Thermoplastic backsplashes offer the traditional look of a metallic backsplash at a fraction of the cost. Their versatility--they come in a variety of colors and designs--coupled with their durability make them a premier choice for your kitchen or bathroom backsplash. They're also easy to maintain, and you don't have to worry about scratches or dents as you would have to with real metal backsplashes.
Thermoplastic backsplashes are a laminate product. They're made of multiple layers of plastic that are fused together with heat. Some may even have a layer of real metal. They're commonly sold in 18-by-24-inch panels.
Thermoplastic backsplashes look like metal sheets. They mirror the look of metals such as stainless steel, copper, aluminum and tin. They often feature metal-like texture with ribbing, raised panels and high-gloss sheens. Thermoplastic backsplashes are available in large panels or tin-style tiles. Tin tiles can be painted any color to match the rest of your bathroom or kitchen decor. Several styles are ready-made with an antique finish.
Thermoplastic panels are relatively simple to install. Use a utility knife to cut the panels to the size you need, and glue them directly to the walls. Some thermoplastic panels must be attached to particleboard, and others can be affixed with the manufacturer's sturdy double-sided tape. Although panels are fire-retardant, they're not recommended for placement behind your stove, because the heat can deform the material.
Cleaning your thermoplastic panels is a quick job. Use hot water, soap and a soft cloth to clean the backsplash. Thermoplastic panels are rust-, stain- and water-resistant, so they aren't difficult to maintain.
Thermoplastic backsplashes make a bold statement in any room. Use a copper or tin-style thermoplastic backsplash for a rustic, farmhouse or antique-style kitchen or bathroom. Add a stainless-steel-style thermoplastic backsplash to coordinate with stainless-steel appliances in your chef's kitchen. Use large thermoplastic tiles on your backsplash to make your small kitchen appear larger. Cover a small section such as over the sink, or the entire wall for a larger focal point. You can also use coordinating thermoplastic backsplashes to match your tin ceiling. For a solid-surface look, paint the panels to match the cabinetry.
Prices vary per the type of thermoplastic style you choose, but generally, using a tin-style thermoplastic material will cost about half the price of real tin. You can install thermoplastic yourself using the manufacturer's instructions, but if you hire this job out, expect to pay about $8 to $9 per square foot.
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