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Blog posts of '2018' 'October'

How Do You Fit Acrylic Splashbacks?

Acrylic Splashbacks are incredibly easy to fit, you are essentially sticking a lighweight panel to a wall using silicone. Below is more detail on the steps required.

  1. To measure the height, measure from the top of the area to be covered to the bottom and subtract 2-4mm for expansion
  2. For the width use the same method (where panels meet each other do not allow any room for expansion at this edge)
  3. Cut the panel to the desired height and width using a suitable power tool with the correct bit (HSS bits for a jigsaw etc.)
  4. Should you need to drill the acrylic again mark the location of the hole required and drill using an HSS drill bit
  5. Lay the board painted or printed side up carefully protecting the front so it does not get scratched
  6. Apply our Neutral Cure Silicone to the rear painted side of the panel. It is low modulus, so for really uneven walls you can use more in any shallow areas and it will be asily compressed.
  7. Press the panell to the wall until these is zero bounce
  8. Seal the edges with the same neutral cure silcione to prevent water ingress and extend the product lifespan

How Do You Fit Acrylic Splashbacks?

Photo of a typical amount of adesive applied, use more if the wall is uneven

Are Acrylic Splashbacks Heat Resistant?

Acrylic Splashbacks can start to melt and deform at 80C and are liquid at 160C so they are not very heat resistant. There are options though...

Acrylic Splashbacks can be safely used behing an induction hob

As all the heat is applied to pots and pans on induction hobs via a magnet there is very little heat loss- so they are highly efficient and the surrounding area has little excess heat. As long as there is not direct contact with a heated pot or pan (at the above temperatures) acrylic splashbacks are perfectly suitable. For all other hob types we would recommend glass splashbacks (clear, coloured or digitally printed)

Mix and match glass and acrylic

As our glass splashbacks are made from low iron glass and the acrylic is high grade clear perspex, there is minimal colour distortion from either material. What this allows you to do is use both glass and acrylic panels on your kitchen wall- a glass splashback behind the heat source and should you wish to keep costs down by cutting the acrylic on site yourself acrylic splashbacks for the remaining walls. The high gloss finish of our glass splashbacks and the high gloss finish of our glass effect acrylic panels mean they are indistinguishable when side by side.

Are acrylic splashbacks heat resitant

Glass and Acrylic splashbacks can be mixed and matched

What is an upstand?

In kitchen terms, an upstand is a small strip of kitchen worktop, glass or acrylic usually 100-150mm in height that fits in the rear wall edge of your kitchen worktop. Historically these were made from 18mm laminate and stone and used to hide any gaps between the kitchen worktop and the wall behind (walls are rarely completely flat). More recently though they are available to compliment glass and acrylic splashbacks (see below)

what is an upstand?

As you can see, using the same colour of glass upstand as the glass splashback has really added a feature to this minimalist white gloss kitchen. The above is something you can very easily measure and fit yourself for a few hunder pounds and allows you to introduce stronger colours to your kitchen pallette without overdoing it. 

Shop Glass Splashbacks

Shop Glass Upstands

What are Splashbacks?

Splashbacks are an alernative name for a backsplash or to put it simply, a wall covering to protect the wall behind sources of splashes from cooking or bathing. Traditionally, the main option for a splashback was wall tiles and in the 20th Century times moved on to Stainless Steel splashbacks. Despite the purpose of such coverings being primarily to protect walls from dirt and mould etc. these older variations of splashbacks have always been notoriously hard to clean (mould in a shower or oil/fat on a stainless steel splashback are incredibly hard to prevent and maintain)

Enter the new contenders- Glass Splashbacks and Acrylic Splashbacks

Due to their perfectly flat surfaces, newer splashback variations such as glass and acrylic are much easier to maintain. Windows are of course made from glass and very easy to clean although as you literally see through them it is easier to spot streaks. Glass splashbacks are back painted (or digitally printed) and much easier to clean- cleaning them with a dry micro fibre cloth is without doubt the easiest method. Medium grade wire wool can also be used though.

Acrylic splashbacks can be scratched with abrasive cleaning products and cloths (and never use wire wool on acrylic!), like glass though a microfibre cloth is perfect for mainting an acrylic splashback in the kitchen or bathroom.

Glass and acrylic splashbacks can also be treated with a specialised coating to make them much easier to clean.

What makes Glass Splashbacks (and Acrylic Splashbacks) so special?

what are splashbacks

The main area this new generation of splashbacks set themselves apart is the almost unlimited colour and design options. As they both begin life completely transparent this allows them to be customised to fit into any colour sheme or pallette. Colour matched to any paint colour or digitally printed with any image are the two main areas of distinction for these products but as the industry evolves more and more variations emerge (toughened mirror splashbacks, concealed TVs and monitors for example)

barbara allen shoal glass splashback

How much does a glass splashback cost?

The cost of a glass splashback can vary depending on the size and specifications required. Should you require a simple 6mm thick cooker splashback for example it should be well under £200 for a typical size of 600mm x 750mm but again it depends on the specification. Solid colour or digital print, additional paint options like special effects and sparkles or indeed if you would like it shaped to fit your cooker hood. What makes this cost more affordable though is how easy it is to install a glass cooker splashback. As you are essentially just fitting a large tile in one panel it is a simple DIY task that should take no more than 10-15 minutes. It is also a task that anyone with even limited DIY skills can do with relative ease. Please see our tutorial on how to fit a glass splashback here.

how much does a glass splashback cost?

Fully fitted glass splashbacks, like the below photo vary regionally in terms of price. Due to the higher cost of living and transportation in London you may find the labour charge to measure and fit a glass splashback alone could be in excess of £500. However, the cost of labour to tile the same area is probably very similar. At the other end of the spectrum areas where wages are lower may measure and fit for as little as £150 in labour. All in all, for a typical L shaped kitchen with glass covering the entire area between the worktop and cabinets, rising to the cooker hood and around the window at the same height would usually be in the region of £900-£1800 (depending on the aforementioned options and locations)

Can I fit glass splashbacks myself, how do I measure around the plug sockets?

Again we have a number of tutorials on how to do this. If you are worried about correctly measuring around plug sockets you can of course install glass upstands. With a bit of thought and following our tutorials though you can indeed measure for a simple cooker splashback, a cooker splashback and upstands or a full wall including socket cut outs. If you need any advice our customer service team also have 10 years experience in measuring and fitting glass splashbacks, there's nothing they haven't came across before!

How to measure for glass splashbacks

Can you cut glass splashbacks?

Yes and no. While DIY Splashbacks only sell toughened glass splashbacks (along with many other splashback materials), once they have been toughened they cannot be cut.

Glass is toughened by superheating it to over 400C in a furnace/toughening plant, this is also why they are so heat resistant. After they are superheated the glass is then rapidly cooled and the end result is glass that is incedibly hard to break (believe us, we throw our rejects into skips and very rarely manage to break them). What actually happens during the toughening process is the outer surfaces are compressed but the inner structure of the glass is put into tension- if you can imagine lots of little molecules all pushing against the surface of the glass providing strength to the outer "shield". This "shield" with all that force behind it is what is pushing against the surface of toughened glass when it is struck.

What happens then when you breach this shield by cutting it? All the little molecules held back by the "shield" are then released causing the glass to crumble. It does though crumble into very small little cubes rather than shards and injuries are incredibly rare- this is why it is used in car windscreens, bus stops and is also known as toughened safety glass!

A photo of broken toughened glass

Can you cut toughened glass

What happens if my splashback is a little too wide or a little too high, what can I do?

If you have incorrectly ordered and you find your splashback is a little too wide the simple solution if possible is to reomve your kitchen cabinet end panels, fit the glass and refit the end panels. The chances are you will need to trim a little from the back of them so you may need a kitchen fitter to do this for you but we supply and fit many jobs where we deliberately do this as it's a neater finish.

If your splashback is a little too high it depends how much is it off by. You can usually unscrew the bottom teo screws inside your cooker hood (near the bottom) and budge it up a little for small measurements in a matter of minutes. For larger meaurements the extractor may need to come down completely and be rehung a little higher. Again though, we would recommend you use a kitchen fitter to carry out this relatively simple job.