Karma is the unsung hero of the Trend glass mosaic collection. This drawn glass, hand-cut transparent mosaic, with its characteristic natural veining and deep internal fold lines, is the basis for Trend’s highly-regarded designer patterns like Liberty, Metropolis and Subway, yet is also available as a tile range in its own right. Architects and interior designers in the know prize Karma for its unique choice of tile formats up to 4cm x 8cm, even 48cm x 96cm on request, and its deeply saturated colours with distinctive radiant reflections.
Inspired by the stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals, Karma mosaic recreates their elegant colours and illuminating effect with remarkable integrity. A slight unevenness of colour is a peculiarity of this product, giving rise to a pleasingly irregular, flame effect, which will enhance walls, floors, swimming pool and fire surrounds, even exterior facades. Offered in a choice of more than 40 colours, Karma is priced from £206 per square metre. The material also comes in a time-honoured combination of glass and 24 carat gold, called Karma Mirage, with white and yellow gold tiles priced from £500 m2 in a regular 2cm x 2cm format.
A glimpse at the production process helps explain why Karma is such an exceptional mosaic. In contrast to back-painted glass tiles where a layer of pigment is fused to the reverse, Karma tiles are ‘through body’ coloured, in which pigments are mixed with molten glass, enabling pigmentation to permeate throughout the body of the tile, resisting colour fade and abrasion. On the standard range, a metallic epoxy coating is bonded to the back of the tile, acting as a reflective element that does not peel over time and is compatible with regular tile adhesives.
For the Karma Mirage variant, a 24 carat gold film is applied to the reverse of clear glass tiles, projecting through the richness and elegance of pure yellow or white gold. Added to its Traditional and Modern Aureo ranges in yellow gold, white gold and platinum, as well as 32 different shades in the Orsoni gold mosaic collection, Trend offers the widest choice in this prestige market sector.
Both Karma and Karma Mirage mosaic materials are first formed by hand into large glass sheets, the folding and tempering process creating deep lines within the body of the glass that are part of its inherent aesthetics. After an annealing stage to remove internal stresses, the sheets are formed into individual tiles by expert glass cutters, with no two pieces exactly the same.
This hand-cutting method enables a standard ex-stock choice of 2cm x 2cm, 4cm x 4cm and 2cm x 4cm formats, all 4mm thick, with other sizes available on request. The distinctive 2cm x 4cm size and a larger 4cm x 8cm option allow mosaic patterns with joints either aligned or staggered, the latter resembling classic brickwork. The original large glass sheets also permit hand-cut sizes up to 15cm x 30cm, 12cm x 48cm and 48cm x 96cm, for large surface areas and bold creative statements where the natural shading variations are accented.
Karma is predominantly specified as a wall coating finish, although the 2cm x 2cm format in particular is suited to low-medium traffic flooring applications. Because glass tile is non-permeable, it is perfect for surfaces that need to resist moisture, mould and mildew, so performs well outdoors and in kitchens, bathrooms, showers and pool areas. Karma is frost proof, as well as being heat, fire, UV and chemical resistant and fully ASTM certificated, so promises excellent long-term technical performance, inside and out.
Karma tiles are mostly supplied pre-mounted on the innovative Trend Plus installation system, which cuts laying times and labour costs. Studio-designed tile mixes are also available, exploring different colour themes and tonal combinations, which are again mounted on Trend Plus for complete ease of fitting in pre-formatted patterns.
Adding further to its decorative surface credentials, Karma is amongst Trend’s most eco-friendly mosaic, being made from up to 75% recycled glass. Turning post-industrial and post-consumer recovered glass into high quality glass mosaic saves on natural resources, reduces manufacturing energy consumption, minimises plant emissions and creates less water pollution, as well as cutting the amount of waste glass going to landfill, so Karma is a bit of a hit all-round.