Since severe impact or high heat can break untreated glass into dangerous, jagged shards, glass splashbacks for kitchens are made from toughened glass.
Also known as “tempering,” toughening is the term for a process of intense glass heating and rapid cooling. At the end of this process, the centre of the glass remains in tension while the outer surfaces go into compression.
As a result, toughened glass is four to five times stronger and safer than untreated glass. Even if it becomes stressed to the point of breakage, it shatters into thousands of small, harmless pieces.
While safety is a major benefit, the toughening process creates a challenge for designers and builders looking to install glass splashbacks in kitchens: the glass must be cut BEFORE it gets toughened.
There is no modifying, shortening or re-purposing toughened glass. What you order is what you get and replacement orders can cause havoc to the budget and building schedule.
This puts a premium on preparation.
To achieve the clean, modern kitchen splashback look with glass, you’ll need definitive design and installation choices.
In this article, we’ll analyse the most important of these choices, so you’ll have a crystal-clear view of what’s needed for a successful kitchen glass splashback installation.
1. Decide on the Right Splashback Choice
When deciding the best splashbacks for kitchens, consider the home’s overall style.
Bespoke glass splashbacks for kitchens accent contemporary or modern-style homes for the following reasons:
- They reflect light to create bright, airy space;
- They are clean and seamless; and
- They invite an open floor plan into “closed areas” to make small spaces feel bigger.
They are also surprisingly versatile and can add style to country houses and traditional-style homes as well.
So, the choice comes down to details such as:
- How will the splashback work with the bench top material?
- Do you want a clean, streamlined splashback or something more traditional?
- The amount of maintenance: glass is much easier to clean compared to tile grout.
- Cost: Tile is generally more economical, but it is more likely to break or crack over time.
A kitchen with a glass splashback is a great choice.
It’s a low-maintenance option that works with almost any benchtop material to create a bright, eye-catching design feature.
2. Finalise the Kitchen Plan
Glass splashbacks for kitchens should be measured and fabricated after the entire kitchen plan is finalised.
This includes the placements for the following kitchen components:
- Oven hob;
- Vent hood;
- Above counter sockets;
- Above counter switches; and
- LED and other backlighting.
These components need to be finalised because the glass cannot be altered once it’s ordered.
So, if you order the glass and then decide to move a wall socket 20 centimetres to the right, the access point will not line up properly with the socket.
You should also decide how much space the kitchen splashback will cover before ordering the glass.
Some of the best kitchen splashbacks cover all the space between the countertops and the cabinetry.
Yet there are many other options. In the image below, for example, the splashback acts as an accent as it rises only a few centimetres above the counter.
Lastly, the space between the oven hob and the glass splashback needs careful consideration.
The Australia/New Zealand Standard 2208:1996 specifies safety glazing material requirements in buildings. It includes the necessary distance between the splashback and the oven hob as well as the requirement for toughened glass.
Homebuilding Tip: Splashbacks for hot water (e.g. behind the sink) or appliance areas (e.g. behind the oven hob) need to be accompanied by a letter from an architect, designer, glass supplier or glass manufacturer that says the splashback is fit for its designed purpose.
3. Consider the Glass Splashback Finish and Texture
What finish will look best in the kitchen?
There are 3 main choices:
- Matted/Frosted: The glass has an extremely low reflective quality.
- Gloss: The glass has an extremely high reflective quality.
- Textured: The glass blurs images while still transmitting light.
Obviously, this design choice should be analysed closely before the order is put in.
In addition, there are several textures to consider, such as pearled, liquid, and even brick.
They can create unique elements of depth, movement, and glowing colour changes.
4. Determine If You Want A Printed Glass Splashback
The ability to create a vivid, dramatic accent to a chosen paint colour is a benefit of a glass splashback in the kitchen. Future blog posts will cover paint choice tips and advice in detail.
Beyond paint, a printed glass splashback is an exciting new trend in Australia’s luxury home market.
Thanks to advanced printing and glass technology, high-quality images of sunsets, cityscapes, flowers, family or anything else a designer can dream up can be printed behind the glass.
While this choice can add unique detail to any kitchen, the image selection needs to be part of the glass order.
That way, the glass company can make the proper measurements for both the glass and the image.
5. Choose an Affixing Strategy
There are 2 main ways to affix your glass splashback to the kitchen walls.
Adhesive creates a seamless, contemporary look.
Screws create a more industrial, modern look.
Please note: If the design calls for screws, the hole locations need to be plotted and finalised before ordering the glass.
Ordering Your Bespoke Glass Splashbacks for Kitchens
While there are many decisions to make before ordering the glass splashback for a kitchen, Ecotech is here to help you every step of the way.
We’ll use highly-specialized laser measuring equipment to ensure a proper fit.
Our experts will ensure the glass kitchen splashbacks are cut to the exact size.
You can expect to receive the glass for your kitchen in 3 to 4 weeks from the time you place your order. This estimate is one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
We can accomplish this because we keep large stocks of glass in-house and our factory has all the equipment required for complex jobs.
We have also formed high-level relationships with the top glass suppliers in Melbourne to ensure we always deliver our products on time and to a high standard.
Looking to Incorporate Glass into Your Building Project?
For more ideas on how to incorporate glass throughout your luxury home project, download our eBook: “Everything You Need To Know About Glass Splashbacks [82 Pages].”