One of the things which has struck me recently is the number of assumptions made by some people about glass Glass Splashbacks. A friend of mine is having his kitchen completely redecorated, and had ripped out everything, intending on starting from scratch. It's often the best way of renovating a kitchen, otherwise you find it's a little like replacing the laces on your shoes when really the shoes needed replacing completely - you're never going to feel really satisfied with the result.
I happened to ask what sort of worktops he was looking at, and he suggested that for cost he might well go for wood core with a veneer finish, although if his budget could stretch to it he'd be interested in quartz or granite worktops. I suggested the idea of glass worktops, and at first he didn't think I was serious. He then came out with the first assumption which some people tend to make.
"Glass worktops? Are they going to be really fragile? I tend to be fairly rough in the kitchen, with sharp knives, heavy pans, hot plates and such like. I'd chip or crack a glass worktop in five minutes!" I then pointed out to him that every single day he drove at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour with his face just inches from a rather large sheet of glass that was several times thinner than the glass used in glass worktops for kitchens. He looked blankly at me for a moment, and then said, "Yes, well, but that's different - that's special glass."
The fact that glass worktops are made from an incredibly tough form of glass clearly means that an argument such as this is inherently flawed, and so I pointed out to him again that most professional cooks and chefs use glass chopping boards and glass food preparation boards, all of which are again a good deal thinner than a glass worktop. Again, he looked blank, but I could see he was coming round. At which point another thought occurred to him, and he commented with complete certainty that he'd got me stumped, "Yes, all right, glass worktops may be tough, but glass is transparent - I don't really want the complete contents of my drawers and cupboards visible through the work surface!"
Granted, glass can be transparent, but the glass worktops available for kitchens usually have a coloured backing fixed to them. This means that the glass can still be colourless, but by applying an inexpensive coloured backing material the glass instantly becomes filled with colour, as well as now no longer allowing visitors and guests to inspect the contents of your cutlery drawer without having to open it.Clearly looking considerably more convinced than he had started out being, my friend thought a little longer about this, and then asked me, "But how do I fit it? I mean, every kitchen is different in size and shape, and my kitchen's got those silly pipes in the corner and that ludicrously placed electric socket. I'd have to start cutting into the glass worktop, and I'd almost certainly break it or make a real mess of it."
I explained to him that most companies which supply glass worktops and glass splashbacks for kitchens manufacture them to fit, and so they can be supplied with any holes, gaps or grooves already cut, so that the worktop or splashback will fit easily, snugly and precisely, for a very professional and very stylish look. Once I pointed out to him that glass worktops and glass splashbacks have no joins or seams, and are therefore extremely hygienic and easy to keep clean, unlike wood veneers, tiles and porous materials such as granite, he was almost convinced. Only one question was left.
"Yes, it all sounds good. But it's a shame I can't afford it. Glass worktops are fearfully expensive." Not at all, and in fact there are some companies in the UK offering glass worktops and splashbacks at prices which are more affordable than many alternative, and less convenient materials. It's just a shame I wasn't working on a commission basis!