Ceramic or porcelain tiles are a popular choice for kitchen splashbacks, and for good reason. They offer the beauty and durability that many homeowners seek in their kitchen surfaces. If, however, you are looking for something a little different and maybe want to add a little pop to your kitchen, think about using glass to cover the wall space between your countertop and cabinets. There are a number of different ways to create a glass splashback, some of which you may not know about. Here are seven things to know if you’re considering this alternative for your kitchen.
1. Glass tiles come in many different forms
What comes to mind when you hear the words “glass splashback?” You may picture glass mosaic tile. You may picture mirrored glass or maybe something completely different. The fact is that the options are almost endless. From basic 25 cm x 25 cm mosaics to longer, slender, rectangular tiles of varying shapes to rounded and irregular shapes, the choices may amaze you if you have not researched them recently.
Mosaics may be the most common, but glass tiles are also available as larger individual tiles, much the way ceramic and porcelain tiles are. Mosaics are a bit easier to install and do not require the same amount of cutting as other, larger shapes do, but it’s important to know that these options are out there when you are selecting materials.
2. Glass can be colourful
You may also be surprised at the sheer volume of colours in which glass tile is available. Variations in opacity add to the quantity. Create a monotone, consistent look, or mix it up to add interest to your splashback. Whatever colour or colours you choose, the reflective qualities of glass will help brighten up your kitchen and may make it feel larger.
3. Your glass splashback doesn’t have to be ALL glass.
Mixing materials is a great way to break up the wall space above your countertops. If you love glass, but you’re not ready to sheath your entire wall in it, use glass as a highlight within a ceramic background. Your options include running a horizontal band of glass mosaic across he splashback, inserting glass at regular intervals or coming up with your own design that includes a mix of materials.
4. Nor does it need to be tile
Not all glass splashbacks are made of tile. In fact, an increasingly popular trend is the glass sheet splashback. For this installation, a single piece of glass is cut to the size and shape of your splashback, painted the colour of your choice and attached to the wall. The paint is applied to the back side of the glass to prevent it from chipping and pealing due to exposure over time. Better manufacturers take the extra step of baking the paint onto the glass for even better adhesion and durability. Glass sheet splashbacks tend to give your kitchen a sleek, modern look and are, therefore, a more common choice in contemporary homes.
5. Glass is easy to clean
If you’ve ever tried to scrub grime off of a glass table or other glass surface, you know that you may need to scrub hard, but glass will eventually come clean. That’s not always the case with ceramic and porcelain, however, which are more porous than glass and, hence, more prone to staining. If you choose glass tile, though, be aware that the grout between the tiles will not have the same properties as the glass. Grout, like ceramic, is porous. Select a darker grout if you’re concerned about stains showing. Or, go with a glass sheet and you won’t have any grout to worry about.
6. Glass CAN break
Of course, you know this but the fact is that almost any splashback material can be cracked, broken or dented. Glass, however, can actually shatter. This is something to be aware of. Although a vertical surface like a splashback does not typically receive the impacts that a horizontal surface like a countertop or floor does, it is possible to damage a glass splashback by, for example, sliding a heavy pot into it. If your kitchen only receives normal use, don’t be afraid to use glass in your backsplash, but if your family is a little more rough-and-tumble consider a more durable material.
7. Glass has environmental benefits
Creamic and porcelain tiles require a tremendous amount of energy to manufacture. The process requires extreme heat be applied to the material for an extended amount of time. Glass, on the other hand, is one of the few infinitely recyclable materials used in homes today. If environmental friendliness is a priority for you, consider glass for your kitchen splashback. Even in its broken form, glass can be fashioned into beautiful art.
Non-porous, easily cleaned and environmentally friendly, glass is nearly the perfect material for the kitchen. It can be a little fragile, but for many homeowners, its beauty outweights any possible downside to using it for their kitchen splashback.