Our glass cutting process

Although we do our best to produce panels as quickly as possible, we have extremely high standards of quality and will start from scratch if a finished piece does not meet our expectations. We also check and double check to ensure that no errors are made in the cutting and shaping of our splashbacks, and that the final result is a perfect fit. Furthermore, large sheets of glass must be handled with care, particularly before being toughened, so our staff observe strict safety protocols at all times and are trained not to rush!

We aim to produce our panels within 7 to 10 working days and nearly always meet this deadline. But for these reasons we cannot give a definitive date of delivery until the panels are finished and have passed our strict quality control requirements.

How our glass panels are made

Large sheets of glass, weighing many tonnes, are delivered to our workshops and loaded onto racks1

Glass delivery

Large sheets of glass, weighing many tonnes, are delivered to our workshops and loaded onto racks. This dangerous and delicate operation is carried out by our skilled machine operators.

We refer to the detailed glass cutting measurement plans drawn up by our expert surveyors2

Survey review

We refer to the detailed measurement plans drawn up by our expert surveyors.

The panel dimensions are programmed into a computer, turned into CAD (computer-aided design) drawings, and sent to our water-jet cutting machines3

CAD drawings

The panel dimensions are programmed into a computer, turned into CAD (computer-aided design) drawings, and sent to our water-jet cutting machines.

To create the correct size of panel, large sheets of glass are scored by machine but broken out (snapped) by hand4

Scoring

To create the correct size of panel, large sheets of glass are scored by machine but broken out (snapped) by hand. This has to be done quickly before the glass “heals”.

The glass panel size is measured for any slight inaccuracies, which are then corrected by hand5

Precision adjustments

The panel size is measured for any slight inaccuracies, which are then corrected by hand.

The outer edges of the glass splashback are polished by machine6

Edge polishing

The outer edges of the glass are polished by machine. Because the glass sits upright in the machine, our maximum panel size is 3900mm – a 4000mm high panel would be too dangerous to process.

7

Water-jet glass cutting

The panel is now ready to be moved to our water-jet glass cutting equipment. Using the CAD drawings produced earlier, cut-outs for sockets and switches are made using a high-pressure jet of water and sand. This cuts through glass with incredible accuracy.

The edges of the jetted glass are buffed to a smooth finish by hand8

Edge smoothing

The edges of the jetted glass are buffed to a smooth finish by hand.

The glass is washed and inspected for flaws, in accordance with our strict quality control guidelines9

Wash and inspection

The glass is washed and inspected for flaws, in accordance with our strict quality control guidelines.

Each panel is labelled by job, rotation and position – some of our larger projects require up to 50 panels, which are fitted together like a jigsaw10

Toughening

Each panel is labelled by job, rotation and position – some of our larger projects require up to 50 panels, which are fitted together like a jigsaw. The glass can now be toughened for heat and impact resistance.

With the glass cut to size, and toughened, the panels are moved to our finishing studios for the next stage of the process – preparing the colour or printed image11

Preparing the paint or image

With the glass cut to size, and toughened, the panels are moved to our finishing studios for the next stage of the process – preparing the colour or printed image.

Once the colour has been finalised and the paint mixed, it is applied by hand to the back of the glass panels12

Colouring and printing

Once the colour has been finalised and the paint mixed, it is applied by hand to the back of the glass panels. Multiple layers and a skilful technique ensure a solid, even coating. Patterns and images are digitally applied using the latest printing technology.

All our glass panels are rigorously quality controlled by our trained craftsmen, and finished perfectly by hand13

Finishing by hand

All our panels are rigorously quality controlled by our trained craftsmen, and finished perfectly by hand.

Following their final inspection, our glass panels are cleaned and buffed once again14

Final clean and polish

Following their final inspection, our panels are cleaned and buffed once again.

When the glass panels have been cleared for delivery they are packaged securely15

Secure packing

When the panels have been cleared for delivery they are packaged securely. If we are sending them by courier we fix them into crates for added protection.

Opticolour fitters travel all over the UK to deliver and fit our glass panels in a wide variety of properties16

Out for delivery

Opticolour fitters travel all over the UK to deliver and fit our panels in a wide variety of properties.

The glass is handled with extreme care at all times17

Handling

The glass is handled with extreme care at all times.

We refer to the original installation sheet to ensure the glass fitting process proceeds smoothly18

Survey check

We refer to the original installation sheet to ensure the fitting process proceeds smoothly.

Measuring and installation services for glass cut to size ensures a perfect fit19

Installation

Our fitters are trained to make the panels sit straight and plumb, even if the walls are not true.

Following installation, we refit electrical sockets, polish the glass and clean up thoroughly – leaving your kitchen ready to use20

Clean up

Following installation, we refit electrical sockets, polish the glass and clean up thoroughly – leaving your kitchen ready to use.