Acrylic splashbacks have stood the test of time
Have you ever thought a splashback comes in anything other than glass, tiles or stainless steel? Perhaps you’ve heard of acrylic splashbacks and thought, “what … plastic?”
Well before you think that glass, tiles or stainless are superior to acrylic then consider these things: What is acrylic? Where is it used? How long has it been around? Is it used in other countries? Is it durable for splashbacks? How does it compare to other splashback materials like glass and tiles?
Most people wouldn’t be able to answer most of these questions. And that’s OK. We’ve been bombarded with the same old options for walls time and time again. Often from architects and builders who prefer not to venture outside their regular products.
What is acrylic?
Technically speaking, acrylic is a type of thermoplastic, and more broadly a type of polymer. And while this isn’t a chemistry lesson, thanks to chemistry and innovation there are actually thousands of different types of plastics. There are so many categories of plastics/polymers, and include adhesives, vinyl, rubber, PVC, coatings and the list goes on and on and on. Some plastics are used as aircraft windows. Some help cars weigh less and make them more fuel-efficient. Others stop bullets, preserve food by blocking oxygen from reaching it (food packaging) while others are transparent like glass yet much stronger.
How long has plastic been around?
Incredibly, plastic dates back to around 1600BC. The Olmec civilization used rubber to make balls, bands and even figurines. Fast forward 3000 years to the industrial revolution and the first modern day plastic was created in 1856 and used as buttons, piano keys and billiard balls to replace ivory. Now with the history lesson and background information on plastics out of the way…
Where is acrylic used today?
Because acrylic is so versatile it’s used literally everywhere around the world. And some of the more unusual uses include commercial aquariums (instead of glass), ice hockey protection screens, aircraft windows and even bone cement!
What type of acrylic is used as splashbacks?
The acrylic commonly used for splashbacks is a form of Poly (methyl) methacrylate (PMMA). Either extruded or cast forms of PMMA and monomer (MMA) are used. PMMA is optically transparent, meaning it’s clearer than starfire glass. And there’s no green tinge in acrylic whatsoever. PMMA was developed back in 1928 by Rohm & Hass and has been used world-wide since 1933. And there are a number of brands on the world market. The original brand is Plexiglas and since 1928 it has stood the test of time. It sets the benchmark for quality, versatility and durability. It also has the highest level of UV protection possible, and offers an unmatched 30 year no UV yellowing warranty.
Plexiglas PMMA acrylic also:
- Contains no toxic materials
- Is known as the "non-smoker" because in case of a burning building it will not produce the acrid, toxic smoke that restricts view
- Does not emit any harmful or toxic gases – unlike some other polymer materials used as splashbacks and wall panels.
One of the troubles with glass splashbacks…
This is an example of cracked or commonly termed “exploding” glass – which was toughened to Australian Standards and what is used in kitchens, bathroom and laundries. This is not a rare occurrence for toughened glass splashbacks, it is well known to occur and does for a multitude of reasons. One thing for sure is that you will NEVER have this happen with Innovative Splashbacks thanks to the unrivalled PMMA acrylic – Plexiglas we use!
Other uses for Plexiglas include, windscreens, TV, PC and tablet monitor screens to prosthetics, even contact lenses. Little wonder it’s absolutely ideal for splashbacks. Interestingly, while glass is the ‘standard’ splashback in Australia, acrylic splashbacks are the standard in Europe. And have been since as early as the 1970s. Even the lesser quality acrylics; vinyl and colour coated PVC have been used in North America as splashbacks since the 1970s. There are no Australian “pioneers” when it comes to polymer and acrylic splashbacks – the Europeans and Americans have long been producing acrylic and polymer splashbacks and using them in their kitchens, bathroom and laundries.
When looking at splashback materials it’s wise to know the toxicity of the material. Don’t put up with blanket terms such as “polymer”, because as you have learned, that term can mean thousands of different plastic materials. Suppliers using that term should set off alarm bells that they are as phony as a $3 note. And potentially have something to hide regarding exactly what plastic material their splashback product is actually made out of.
Find out exactly what plastic (polymer) material the splashback is made of and find out if the material is known to be toxic in any way. A quick search on independent sites will soon give you the information you require to make an informed decision on how safe the splashback materials actually is.
In the case of splashbacks and wall panels the big ticket considerations when comparing acrylic, glass, tiles and stainless steel include:
- Cost to purchase
- Cost to install and ease to install if you want to Do It Yourself (DIY)
- Ease of cleaning and maintaining – tiles come with grout and with glass you have to buff to a shine or else you will see the streaks
- Durability of the material – can it survive knocks and bumps?
- How easy the material can damage and/or break – acrylic is 25 times stronger than glass
- If the material can be repaired easily or not - you can repair scratches to acrylic splashbacks, however if you scratch glass there’s not much which can save you
- The final look you want to achieve for your space.
Features and benefits of Innovative Splashbacks and why they are Australia’s favourite splashbacks
Innovative Splashbacks manufactures and supplies high quality painted and printed acrylic splashbacks and decorative wall panels.
They are ideal for residential and commercial applications, wet areas and virtually any surface. They are made with Plexiglas PMMA cast acrylic. The reasons are now obvious as to why – there simply is no better quality acrylic in the world – and we would be clearly insane to use anything else!
Our unrivalled acrylic splashbacks are ideal for architects, designers, builders, renovators and DIYers who need a stylish, high quality finish without the cost, trouble or delays of glass and tiles. They have fast become a popular glass alternative splashback choice for good reason. Innovative Splashbacks:
- Look exactly like glass
- Half the weight of glass and 25 x stronger
- More affordable than glass
- Install four times faster than both glass and tiles = phenomenal cost savings
- Available in any colour or shade, including metallics
- Available in any print image, graphic or pattern
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments
- 6 mm thick featuring stunning colour depth equal to glass
- Available cut to size to suit any project = savings on cost, time & labour costs
- Greater rigidity than alternative acrylic/polymer splashbacks & wall panel products
- No splitting, yellowing, cracking – due to only using the best acrylic in the world
- Durable, hard wearing high-gloss surface
- Australian made and first ever acrylic/polymer splashbacks certified Australian made
- Industry leading 10 year warranty on painted splashbacks.
Where can Innovative Splashbacks be used? Virtually any vertical surface including:
- Shower wall and cubicles
- Bathroom walls
- Bath/spa surrounds
- Bars/counter fronts
- Feature walls and foyers
- Commercial displays
- Commercial wet areas
- Commercial fit outs
Innovative Splashbacks allows you to reduce costs and get the high class finish for your home and commercial projects.
Innovative Splashbacks specialise in high quality acrylic splashbacks and decorative wall panels for residential and commercial applications, wet areas and virtually any vertical surface.Learn more