People use our materials for a wide range of applications from small-scale products and furniture to large-scale commercial interiors. The materials are very well suited to areas that get wet like in the bathroom as they are completely waterproof, rot resistant and resistant to most stains.
A number of customers have successfully used for panels for exterior use, and Dapple has been used to clad the exterior of buildings in the UK.
Our panels are 100% waterproof and rot resistant, but in general it’s best to avoid direct sunlight and large temperature variations:
– UV rays can begin to degrade the surface of the plastics particularly the yoghurt which will yellow on the surface (but you can sand down).
– Large temperature changes may also cause the panels to warp slightly, particularly if the there is a temperature differential across the two sides of the panel, but the panels should return flat when returned to room temperature.
If you have a larger project which requires good resistance to the elements then we may be able to create a bespoke material to meet your needs.
We do not recommend our classics materials as flooring as they can get slippery when wet. You could explore making small tiles, routing grooves in the material or applying a slip resistant coating to the surfaces, but you do this at your own risk. Alternatively, we could create a bespoke material suitable for this application – contact us to discuss further.
Lots of people do use our materials as kitchen work surfaces – they are easy to clean, waterproof, rot proof and resistant to stains, however you do need to bear in mind the following:
– Scratch resistance – our materials typically have medium scratch resistance but some of our materials are more scratch proof than others. Kaleido, Charcoal and Ocean are our most resistant materials, whilst Dapple is our softest (made from recycled chopping board plastic) and will scratch in the same way that a chopping board will. In either case, you will need to look after the surface. The pattern of the material is often such that it disguises any scratching if it does happen, and you can refinish the surface if required.
– Heat resistance – It is fine to put a hot cup of tea directly onto our surfaces. However, applying a sustained heat at +95 degrees may cause the material to denature (burn, warp etc) over time. Avoid placing any of our materials close to a strong heat source, and in particular avoid any open flames as some of the materials are flammable. We’d also recommend giving the surface a really good supporting substructure and securing it well from the underside to reduce warping through heat fluctuations.
Our recommendation is to use our thickest material, 20mm, for all tables and shelving as well as designing a good supporting substructure. A 2m x 1m table top with just 4 posts going directly into the panel underside is not going to be sufficient to support the material, and the panel may warp over time through gravity and excess weight.
Shipping within the UK usually costs £35 +VAT for a 12mm panel and £45 +VAT for a 20mm panel. There are economies of scale when shipping in multiples; for example, shipping a set of panels on a double pallet to most parts of the UK costs £125+VAT.
We do not currently have any distributors, but are happy to sell our panels to most countries, including the whole EU.
For potential distributors: We will start seeking distributors from 2018. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a distributor.
We will kick things off by discussing your needs in terms of application, quantities, colours and patterns. If you have a mood board to share with us, that will be really helpful.
The next step is for us to make a series of test tiles at approx. 15cm x 15cm to test and refine your idea. Once you have approved the material, we may want to test it at full-size panel scale before going into production.
Costs: As part of the R&D we charge £100+VAT for each test tile we make up for you.
The costs of a bespoke material varies depending on the material and the preparation work required, as well as the number of sheets you need. There will also be significant economies of scale. Expect to pay from £350+ for a sheet.
It’s great that Smile Plastics is providing inspiration for your work, so we want to make sure that you can see a physical set of samples for your reference. If your school/university does not already have a sample set in their materials library, then please get in touch with the library owner asking them to request some samples from us. We will be delighted to send our samples to the materials library for reference. We are sorry but we cannot offer free samples for students’ own personal use.