.


 Can I create custom gradients of different heights and still have the gradation "flow" be the same?

 Yes.  Use the custom gradient tool to design your tallest gradient.  Enter design dimensions and details in the "comments" section when placing your order and we will contact you to confirm and provide total pricing. We can match the flow of your master gradient from the bottom-up, or from top-down.  Shorter columns may not contain all the colors included in the tallest gradient. 


 I want to purchase some standard sheets to match a color in my custom blend or gradient order, but the custom tool will not let me add regular tile to the order – what should I do?

 During checkout, please include the standard color and quantity required in the "comments" section and we will contact you with pricing.  PLEASE NOTE:  When ordering standard colors with custom blends or gradients, dye lots used to create your custom order may not match the dye lots used in the standard color sheets.  If you need an exact color match, please contact Hakatai to discuss options.


 I placed a custom blend/gradient order a few months ago and now I need more of the same tile to finish my project – is that possible?

 Our inventory and dye lots change continuously.  We may no longer have the same dye lots in stock that were used for your original order.  Please contact customer service.


 How do I install my custom gradient to get the flow right?

 The sheets are sequentially numbered in the upper left corner so that you can install them in the proper sequence.  A generic diagram is included for reference.



Customer service [back to top]


 How do I place an order for Hakatai glass tile?

 You may place your order on our website, by fax 541-552-0861, or email


 Is my credit card charged immediately when I submit my order online?

 No.  Your credit card will be charged when we process your order.


 What if I do not want to give my credit card number over the internet?

 During checkout, all data is SSL encrypted for security and data integrity.  Click here for more information about data encryption.


 How long will it take to receive my order? 

 It takes 1-3 business days for order processing, plus transit time from our Ashland, Oregon warehouse, which is an additional 1-5 business days for UPS Ground.  Expedited shipping options are available. All expedited orders must be received no later than 11:00 a.m. PT for same day processing. Expedited orders shipping from the Miami, FL warehouse will ship the next business day.


 What shipping method is used for my order?

Hakatai glass tile is shipped via UPS. All expedited orders must be placed by 11:00 a.m. PT for same day processing. Products will ship via US Post or UPS from the Hanford, CA, warehouse. We also offer palletized freight shipping on large orders.  


How much does shipping cost?

Shipping costs are based on weight and distance from our warehouse.  Hakatai receives discounted rates from UPS, which we pass directly on to our customers.  From the checkout page, simply enter your zip code, confirm your shipping preferences, and a shipping quote will display before you enter billing details.  You may also contact Hakatai Customer Service for a shipping estimate at any time by calling 888-667-2429.


 Is there a minimum order requirement?

 There is no minimum order quantity for stocked products.


 What size is your tile?

Tile and sheet size information is listed on each series' main page at the top of the screen as well as under the product information section for each color.


 How do I calculate the total number of sheets to order?

 Most of our tile is mounted on sheets that measure 1.15 sq. ft.  Simply divide your total square footage by 1.15 to determine the total number of sheets to order.  For example, if you need 100 sq. ft. of tile you would order 87 sheets.  Always round up to the nearest full sheet.  Other tile series have different sheet sizes.  It is advisable to order 5-10% overage for any project.  


 Can I send my own carrier to pick up my order?

No. We do not permit parcel shipments to be picked up by other carriers.


 What applications are suitable for glass tile?

In general, glass tile can be installed anywhere that other tile may be used.  Most common applications are interior and exterior walls, countertops, backsplashes, tub/shower surrounds, and light residential floors.  For specific suitable applications for Hakatai’s glass tile lines, view the product information listed with each color.


 Are all of Hakatai’s glass tile sheets mesh-back mounted?

No.  Only our opaque tile sheets are mesh-back mounted.  Transparent tile is either paper-face mounted or clear film-face mounted so that the mesh backing will not show through the tile.  Any mesh-backed tile may be special ordered as film or paper faced.


 Can Hakatai glass tile be used in swimming pools?

Yes.  Hakatai 3/4" tile is commonly used in swimming pools, as well as other water immersed applications.  Please note that many variables affect the outcome of glass mosaic tile installations in water immersed applications:  Skill of installer, type of setting material used, amount of setting material applied, weather conditions at time of installation, amount of curing time allowed before water immersion takes place.  Please refer to our installation FAQ’s and installation guide for more information.




Installation [back to top]


Is the paper (or clear film) mounted on the face of the tile or on the back side of the tile?

 Paper-faced sheets are mounted with the paper on the face of the tile.  The same applies for clear film faced sheets.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Both paper and film mounted sheets MUST be installed paper (or clear film) side UP.


 How do I remove the paper from the tile?

 Allow tile to set until setting material is firm. Begin wiping down the paper with a damp sponge and warm water. Rub lightly to avoid disturbing the tile placement. The paper facing will begin to darken as the water is absorbed.  After 2-3 minutes, test a corner of the paper sheet. Pull lightly downward at an angle instead of straight out.


 What type of setting material should I use to install glass mosaic tile?

 Setting material products are available through tile dealers, home centers, and major setting material companies.  Hakatai does not endorse any particular setting material or setting material manufacturer.  Below is a list of products commonly used for installing glass tile.  Consult your installer or local tile dealer to determine the most suitable setting material for your particular application.

Due to the transparnet nature of many glass tiles, the color of the thin-set will influence the final color shading of the tile once installed into the thin-set.  To ensure truest color tone, a bright white or white thin-set is recommended.  You cannot use two different colors for one wall or area as there will be a visible difference.

For larger projects with multiple units of thin-set used, it is suggested to use a color controlled thin-set or premix the units of the thin-set materials to avoid bag to bag color variation.

Custom Building Products:  Premium Plus Thin-Set Mortar (white) mixed with Custom Flex Ultra-Strength Thin- Set Additive.


Custom Building Products:  MegaFlex Ultimate Thin-Set Mortar (white).  No admixture is necessary.


Hydroment:  ReFlex Ultra-Premium Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar.  No admixture is necessary.


Laticrete:  254 Platinum Multipurpose Thin-Set Mortar.  No admixture is necessary.


Mapei:  Kerabond Premium Dry-Set Mortar (Ker 102) mixed with Keralistic Mortar Admix (Ker 310)

Mapei:  Adesilex P10 (bright white) nonsag mortar for glass tile.  Mix with water or Keraply.


TEC (H.B. Fuller):  Super Flex Premium Performance Universal Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar.  No admixture is necessary.


 Can I smooth down the rough edges of the Ashland-e series?

 You may use a white stone or silicon carbide sandpaper with water as a lubricant to smooth the edges of Ashland-e series tile.


 Will sanded grout scratch the glass tile?

 No.  Sanded grout is safe to use with any of our glass tile lines.


 What type of grout should I use?

 Any sanded or un-sanded grout can be used on glass tile.


 How do I remove the grout from the surface of the tile after it is dry?

 Use a nylon bristle brush, a sponge, and warm water to clean any residue from the tile surface.  A hard surface cleaner can be used for more difficult cases.  Ideally, the grout should be cleaned to your satisfaction before it has completely cured.


 Can you help me choose a grout color for my project?

 No, but our online custom blend tool has a grout color selection feature, which may be useful in helping you determine a suitable grout color.


Note: Most glass mosaic tile has small pinholes or crazing on the surface which may collect grout.  Any grout will collect in these small surface pinholes, but a little extra time spent cleaning the surface while the grout cures will significantly reduce the amount of visible grout left on the surface.  Also, a matching grout color will tend to be less noticeable on the tile surface than a contrasting grout color.


 Can I stain a grout after it has set?

 There are products called "grout stain" or "grout colorant" designed to do this.  The end result will depend upon the original grout color.  Many cities have professional grout repair/cleaning/coloring services and usually offer free estimates.


 How do I cut the glass tile?

 Small format glass tile (5/8", 3/4", 1") are best cut with specialty glass mosaic tile cutters, available from Hakatai and other tile or craft dealers.  Tile may also be set on backerboard, and then cut to size with a wet saw.  The cut edges can be very sharp and should be smoothed with carbide paper or a "white stone" which are also available at tile dealers.


 Can the glass tile be used outdoors in extremely cold conditions?

 Yes, our glass mosaic tiles can be used in both residential and commercial interior and exterior applications. They are frost- and heat-resistant, water-proof, color-safe, and non-porous.


 What surfaces can the glass tile be set on? What surfaces should I avoid?

 Unacceptable Surfaces:


These surfaces, even if properly prepared, will not provide a bondable or stable surface for tile installations.  Under no circumstances should tile be bonded directly to these surfaces:

• Particle, wafer and structure board
• Masonite
• Hardwood or Parquet floors
• Luan plywood
• Sponge or cushion-backed or asbestos-containing vinyl flooring
• Self-adhesive vinyl squares
• Metal
• Fiberglass
• Wall coverings
• Unprimed plaster
• Lightweight concrete


Acceptable Surfaces:


These surfaces must be properly prepared before installing tile.  Surface preparation is a key factor in the success or failure of a tile installation.  Although a surface may be listed as acceptable, if it is not properly prepared, loss of bond will occur.  Also, all acceptable surfaces may not be acceptable for all applications.  Consult manufacturer or installer.

• Concrete, mortar beds, masonry
• Cement backerboards such as Wonderboard
• Exposure 1 or APA exterior grade plywood
• Drywall or water-resistant board (greenboard)
• Existing ceramic tile or terrazzo
• Asbestos-free vinyl flooring
• Waterproof membranes—check with manufacturer


 How do I clean glass tile?

 Normal cleaning of glass mosaic tile can be done with room temperature water and a rag.  For a more thorough cleaning and to remove stubborn dirt and stains, use any tile or grout cleaner available at tile dealers or home centers. 


 Do I need to apply a sealant to my glass tile installation?

 Apply a sealant only if your intention is to seal the grout.  (Glass tile does not require a sealant.)  Once the tile is clean and dry, you may seal the grout with a good quality sealant to help prevent mildew and staining.  The sealant will not harm the glass tile.


 Can I use Hakatai mesh backed tile in a swimming pool or other water immersed application?

Hakatai mesh backed, paper face, and film face mounted glass mosaic tile have been successfully installed in pools for years.  We recommend using paper or film faced products to achieve the 100% surface of tile to substrate coverage with water submersion projects.  There are many variables that affect the outcome of glass mosaic tile installations in water immersed applications:  Skill of installer, type of setting materials used, amount of setting material applied, weather conditions at time of installation, amount of curing time allowed before water immersion takes place.


 Can I use mastic to install glass mosaic tile?

Mastic is not recommended for installation of glass mosaic tile, particularly in wet areas such as showers.  Bond strengths are lower than those of recommended setting materials.  Mastic does not properly cure when used with impervious materials such as glass and may yellow behind clear or translucent tile.


 Can Hakatai’s glass tile be installed onto a fireplace surround?

 Yes. Our glass tile can be installed on the outside of a fireplace surround. A setting material company should be consulted, for advice about which tile setting material to use.




Product [back to top]


Is any of your tile made from recycled glass?

Yes. Tile from the Ashland-e, Calliope, Cobblestone and Tivoli series is comprised of between 30 and 70 percent glass from bottles and/or other waste glass that would otherwise have entered the solid waste stream. This waste glass is a mix of approximately 90 percent post-consumer and approximately 10 percent pre-consumer material.


We also offer eight series of SCS-certified products which contain a minimum 98% pre-consumer recycled glass content, generated primarily from the process of window glass production.


 What is SCS certification?

 Scientific Certification Systems is a global leader in independent certification of environmental, sustainability, food quality and food purity claims. Over two decades, SCS has developed internationally recognized standards and certification programs aimed at spurring the highest level of environmental improvements, social accountability and product performance. Its programs span a wide cross section of the economy, recognizing accomplishments in agricultural production, food processing and handling, forestry, fisheries, flowers and plants, energy, green building, consumer and business product manufacturing, and corporate social responsibility.


 In terms of recycling, what do pre-consumer material and post-consumer material mean?

 Pre-consumer material is defined as material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process.  Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it. Example: Glass wine bottles are rejected by the wine bottle maker before having been filled with wine or sold. Another manufacturer takes these bottles and uses them in its manufacturing process. Products from this process contain pre-consumer material.

Post-consumer material is defined as material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purpose. Example: Glass wine bottles are filled with wine and sold to end-users, who consume the wine and discard the bottles. These bottles, instead of being sent to a landfill, are taken by a manufacturer, who uses them in its manufacturing process.  Products from this process contain post-consumer material.


 Are any of your products “green”?

 There are no specific criteria that define what constitutes a "green product".  The term "green" is subjective and has different implications and assumptions depending on how the word is used and who is using it.  For this reason, Hakatai does not label any of its products as "green".  


 Are any of your products LEED®-certified?

 The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a third-party certification program that is used to rate green building projects.  It is not used to rate products.  Individual products can, however, contribute points to LEED® projects.


 Do you offer glass tile trim, such as bull nose, quarter round, or other finishing pieces, for your tile?

 Yes, we do offer liners for  in our Select Series. Please click here to see available colors.  


You may also find different types and styles of ceramic and glass trim pieces at many tile dealers, which coordinate very well with Hakatai’s glass tile.


We suggest, for a clean and crisp in-corner and out-corner finish, that the tile be installed on a 90 degree angle.


 What are the working conditions at the factories where your glass tile is manufactured?

 Hakatai is very proud to be associated with Chinese glass mosaic tile suppliers who are concerned about the safety and well-being of their employees.


The factories:


  • Hire no one under the age of 18, even though Chinese labor law sets a minimum age of 16


  • Comply with all Chinese employment laws and requirements regulating, among others, maximum working hours per week (40), holidays and days off


  • Designate, among factory employees, two safety officers who are trained and certified


  • Are monitored regularly, including surprise inspections by their regional government, with a record of passing all inspections 100%


  • Require workers to wear protective face masks in dusty areas of the factory, such as raw materials mixing and kiln loading areas


  • Maintain an efficient ventilation and filtering system for potentially harmful gases produced during the production process; air quality is monitored by the regional government environmental agency; our factories always pass their annual inspections


  • Do not use lead or other potentially toxic materials in their glass tile production


 Is there a showroom in my area where I can see the tile?

 Our website is our only "showroom".  We do have individual swatch cards and swatch kits available at a very reasonable price to help you decide which tile series and which color will work best for your project.


 What is the difference between mesh-backed, paper-face, film-faced and dot mounted tile?

 Paper-face mounting is the traditional mounting method for glass mosaic tile.  Kraft paper is applied to the front surface of the glass tile with water-soluble glue.  Once the tile has been mounted, and the thin-set mortar has cured, the installer moistens and removes the kraft paper.


Similarly, film-face mounting is a clear sheet of adhesive film placed over the face of the tile.  Once the thin-set mortar has cured, the clear film can be peeled off the tile face.  Clear film provides the advantage of visibility of the complete sheet of tile and amount of setting material penetrating the grout joints during the installation process.


Mesh-backed tile has mesh applied to the back side of the tile.  Mesh mounting provides complete tile sheet visibility during installation and eliminates the additional step of removing any face-mounted film or paper.


Dot mounted tile has PVC “dots” applied between the tile to create a sheet. Dot mounted sheets can be installed in the same manner as mesh-backed tile.


 How much surface area can be covered with 1 lb. of loose tile?

 1 lb. of 3/4" tile contains approximately 157 tiles and covers approximately three-quarters of a square foot, including an approximate 1/16" grout joint. 1 lb. of 1" Ashland-e tile contains approximately 66 tiles and covers approximately one-half of a square foot, including an approximate 1/8" grout joint.


 Why do the sheets of tile that I ordered have a "duller" look than the swatch card that I received?

 Some sheets of tile may have a residue left over from the production process. This residue will easily come off when the tile is cleaned after grouting.


 Why doesn't my swatch card or sample sheet look exactly like the photos on your website?

 Computer monitors vary in how they show color. Also, lighting can greatly change the look of glass tile, especially iridescent colors. We do our best to use photos which represent the true color and surface of the tile, but a sample is always the best way to understand the look and feel of glass tile.