DIY Recycled Glass Countertops

Used glass bottles can be used to make your own DIY kitchen and bathroom countertops, the idea is use the same technique developed to make tile mosaics. You can blend colors to come up with a uniform tone, add patterns or even create pictures if you so desire. There are, however, some special precautions that don't apply to normal tiling that need to be taken when working with DIY recycled glass.

Empty wine bottles can live a new life as a stylish mosaic countertop.
Using a hammer to smash some glass is a fun way to productively let off some steam.

Gather and clean your bottles, you'll want to be very certain there is no drink residue in the bottles when you begin to break them down. Remove or retain the labels, depending on your preference. Place the clean bottles into a large clear plastic container. Wearing safety goggles, a dust mask, gloves (heavy duty work gloves work best) and a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeve tucked into the glove, proceed to smash the bottles with a hammer until the bulk of the pieces are broken down evenly into shard between the size of a quarter and a nickel.

Step 2

Remove most of your pieces carefully with a gloved hand and store them in a container until you need them for the installation. Smash the remaining pieces into a powdery substance. If the glass powder turns white and does not retain its color, you can skip this step. Store the powdered glass in a sealed container, taking special care not to spill it or inhale any glass particles.

Step 3

Build a countertop frame, consisting of a plywood bottom panel and a raised, beveled edge that rises roughly ¼ to ½ inch over the bottom panel, depending on your preference. Use finishing nails for any areas that will be visible when complete and wood screws for areas hidden from view. When using wood screws, first drill a pilot hole to prevent the wood from cracking, then drive the screw into place.

Traditional mosaic designs can be easily adapted into your countertop project.

Mix the glass powder into tile adhesive to alter the color as desired. Or you can use an entirely different color to accent the main shards or simply buy pre-colored adhesive. With a mud trowel spread out one or two square feet of tile adhesive, roughly at first and then smoothing it down with the flat edge of the trowel. With slower-drying adhesive you can spread it over a larger area. Once you've made a flat spread of adhesive, carefully insert glass shards, piece by piece, with a gloved hand, occasionally using a scrap wood block to press the mosaic flat. Be sure to place curved pieces arch facing up to encourage strength. Repeat the process until your countertop frames are filled with mosaic glass-work.

Step 5

Spread a resin coating over the counter-top with either a spatula or a mud trowel, depending on its consistency. Use a resin that is intended for sealing stone countertops and similar applications. Depending on your preference and the appearance of the countertop, you may need to do some sanding when the resin dries. After sanding, clean the area with a wet rag and then polish it with a buffing wheel on a rotary sander.