If you need to make alterations to your splashback, our informative guide will help you through the process for the best possible results. Acrylic is an easy material to work with, which is why it’s so popular for such a wide range of applications, and it can be cut with ease using standard tools. However, there are some key elements to bear in mind when working with this versatile material to ensure a great finish.
Before you begin cutting or drilling, make sure you have eye protection and thick gloves to avoid any injuries. Remember to sand the edges of your panel after cutting as it can be extremely sharp.
Marking out areas to be drilled or cut
Try to ensure you keep the protective film on the acrylic until the final moment prior to installation. When marking out the area you want to cut or drill into, it’s important to use a soft felt-tipped pen and not to scratch or scribe into the material. While acrylic is durable, scratches and abrasions can occur. For added protection, we recommend marking onto masking tape which can also serve as additional protection when you’re drilling or cutting. Double check your measurements and markings thoroughly before you attempt any alterations.
Cutting and drilling splashback panels
If you need to cut your splashback, use a fine-toothed blade that’s suitable for plastics or aluminium and make sure it’s sharp so as not to melt or chip your acrylic. A circular or table saw can also be used providing the blade is suited to plastics.
We recommend that any areas that require cutting are masked for added protection and that you always cut the panel on a support board or table, with the back of the panel facing upwards, so that the panel doesn’t flex or chip. Soft grip C clamps are idea for minimising vibrations. When cutting power socket holes or notches, make the corners by using a drill and don’t allow the blade to overheat when cutting, as this can cause the acrylic to melt. Clean the swarf away at frequent intervals when cutting and keep a steady speed.
As with cutting, before any drilling commences, make sure you’ve correctly marked and measured to avoid any mistakes. Choose a drill bit that has a steeper angle than a normal drill bit to reduce the risk of the acrylic chipping or cracking – a stepped cone drill bit is also useful if you need to bore holes. We recommend you avoid drilling holes any closer than 10mm from the edge of the panel, as this can reduce the integrity of your splashback and make it weaker.
To start, make a small pilot hole to mark the placement and then slowly build to a larger hole using larger drill bits until you reach the diameter required. You shouldn’t use screws to fix items to the panel, as this can lead to damage of the splashback. To securely fit the panel to the wall, drill a clearance hole through the panel and fix it to the wall behind.
Finishing the splashback
Cut or drilled acrylic can be sharp, so it’s advisable to sand the edges down with medium grit sandpaper or a file and finish with a fine grit sandpaper for a smooth edge. Sandpaper blocks are a great tool for this, although be careful not to sand the front of the panel as this will damage the surface. A de-burrer can be used before fitting for a professional finish too. Once you’ve made your alterations, the panel can be installed and then cleaned using a soft cloth and warm water to remove any dust that has built up during the process.