A glass kitchen apron is a common and successful design solution that allows you to protect the wall surface in the working area, create a cozy interior and emphasize the individuality of the situation. This decorative element will successfully fit into any style, from classic to hi-tech or loft.
Glass apron in the kitchen: pros and cons
If you need to choose which apron for the kitchen is better, choose plastic or glass, you should study the advantages and disadvantages of these materials.
Glass kitchen apron has a number of advantages:
- Environmental friendliness of the material.
- Quick and easy installation of glass panels.
- The brilliance and reflectivity of the glass visually expands the space, which is especially necessary when decorating a small kitchen.
- Reliability. For the production of aprons, only tempered glass is used, which has high fracture and impact strength. It is not afraid of mechanical damage, ultraviolet radiation and temperature changes.
- Security. No sharp shards will form if the glass panel is broken.
- If the length of the web is not more than 3 m, it is possible to install a one-piece glass apron.
- Ease of care.
- decorative qualities. For innovative glass production technologies, various decors, styles, colors are available.
Glass panels with photo printing applied to them are very popular. It can be a monochrome drawing, a full-color photo, 3D.
Colored plain aprons are also common. The surface can be mirror, glossy or matte. If art painting or beautiful wallpaper is applied to the walls, it can be protected with a transparent apron.
To decorate the wall with transparent glass, preference should be given to the Optiwhite class material. This is a clear glass with high light transmission. It does not have a greenish tint, like ordinary glass, does not distort the image placed behind it.
Despite the obvious advantages, glass panels for an apron also have disadvantages:
- The high cost of quality glass.
- Installation errors can cause condensation between the glass and the wall, contamination in the seams.
- It is possible to cut holes in the panels for the apron only before the hardening stage, so the product is ordered on the basis of a ready-made design project that takes into account the placement of electrical outlets. Holes for fasteners are also drilled in production.
- If the installation is unsuccessful, the joints between the panels may be too visible.
- Mass use. This leads to the fact that this option for finishing the apron is becoming more commonplace.
Before choosing plastic or glass for the design of the work surface, you need to consider alternative solutions — plexiglass and polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate is cheaper than glass. It is more resistant to high temperatures than plexiglass and stronger than tempered glass. The material is lightweight and flexible. The disadvantage of polycarbonate is the instability to mechanical damage — it is easily scratched.
Plexiglas is called plexiglass, acrylic, PMMA. This is a cheap material, durable, moisture resistant, lightweight and flexible. Plexiglas is not demanding on the quality of surface treatment, does not emit toxins during combustion. It can be cut and installed by yourself. At the same time, plexiglass is easily scratched, tarnished, sensitive to the action of alcohol and acetone, deformed at temperatures above 80°C. It is less transparent than tempered glass.
How to make a glass apron
When choosing which glass for an apron in the kitchen is better, it is worth considering all possible options.
Tempered glass — stalinite. This sheet glass is first heated to a temperature of 650°C and then quickly cooled with cold air from both sides. It has increased mechanical strength, heat resistance and safety in case of destruction. It can be installed at the gas stove, it does not scratch, does not fade, withstands cleaning with abrasives. The service life is at least 10 years. The following varieties are in use today:
- Stemalite is glass tempered after being coated with colored enamel. Doesn’t fade or fade.
- Satin — glass with a matte surface.
- Skinali — panels with a decorative substrate. The image is applied by photo printing, stereo printing or using a vinyl film.
Laminated glass — triplex. These are 2 or more sheets of silicate glass glued together with a polymer film, thanks to which they do not shatter into fragments when damaged. Triplex is made by pressing at high temperature.
The polymer layer can be transparent and serve as a decorative substrate. The layered structure allows you to apply an image or foil on the inner layer of glass, completely protecting it from external influences. The inner layer of triplex can be matte or mirror, and the outer layer can be hardened, imitating the texture of leather or fabric.
Triplex has all the advantages of tempered glass. The disadvantages include the cost, the large weight of the canvas, less transparency, the duration of production.
Glass aprons for the kitchen are installed along the entire working surface of the room, so the width of the product depends on the size of the working area.
The lower edge of the apron should go beyond the countertop by at least 1 cm. If the upper tier of the headset is suspended at the same level and there is no hood, you can install the apron in one strip 55–65 cm high. If the hanging cabinets have different heights, the panel can be curly. The minimum height of the apron to the lower edge of the hood from the stove is 70 cm, and the width is equal to the width of the stove and hood. Glass should go beyond the hood by 5–10 cm.
Selection tips: what to look for
For an apron, sheets of tempered glass with a thickness of 6–8 mm are best suited. Triplex thickness is standard — 8 mm.
As for the choice of design for a glass backsplash, it is important to focus on the style and color scheme of the kitchen interior. It is better to prefer an image consisting of a maximum of 3 main colors that are present in the design of the room, otherwise the decor will bring disharmony to the overall composition. Universal solutions — transparent, white or plain colored canvas.
Accessories for glass aprons greatly affect their reliability and appearance. The most popular material for its manufacture is metal. It can be nickel-plated, brushed, gold or bronze.
Metal parts are best combined with glass and household appliances. Fittings include fasteners, brackets, hooks and holders, profiles, sockets. In order for the apron to serve for a long time and have an expensive appearance, you should not save on fittings.
LED backlight colors
The fashionable design of kitchens suggests the presence of additional sources of lighting. The most functional — LED backlight. With compact dimensions, it illuminates the work surface well, without flickering.
The kitchen backsplash can be equipped with profiles with built-in LED lighting. Lamps are mounted both on the lower and on its upper edge. For backlit lighting, you can choose a single-color LED strip: white, blue, green or red. There is also an alternative option — multi-color lighting. In this case, the backlight changes color at the controller’s signal. The color version is good for decorative lighting. For functional lighting of the tabletop, it is better to prefer a tape with white light.
How much does a glass apron cost
The choice of glass is primarily reflected in the cost of an apron for the kitchen. The price is calculated per 1 m² of the finished product. Tempered glass for an apron in the kitchen is cheaper than triplex. The most expensive material is tempered glass triplex.
The finished product additionally increases the cost of photo printing by 30–50%. Stereo printing costs even more. Optiwhite class glass is valued somewhat higher than unlit tempered glass for an apron in the kitchen.
Since the manufacture of aprons is carried out to order and with subsequent installation, their final cost will be affected by the method of fastening, the number of components and holes for sockets, roof rails.
Tempered glass for an apron in the kitchen is more expensive than polymer counterparts.
Glass kitchen apron: installation subtleties
Installation of a glass apron for the kitchen is carried out in three ways: with glue, with fasteners or using a profile. In any case, installation work is carried out after the assembly of furniture. After the completion of the repair work, the gap between the apron and the countertop can be closed with a decorative plinth.
When installing the apron, it is worth considering the following points:
- When placing the backlight behind the apron screen, the minimum allowable distance between the glass and the light source is 7 cm for photo printing and 3 cm for triplex.
- Mounting screws must be tightened carefully, without excessive force.
- In the case of a corner joint, the panel is first mounted, which rests against the wall, and then the one that rests against the first.
- The distance between the glass and the hob must be at least 5 cm.
- Pressure on the end of the glass panel may cause it to break, the upper level of the headset must not be allowed to rest on it.
- In the case of installation using a profile, a seal is used to protect the glass from metal screws.
1 — using fasteners
There are the following mounting methods:
- With the use of screws with decorative caps. This is a reliable method that is suitable for any surface, even if it is a completely flat wall or an old coating. This fastener option allows, if necessary, to dismantle the apron for a while. There is a distance of about 4 mm between the wall and the screen. The main disadvantage of the method is the visibility of the fasteners.
- With awnings. In this case, the panels are inserted into inconspicuous metal clips. This option is less reliable, but it allows you to almost closely dock individual canvases.
2 — using liquid nails or other adhesives
The second way to attach the apron to the wall is with the use of an adhesive composition. The most popular glue is “liquid nails”. In this way, the panels are attached only to a well-prepared, flat surface.
The advantage is the complete adhesion of the glass to the wall, which eliminates the appearance of condensate under it. When mounted on the adhesive composition, there are no visible fasteners and the joints are well masked.
How to install yourself
Installing a glass apron in the kitchen with a do-it-yourself fixing method is doable. To do this, use glass holders — nozzles with plastic dowels.
Before installing the apron, sockets, switches are dismantled, and the glasses are pushed out to the thickness of the lining. Applying sheets of apron to the wall, markup for fasteners, make holes 6 mm in diameter (1–2 mm larger than the diameter of the screw) and hammer dowels into them.
Panels are best installed together. The order of work is as follows:
- Silicone bushings are inserted into the holes on the glass to protect it from metal.
- Screw the self-tapping screw to its full length (3.5 cm).
- After screwing in and tightening the screws, we mask them with decorative caps.
- We seal the seams between the panels, if any, with colorless silicone.
- We glue a decorative plinth between the tabletop and the apron.
You can install an apron using an L‑shaped aluminum profile. First fix the upper, then the lower profile. Insert glass between them and fix with a plinth. This method is especially convenient if the apron consists of panels of different heights.
Caring for a glass apron is simple. To remove greasy stains, any detergents and cleaning products are suitable.
To add shine, you should use professional tools. But before that, dust is removed from the glass with a dry cloth. After treatment, the apron is wiped dry.