Help! I was watching HGTV today and they showed a kitchen that had been remodeled with a glass tile back splash. Designer Vern Yip said glass tile is a current trend and will be outdated in 4-5 years. This concerns me.Vern's right. Sort of. Glass tile is a current trend. So what? Glass tile's a current trend, travertine floors are a current trend, stainless steel appliances are a current trend, granite counters are a current trend, brushed nickel finishes are a current trend, and so is just about any finish you can pick for a project. Timelessness is a myth and trend avoidance is a fool's errand.
What do you think- are glass tile backsplashes too trendy? Will they be "out of style" in 5 years? What would you do?
Human beings have been making glass since the Bronze Age. At first they made beads, then tile. Glass blowing started in Syria about 100 BCE and by 100 CE the Romans were making glass windows, vases and cups. Human beings have prized glass for thousands of years and have been covering walls with small pieces of it for just as long.
This is a photo I took in Herculaneum.
That's a glass tile mosaic from the year 50 or thereabouts.
Fast forward a couple thousand years and here's a photo I snapped in the 81st Street Station of the Eighth Avenue line in Manhattan.
That station opened in the 1930s and that glass tile is original.
There is nothing trendy about glass as a material, it's as old as civilization itself. In a thousand years, people will still be using glass tile. Tell that to Vern.
Now, just because something's a classic material doesn't mean that every time it's used it will last forever. There's a small window of time during which something looks good to trend followers and spotters. Then it falls from favor and if no one touches it for long enough it may become a classic. But even then it's not timeless.
St. Peter's Basilica in Rome isn't timeless, it's High Baroque. The White House isn't timeless, it late Georgian. The Forbidden City isn't timeless, it's Ming. See my point? Those iconic buildings are locked in time and they come to embody the eras in which they were built. Attempting High Baroque or late Georgian today is absurd because it's not 1500 or 1790.
So what the hell does this have to do with whether or not to install a glass tile back splash? Plenty. You are talking about an expense between $500 and $1,000 for most people. You can spend more than that certainly, but I don't think that's what you have in mind. That's not a judgment, just an observation. So knowing that, and knowing that you like glass tile back splashes, I say get a glass tile back splash. If it looks horrible in five years than get rid of it and replace it with whatever's on trend ten years from now.
Everything you buy for you home, and I mean everything, is subject to the whims of fashion. It is the very nature of living in a consumerist society. It is impossible to predict what will be in style five years from now and it's also impossible to predict what you'll like then.
All you can know is what you know right now. So buy the best things you can afford and enjoy them. Right now.
Glass tile photos from Lightstreams Glass Tile.