Buying Guide for Glass Kitchen Backsplash

Glass backsplashes are growing in popularity, and manufacturers are producing more styles and colors to meet the demand. This guide provides you with information you can use to compare glass backsplashes with those covered in our popular guides on tile, granite, marble, stainless steel and other backsplash types.

glass backsplash

What is a Glass Backsplash?

We cover glass tile backsplashes in our tile backsplash guides. Here, we’re talking about glass panels that are several feet wide and high. They typically go from countertop to the bottom of the wall cabinets or even the ceiling. They’re constructed from tempered glass and may be tinted or coated in a range of colors and finishes. In most installations, a local glass company supplies the glass and coats it with a product created by paint manufacturers for use in many glass applications. Clear glass over a painted surface is an option too.

Glass Backsplash Wear and Durability

The glass used for these kitchen backsplashes is tempered, so it stands up well to heat and minor impact. Glass is waterproof, of course, and can be easily cleaned. Installation includes strong silicone adhesive, and a trim piece is often installed at the edges to secure the glass sheets. The result is a very durable backsplash that will retain its beauty for decades.

Glass Kitchen Backsplash Advantages and Disadvantages

These glass backsplash pros and cons will help you decide if this is one of your backsplash finalists for you kitchen remodeling project.

Glass Backsplash Pros – Glass:

  • Can be coated with any color including custom match colors
  • Resists water
  • Is non-porous, so won’t harbor mold or bacteria
  • Cleans up easily
  • Is tempered to withstand rapid temperature change and moderate impact
  • Creates a clean, finished look to the wall behind the sink and appliances
  • Isn’t grouted like tile
  • Reflects light to make the room bright
  • Produces a moderate reflection which can make the room feel larger

Glass Backsplash Cons – Glass:

  • Is currently available in limited styles, but expect that to change quickly
  • Looks great with styles such as modern and contemporary, but doesn’t go as well with more traditional styles
  • If a crack occurs, a large, costly piece of glass will have to be replaced
  • Costs more than popular backsplash materials such as ceramic tile and laminate

The Cost of Glass Backsplashes

Glass backsplashes are in the upper half of types in terms of expensive. Here’s a look at material and labor costs for glass backsplashes:

  • Glass backsplash material cost: $20 to $35 per square foot. Cost varies with the quality and thickness of the glass and the type of coat that is applied to it.
  • Glass backsplash installation cost: $8 to $15 per square foot. The more the glass has to be cut to fit the architecture of the wall, the higher the installation cost will be.

See our guide for glass backsplash cost for all the information you need for pricing up the job.

Is a Glass Kitchen Backsplash Right for You?

You’ll appreciate the sleek, clean beauty of a glass backsplash if:

  • You’re designing a modern style kitchen
  • Easy cleanup is a priority
  • Paying a premium price to get a superior product is okay with you

FAQ for Glass Backsplashes

This glass backsplash Q&A gives important additional information

Will hot grease or a hot pan against the glass cause it to shatter?

If you choose tempered, heat-resistant glass, it should be affected by a sudden change in temperature.

How hard is the glass?

Your glass backsplash dealer will offer you options for glass type, thickness and hardness along with the features of each.

Can glass backsplash panels be repaired?

It really depends on how bad the chip or crack is. Minor chips can be repaired almost invisibly. It’s more difficult with larger chips and cracks.

Can I install my own glass backsplashes?

It is possible, but you’d need access to the coating and equipment to apply it, if you plan to tint it, and be able to cut glass sheets and drill holes in them without cracking the glass. In other words, it is a challenging installation, and the vast majority of homeowners leave it to the pros that do it every day.

How long do glass backsplashes last?

Glass is very durable, and with reasonable care, your backsplashes should last 20+ years.

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