The sleek lines of glass and acrylic splashbacks are very appealing to buyers of modern kitchens. You no longer have to worry about cleaning tile grout and both can come in literally any colour or digitally printed with any design. Which is best though?
There are two main type of acrylic splashbacks available
- solid colour acrylic, where the material is the same colour all the way through
- “glass look” back painted or printed clear acrylic where the rear of clear acrylic is coloured as with glass splashbacks
The latter looks much better but they both perform equally well, they are somewhat heat resistant (100C- not suitable for use behind electric or gas hobs), fully waterproof and can give a seamless design.
- Can be cut and drilled on site
- Are available in any colour
- Waterproof and lightweight, so great for bathrooms and showers
- Not very heat resistant
- Easily scratched (can be scratched by a slightly abrasive cloths)
Typically made from toughened glass that has been colour coated or printed on the rear of the glass. Toughened glass splashbacks are incredibly heat resistant due to the manufacturing process, they are superheated before being rapdily cooled making them four times stronger than glass. As with acrylic splashbacks, they can be any colour or design and in most circumstances have a seamless look depending on the size of the area you wish to cover.
- Very heat resistant and suitable for use behind all hob types including gas
- Waterproof, heavier than acrylic but much stronger
- Not easily scratched (you can clean it with wire wool)
- Cannot be cut once toughened
Given there is usually only a small price difference between acrylic and glass splashbacks we would recommend glass in all circumstances where you can be sure of the size (so you do not need to cut them) with the possible exception of bathrooms and showers due to the weight difference and also the ability to cut and shape acrylic on site.