Glass splashbacks are both a practical and attractive addition to any kitchen, and with a few basic DIY skills you can install one yourself. Here's how to go about doing it.
Before you start
Before you begin, ask the manufacturer of your cooker and the splashback supplier if there is a minimum distance to be left between the splashback and the heating elements or gas jets of your cooker for safety reasons.
Once you've established this, accurately measure the area of the wall the splashback is going to cover, and draw a 'cutting plan' out on paper. Mark the plan with any plug sockets or cupboard corners that the splashback will need to be fitted around. Your splashback supplier will need the plan in order to cut the glass to fit properly. If you prefer, you can ask the supplier to measure-up for you which they will usually do for a small charge.
Make sure the wall in question is clean, flat and free from grease or loose plasterwork. A proprietary kitchen cleaning product will get rid of everyday dirt but you might need to have the wall skimmed and replastered if it's in poor condition. If the wall is dirty or lumpy, the glass splashback won't fit properly.
Use a silicone-based sealant to seal the back of worktop surfaces to prevent water leaking down behind your kitchen units which could cause them to rot.
Fixate the splashback to the wall
The easiest way to install a glass splashback is to use a special heat-proof glass adhesive that your splashback supplier will be able to provide. This method is quicker and cleaner than using screws, there's no danger of cracking the glass, and you won't have to try to align screw holes in the wall.
Place a batten along the bottom of the wall for the splashback to rest on while the adhesive cures.
Lay the splashback flat on the clean work surface. Apply the adhesive to the rear of the splashback in blobs of around 30mm in size, spaced evenly across the splashback. Keep the blobs around the edge of the glass set in around 40mm so that when you push the splashback against the wall, the adhesive doesn't leak out.
Carefully place the splashback against the wall and apply gentle pressure so as not to crack it. This could be a two-man job depending upon the size of the splashback.
Use a clean cloth to wipe over the splashback. It should feel secure without any squashy areas. Make sure that the back of the glass is completely covered, and that there are no gaps in the adhesive. If you're not confident that the whole rear of the glass is covered with adhesive, remove it and fill in any gaps.
To finish the job you'll need to apply a thin bead of clear sealant around the edge of the splashback to prevent water from leaking down behind it. It's a good idea to include cupboard edges and sockets in this exercise too for a really professional-looking finish.
A glass splashback makes any kitchen look really stylish. Choose colours and designs to complement the look, and ask your supplier for more advice on fitting and installation.