05/16/2017 Sort the wheat from the chaff and know what to look for when looking at a glass alternative splashback and wall panel for your home or business.
Like all things - acrylic/polymer splashbacks are not all the same...
7 Tips - How To Choose Your Acrylic (Polymer) Splashback
Doing your own splashback can be tough. Glass is heavy and notoriously easy to break. And tiles are time consuming to install and leaves you with dreaded mouldy grout to clean.
Little wonder acrylic is fast becoming extremely popular for DIYers . Its 25 times stronger than glass and only half the weight. Acrylic wont break like glass splashbacks do. This makes it easy to install and very safe. There is no risk of it shattering. And some (although not all as you will soon discover) acrylic splashbacks look identical to glass.
Here are 7 tips to choosing an acrylic splashback.
Tip 1. Is it high quality acrylic? There is a huge variety in the quality of acrylics/polymers. Some are produced in clean, state of the art factories from high quality resins. While others come from lower quality factories and use lower quality resins, producing acrylic with spots and imperfections which affect their durability and longevity. When choosing your splashback, trust your eye. Does it look like glass, or more like plastic?
Also make sure it is acrylic you are looking at and not an inferior polymer product.
Polymer is a term used for over 3000 different materials and acrylic is just one type of polymer. Polymers include rubber, elastic and toxic low quality PVC, which some polymer splashbacks on the market are made out of. You need to know exactly what polymer material the splashback is made out of so you know exactly what you are looking at.
Is it a particular brand of acrylic or it is the companies own brand?
What is the reputation and history of the product and is the acrylic a particular brand or the companies own brand? Finding out how long the acrylic (including brand) has been on the market helps you compare proven durability and longevity of the acrylic.
What exactly does the warranty cover?
Warranties can vary a lot, much like the quality of them. And generally the better the warranty, the more confidence the supplier has in their product. Things to look out for are:
HHow long is the warranty is for?
Do you have to write in for a longer warranty
Is Is it limited to indoor use only?
IsIIs there a sliding scale on the warranty ie does the warranty reduces over time?
SSimple is best. Your warranty should last a long time, not limit itself to UV and /or indoor use only and not have a complicated sliding scale.
How thick is the polymer/acrylic?
Is it 4mm, 4.5mm or 6mm? Glass splashbacks are typically 6mm which gives it that stunning depth of colour. The thinner the acrylic the less depth of colour, and the more it looks like coloured plastic rather than glass.
Is it flimsy?
The thinner the polymer/acrylic the greater the flex. Also different types of polymer/acrylics flex more than others. Why is flex important? Ever seen fun house mirrors? If your polymer/acrylic splashback is very flexible and you have a wall that is not perfectly straight you risk getting that effect!
Check to see whether the acrylic is extruded or cast. Extruded is softer than cast acrylic and is therefore more flimsy.
The thinner the acrylic splashback, the cheaper the cost to purchase. But you get what you pay for. Thin acrylic splashbacks will not look like glass, they look like a sheet of coloured plastic because they lack the depth (from being thinner, especially when looking at kitchen, bathroom and laundry panel sizes.
To achieve the glass look, ask for 6mm PMMA cast acrylic.
Tip 2. Make sure it is perfectly clear & it looks like a glass splashbacks and not coloured plastic. The acrylic Innovative Splashbacks uses looks exactly like glass and its even clearer than glass with absolutely no green tinge. It is optically clear; as clear as optical glasses. There is a huge difference between optically clear acrylic and lower quality acrylic. One looks exactly like glass splashbacks while the other looks like coloured plastic.
Tip 3. Compare the TOTAL cost. Most acrylic splashbacks are supplied in single sheets of a set size. And remember, while the cost-per-metre may be less, you are forced to purchase an entire sheet and you pay for what you dont use. This often makes cut-to-size less expensive since you dont pay for wastage.
Also include any cutting fees. Some suppliers charge exorbitant fees to cut acrylic splashbacks, while most wont supply cut-to-size at all. And if you cut it yourself you must factor in your time and labour as well.
Do you have to pick up your splashbacks? Can you fit them into your car? Everyone typically charges for delivery, but we have sourced the best prices for fast, reliable delivery of our splashbacks directly to your door, nationwide.
Some large hardware stores charge very high prices for delivery, even across town. We have seen numerous instances where our delivery charges to interstate clients are lower than across town hardware store charges.
Tip 4. Does it come with a play piece? If you choose to cut it yourself ask if it comes with a play piece. This is smaller piece you can use to check your cutting process first. You dont want to get this wrong on your live splashback pieces; it can get very costly when you begin replacing panels.
Tip 5. Does it come with easy to follow instructions, and is installation quick and easy? Check you get access to an easy to follow installation guide. Even though it is quite simple to install you dont want to make any mistakes because you werent given the right information.
Tip 6. Can you get help when you need it? We recognised the need to have help available outside hours for people doing installations in the evening or on weekends. If you are installing your splashback, and you need to ask a question then make sure you can. Ask how easy it is to get help, and make sure you are not restricted to office hours only, or worse still a call centre without any real product expertise available.
Tip 7. What is the colour method? You may think there is no difference between spray painted acrylic and extruded acrylic with a colour layer glued to the back. However, the difference becomes obvious when you compare them side by side. This is even more apparent larger kitchen, laundry and bathroom panels versus smaller sample size pieces.
The glued or bonding process of adding the colour layer process lacks the depth and vibrancy compared to spray painted acrylic. And because it is mass produced you cant choose a custom colour.
We spray paint our 6mm cast German made acrylic, exactly like glass splashbacks so it is vibrant, has depth and in fact looks exactly like a glass splashback. Plus our splashbacks are available in metallic colours, and people can choose their own colour to perfectly complement their kitchen or bathroom decor.
Extruded colour layer glued to the back acrylics are prone to yellow and colour fade with time and when exposed to UV, and this is reflected in the warranty offered. We offer a full 10 year warranty. Most offer far less and only limit their product to a indoor or UV warranty, even reducing their warranty by 10% each year or making you write in to increase it.
In summary, there are many acrylic splashbacks on the market. And the range of products and suppliers ranges widely. Make sure you follow these 7 tips and make sure your acrylic splashback really is The Affordable Luxury.
To find out more, go to www.innovativesplashbacks.com.au or call 0418 548 743.
Copyright 2017 Innovative Splashbacks Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
Innovative Splashbacks are luxury Australian Made acrylic splashbacks & decorative wall panels.Our acrylic splashbacks look identical to glass and are available in ANY colour OR digital print, format to suit your decor and project requirements.Cut to size and shape, 25x stronger than glass and …