I had a conversation over the weekend with someone who couldn't decide on a back splash material. Her kitchen's beautiful, and modern. It's a symphony of horizontal planes and sleek surfaces. I love it. Despite my growing reputation as the mosaic guy, when I first saw the space a mosaic isn't what popped into my head. Instead of a mosaic, I suggested that she consider sheets of back-painted glass.
Back-painted glass is exactly what it sounds like it would be. It's a sheet of 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" or 3/4" thick clear glass. The back of the glass is painted and then baked on. As a result, you look through a layer of clear glass at a color in the back. It's a terrific effect, the color appears to float.
Glass comes in 130" x 84" sheets so it's very possible to cover whole areas with seamless glass. Sometimes, back-painted glass gets installed as smaller panels, but that's almost always an aesthetic call.
The photos scattered across this post are from Soda Glass, a northern California coated glass manufacturer. They have retailers in San Francisco and in Sacramento. Other manufacturers and suppliers across the US, Canada and Europe are plentiful. Nothing else looks or behaves like this material. I cannot for the life of me imagine it in anything but a really minimalist setting. Am I wrong?