Practical and visually appealing acrylic backsplashes are very popular in kitchens. They provide an economical wall background, are durable, easy to maintain, and protect walls from grease and dirt.
This guide will show you step by step how to install an acrylic backsplash.
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What is acrylic?
Acrylic is a type of plastic that mimics the same appearance as glass. Sometimes referred to as plexiglass, it comes in a variety of thicknesses, colors, patterns and transparencies.
Why choose an acrylic backsplash?
While acrylic mimics the look of glass, it is arguably a less expensive material for backsplashes. In addition to being inexpensive, it does not require special cutting tools for installation. That means it's relatively easy to assemble.
Acrylic is also much lighter and stronger than glass, making it less likely to break.
Other backsplash alternatives include stainless steel and tile. Stainless steel is not everyone's cup of tea, and installing tile requires more time, materials, and labor.
Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons of using acrylic as a backsplash:
|Cheap.||It can be scratched if the wrong cleaning agent is used.|
|Half the weight of glass.||Not all acrylic paints are suitable for use near a stove.|
|It can be installed in DIY style.|
|It can be purchased in a variety of colors and patterns.|
|Easy to clean.|
professional advice: Acryliferantcut plastic filmrecommends at least 3mm thick acrylic for smaller bulkheads and at least 5mm thick acrylic for larger panels over 600mm wide.
Assembly: glued or screwed?
There are two methods of attaching an acrylic backsplash: glued or screwed. If you chose a clear or translucent backsplash, the sticker will obviously be visible. In this case, you should definitely use screws.
Some people may also opt for screws if they intend to replace the bulkhead in the future (i.e. just install it as a temporary fix) as it makes removal and replacement easier without damaging the walls.
Unless any of the above apply to you, collage is the simplest and easiest method. Whichever you choose, we'll walk you through each method in this guide.
So if you've decided an acrylic backsplash is right for you, read on.
Acrylic backsplash installation - step by step instructions
If you follow the steps below carefully, especially measuring and cutting, installing an acrylic stand is a relatively easy DIY job.
tools and materials
- Measuring tape
- Langes Lineal
- Saw (jigsaw or circular saw are ideal)
- multipurpose drill bit
- grinding block
- sugar soap
- PVA and water (if needed)
- acrylic backsplash
- Scotch tape
- wooden strip
- Wet and dry sandpaper (grit 180-600)
- panel pivot bar
- construction sticker
- double thread
- Wall plug
- mirror screws
- silicone sealant
1. Prepare as paredes
Before starting, you need to properly prepare your walls. Existing tiles, wallpaper or wall coverings should be removed and large areas of sandblasted plaster repaired beforehand.
In order for the acrylic partition to be flush with the wall and secure, the wall must be flat, without large protrusions or recesses.
Hold a long spirit level against the wall and move it around to find sinks. You will see these indentations when there is a gap between the spirit level and the wall. Fill recesses with a layer of pre-mixed plaster and allow to dry before sanding.
If your walls are particularly uneven, it might be worth plastering them first. A few cuts won't cause much trouble, but as with tile, a flush base will make a big difference in the finish.
2. Clean and seal the walls
First give the wall a good clean with a cloth and sugar soap to remove grease and dirt. If the surface is dusty or dirty, the glue may not dry well and you'll have to repeat the entire process.
If you have freshly plastered walls or raw plaster, you will need to seal the wall before applying acrylic. Both fresh plaster and drywall are porous, meaning they suck moisture out of the adhesive before it can adhere properly.
To caulk a wall, mix a littlePVAand water in a 50/50 ratio and apply to the wall. Be sure to let it dry before proceeding to the next step.
3. Measure the wall
Using a tape measure, measure the height and width of the area of the wall where you plan to place the screen. Depending on the length of the wall, you may need to fit two backsplashes together with a connector. In this case, take steps to install two separate parts.
4. Mark the measurements on the acrylic and apply masking tape
Leaving the protective film on the acrylic, transfer your measurements to the acrylic sheet using a line pencil and a long ruler. Place some masking tape over this line, then place it back on top of the masking tape. The masking tape ensures it doesn't chip or chip when cutting the acrylic.
5. Preparation before cutting
You can usedifferent sawsfor cutting acrylic, including aPuzzle,circular, otable saw. Whichever saw you choose, be sure to use a blade suitable for acrylic, which is ideally a fine-toothed, closely spaced blade. Respectivelycut plastic film, Large gaps between the teeth will cause the acrylic to chip.
For cutting acrylic, it is important to have a suitable work table on which you can securely hold the entire length of acrylic in position. This prevents excessive vibrations that could cause the acrylic to crack when cutting.
You should also clamp a strip of wood over the plexiglass so that it cuts along the line when you run the saw against it. The bar ensures that the cut is perfectly straight and there is no chance of the saw going off at an angle.
6. Cut the acrylic
Now you can cut the height and length of the acrylic to the correct size. Whichever saw you use, be sure to turn it on before it touches the acrylic. Otherwise, it may cause the edge to come off.
When cutting, try not to force the saw through the acrylic. Let him run at his own pace and push gently. We also recommend making a test cut in the acrylic beforehand to see how the sheet will cut and make sure you don't leave any ridges.
The following video shows how to cut acrylic perfectly with different saws. The video includes a stroke and fit technique, although it is only suitable for acrylics less than 5mm thick and not recommended for large panels.
7. Test outlets and switches
One hurdle you'll encounter when installing an acrylic splashback is cutting plugs and switches. However, this is much easier than you think!
- Measure from the bottom of the counter to the bottom of the plinth and add those measurements to the acrylic.
- Do the same on the side of the base, drawing the entire rectangular outline on the acrylic.
- Tape over the line and redraw as before. For a perfect fit, we recommend cutting the rectangle by about 5mm on each edge. The outlet/switch cover sits on top of the plexiglass, making the cutout slightly smaller and ensuring there are no gaps.
8. Cut around outlets and switches
Using a drill and a suitable acrylic drill bit, drill four holes in the inside corners of the rectangle you drew. Place a piece of wood under each hole as you drill to prevent cracking. Remember not to force the drill. Let him go at his own pace!
After drilling four holes, insert a jigsaw into each hole and cut along straight lines to remove the remainder of the rectangular outline.
9. Smooth cut edges
If the edges are slightly rough or chipped, do the following:
- You will need wet and dry sandpaper with a sandpaper block and a little water.
- Wet the acrylic edge and use 180-grit sandpaper to rub back and forth across the edge using a sandpaper block until most of the roughness is removed.
- Always keep the edge slightly damp, but not too wet.
After removing most of the roughness with 180-grit sandpaper, you can repeat the process with slightly finer-grit sandpaper (320-grit) before finally finishing with the finest grit (600-grit). ) to give a fully polished finish. Take your time with this step and don't rush between sandpapers too soon.
10. Create shortcuts
If you need to join two separate lengths of acrylic, you have two options. The first is to fit the two acrylic pieces together, and assuming you cut two neat edges, they need to fit together for an even finish. If it's cut correctly, you won't even notice the connection.
If your acrylic cut wasn't perfect, use a straight aluminum spatter between the joints. This connection slit between the two acrylic pieces and covers each cut edge. Creates a visible seam, but generally provides a cleaner finish if the cuts are not perfect. Use a hacksaw to cut the aluminum gasket to the same height as your acrylic.
11. Fixing the acrylic in place
We have two options for this step: glue or screw. As mentioned, which method you choose will depend on how transparent your acrylic is and whether you want to change it later.
Whichever method you choose, you need to dry it first to make sure everything fits perfectly before you can go ahead and secure it properly.
Method 1: use glue
Using an all-purpose construction adhesive and a caulk gun, apply a generous amount of adhesive to the back of the backsplash in an up-and-down V-motion, coating the back of the acrylic with multiple contact points.
We recommend using double sided tape with the adhesive to keep the backsplash securely in place while the adhesive cures. To do this, apply several pieces of masking tape to the back of the backsplash and remove the top layer.
When you're ready to install the backsplash, lift it up and press it firmly against the wall along the entire length of the backsplash. Make sure the adhesive is in contact with the wall along the entire length of the backsplash.
If you need to use an aluminum gasket, assemble it at the same time. Simply apply some glue to the back of the connector bar and insert it into the edge between the backsplashes. If the adhesive comes off the back of the pad, wipe it off.
Method 2: Using Screws
If you are using screws to hold the backsplash in place, drill four holes in each corner of the plexiglass as you did with the baseboard before. If your backsplash is particularly long, you can also add two in the middle.
After drilling these holes, hold the bulkhead in place and mark the same holes on the wall. Drill these holes in the wall and insert the dowels.
To fit the acrylic backsplash, we recommend usingmirror screwsas they have covers that slide over the screw for a more attractive look. Screw each dowel into the acrylic face and tighten. Add caps for a smooth finish.
professional advice:Before installing, make sure your acrylic backsplash is suitable for use behind a stove, as not all types of acrylic are heat resistant.
12. Remove the plastic cap
If you used an adhesive, let it dry for at least 24 hours and remove the plastic protector from the acrylic. If removed earlier, the acrylic may separate from the adhesive.
13. Seal between partition and worktop
Lastly, as a final step, apply a bead of silicone caulk to the gap between the backsplash and the countertop to prevent food or water from entering that gap.
For a complete tutorial, check out our usage guide.silicone sealant. When this step is complete and the sealer dries, you're done!
If you want to see the complete process of installing your acrylic backsplash, watch Bunnings' video below:
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How to Customize an Acrylic Backsplash - Final Thoughts
That is all! Installing an acrylic backsplash is a lot easier than you think. It's also inexpensive and will add a sleek, modern finish to any kitchen.
Check out our guide for more kitchen remodeling tips.paint kitchen cabinets.