A glass splashback, also known as a backsplash, is a wonderful departure from tile. Long panels are fabricated with cutouts for electrical sockets and switch plates to give a virtually seamless impression. A good design means you will have as few panels as possible. Installation is as easy as attaching a sheet of mirror above a bath vanity.
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Things you need
- Painter’s tape
- Tube of clear silicone adhesive
- Caulk gun
- Soapy water
- Dust sheets
Clean and prep the backsplash area or provide a smooth, flat surface. Your choice of glass will determine whether any paint preparation is needed. If you are attaching a glass backsplash that has been painted on the back, you need not worry about the original wall colour. Depending upon the thickness and pattern, kiln-fired art glass panels in clear (tinged with green) or low iron (water clear) may require spackling and a fresh coat of paint to provide a neutral background.
Protect your countertops with dust sheets or layers of newspaper. Confirm that all glass panels are the correct size. Apply painter's tape as close as possible to all the edges on the fronts of the backsplash panels. Do the same to the back bottom edges of your cabinets and countertops, to protect the surfaces from silicone.
Load your caulk gun with a tube of silicone adhesive. Cut the tip off the nozzle of the caulk tube at an angle, using a utility knife. Use the tool on the caulk gun to break the seal on the tube. Pump the trigger on the caulk gun until silicone adhesive starts to flow.
Apply generous dollops of silicone adhesive -- about the size of golf balls -- to the glass panel backs. Apply the dollops approximately 6 inches apart. With a helper, position each panel into place. If you have panels that butt up to each other, apply a bead of silicone between the panels before you install the next panel.
Run a bead of silicone between the back bottom edges of your cabinets and the backsplash, and between your countertops and the backsplash. Dip your finger into a bowl of very soapy water to smooth the bead. Keep repeating until the bead is smooth. Remove all painter’s tape as soon as possible to keep silicone from drying onto the painter’s tape. Allow 24 hours or more for the silicone to dry.
Tips and warnings
- If you are transporting the backsplash glass from your supplier to your home, make sure you can stand it on its side and secure it properly. Otherwise, have it delivered by your supplier.
- Glass is very heavy, and large panels are awkward to manoeuvre. Do not attempt to attach your backsplash without a helper.
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