Volume 49, Issue 3 - March 2014


Bases Covered
Tips for Worry-Free Back-Painted Glass Installations
by Vick Channel

Back-painted glass is one of the most in-demand glazing products available today. It’s functional, easy-to-clean and stylish. It can be used everywhere from walls to countertops. In short, everyone seems to love it. When it comes to installation, though, these products bring along a number of considerations for contract glaziers. Here’s a look at five quick tips to keep in mind when taking on a back-painted glass installation project.

1. Reputation Matters
Deal only with established, reputable companies. There are new companies getting into the back-painting business. Be aware they may not have a tested and proven backing system. Often, price is their only selling point. If you choose to do business with the lowest cost supplier, you may risk paying more in the long run. 

2. Let’s See Those Test Scores
Make sure the back-painted glass fabricator with whom you will be working has had their product tested by an independent,  third-party company, not affiliated with their paint supplier/manufacturer, glass manufacturer or their own in-house testing laboratory. This will assure you of unbiased product testing. Ask the manufacturer for the name of the company that performed the tests, which tests were performed and results of those tests. There are established ASTM standards to which their back-painted glass should comply. Having this information will provide assurance that you are purchasing a tested product that will be durable and long lasting.  

3. Stick to It
Most back-painted glass requires a special adhesive for installation. Reputable manufacturers have tested at least one adhesive for compatibility to their product. Ask the manufacturer for its recommended adhesive and for the adhesive test results showing the adhesive is compatible with its glass.

4. See it in Writing
Obtain a written copy of the manufacturer’s warranty. Review the warranty so that you are familiar with exactly what is covered. Also, it is important to do business with a manufacturer that is able to back up the warranty financially. You want to minimize the risk that the manufacturer will not be around prior to the expiration of the warranty period … just in case you have a problem with their glass.

5. Keep Everything
Retain control samples of each project just in case replacement glass may be needed later. It will be easier to produce replacement glass if you have a sample from the original installation. Also, it is very important that you know who the manufacturer of the glass substrate is. There are several glass manufacturers producing low-iron glass, however it is still important to know that most colors will appear to be a different color based on the glass manufacturer.

Vick Channel is the national sales manager for Summit Glass Coatings in Englewood, Colo.

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