Splashbacks come in a variety of materials, colours, designs and finishes, for both the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room and can be ordered custom made or in standard sizes. Having such choice can leave a consumer somewhat bewildered as to what is the best option; glass splashback or a ceramic finish? Acrylic frameless shower screens or glass? It is important to review the pros and cons of all of the different types so that as customers, you can make an informed decision based on your requirements and needs.
This starts with looking at the different types of splashback available on the market today which are as follows:
· Stainless steel
Acrylic is a clear plastic with a transparency rate of around 93% so it is just about the clearest material that we have today. It resembles glass in many ways but is more flexible than glass or ceramics. This is useful if shaping or bending of the splashback is required for modern bathroom shower screens or rounded corners for example. Acrylic also comes in a vast range of colours and finishes, including frosted, opaque, diamond patterned and so on, and is a very lightweight material to work with, which can be useful if the surface you are attaching it to will only withstand a certain load. Perfect for any wet area, it is also unaffected by moisture so has excellent weather or damp resistance and is 100% recyclable.
On the down side, it is not as durable as glass and it does have a tendency to scratch or mark easily. Therefore in a kitchen where it could come into contact with metal cooking pans this can quickly lose its pristine finish. Also, if it is exposed to a direct flame, such as from a gas hob, it will melt so from a practical point of view as well as a safety point, it cannot be used around a cooker because it would eventually burn. Cost-wise, it is also more expensive than glass which also has to be factored in.
Glass is a durable, relatively scratch free material, that comes in just about every colour and finish required, and is usually installed as a single piece of material. Unlike ceramics or tiles, it does away with the need for grouting which means that it is extremely low maintenance and because of the clarity of the material, from a design point of view, it allows light in, blocks UV light (which only clear acrylic does) and looks stunning with no grout lines. It can however, be a little more costly to install and whilst durable, there is still some care needed when looking after it.
Stainless steel splashbacks
For a modern kitchen, stainless steel does give a very contemporary feel and its biggest advantage is its resistance to heat. This is why industrial kitchens use this as a material for not only splashbacks but for the counters and food preparation areas and around the ovens. It also is extremely durable, very easy to clean and from a food hygiene point of view this is very important. However, it is relatively expensive, and does not come in the same range of colours and finishes so design-wise, it is very restrictive. It can mark or scratch and if not fitted flush to the wall, can “buckle” if the sheets are thin enough and if it is in contact with high temperatures.
The biggest advantage to tiles comes in the choice of designs and colours on offer to suit all pockets. Tiles come in different shapes from thin banding to small square shapes that can be made into mosaics, to larger tiles with embossed patterning, mouldings and designs from traditional to contemporary themes. The main disadvantage is that it will take some time and effort to fit tiles and complete the grouting. After a period of time, this grouting becomes discoloured and requires a certain amount of maintenance to keep clean and free of dirt and germs.
So before deciding on which form of splashbacks or shower screens are the best for your situation, think about what environmental conditions they have to stand up to, along with the design required and aftercare and spend time talking to the specialists here in Perth, and you will be rewarded with splashbacks that last for many years to come.
Click here to check out our extensive range of designs in glass splashback applications that are only limited by your imagination, or ring (08) 9302 2281 to speak to one of our glass specialists.