Choosing the glass type for your coloured glass splashback (Part 1)

Choosing the glass type for your coloured glass splashback (Part 1)

Congratulations. You have decided on coloured glass splashbacks for your new kitchen (or laundry, bathroom or alfresco). Now it is time to finalise your glass splashback details, so here are some helpful hints regarding the various glass types.

Toughened Glass versus Float Glass

Although Glass Splashbacks have been professionally installed in Australia by dedicated trade staff since the 1990’s, currently there is no specific Quality Standard dealing exclusively with glass splashback manufacture and installation.
So to ensure that you get a quality product that will stand the test of time, be sure to specify that all pieces bigger than an A4 piece of paper are to be toughened. Once the glass has been toughened it becomes far more durable, with an increased resistance to heat, scratches and impacts.

Now, whilst most heat in kitchens is usually derived from the cooktops, it is the portable appliances such as kettles, toasters, electric woks, slow cookers, jaffle makers and rice cookers that put heat into unexpected places. Often, a one off use of an appliance can have a disastrous impact on float glass.
Couple this with the unintended impact of a sliding pan from atop a Pisa–esque stack of dirty dishes and you will be glad that you specified toughened glass, instead of the false economy of non-safety float glass.
Simple Definitions

Float Glass: To obtain consistency in thickness and to reduce distortion, when glass is first produced, it is “floated” on a molten bed, hence the label “Float” Glass. Float Glass can be cut and if broken, may produce, large irregular or dagger shaped shards.

Toughened Glass: When Float Glass has been subjected to a controlled heating and cooling process, the resultant product is Category A Toughened Safety Glass. Once glass has been toughened, it is no longer able to be cut. When Toughened Glass is broken, it will shatter into pea sized pieces with sharp edges.