FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about our 100% recycled-recyclable
plastic materials, plus a few handy resources.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch.

Using Smile Plastics

What are your panels suitable for?
Like the circular economy, the possibilities are endless. Our materials have been used in applications from small-scale products and furniture, to large-scale commercial interiors and outdoor art installations.

Our plastics are 100% waterproof, mould and rot-resistant, so they are perfect in wet environments as an alternative for tiling and bathroom panelling or for bathroom vanities and cabinetry. However, our Classics materials are not suitable for flooring. Remember to read our handling instructions and data sheets before commencing any project.

Are your plastics suitable for external use?
A few customers have successfully used our panels for street furniture and fascia signage.

All our materials are 100% waterproof and mould-resistant. However, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight and large temperature variations.
UV rays can begin to degrade the surface of the plastics, particularly the Alba material, which will yellow on the surface. Although this can be refinished, we do not recommend using Alba outdoors.
Large temperature changes may cause the panels to warp slightly, particularly if there is differentiating temperatures across the two sides of the panel. However, the panels should revert to their flat state when returned to room temperature.
If you have a larger project which requires robust resistance to the elements, get in touch to discuss a custom material.

Are Smile Plastics materials suitable for flooring?
We don’t recommend using our Classics materials for floor surfaces as they can be slippery when wet. If you are set on it, you could explore making small tiles, routing grooves in the material or applying a slip-resistant coating to the surfaces. All testing would be completed at your own risk.

Alternatively, we could create a Custom rubberised material for this application. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Are Smile Plastics materials suitable for kitchen worktops?
Because they’re easy to clean, waterproof and resistant to stains, our materials have been installed as kitchen work surfaces. However, it is important to note:

Scratch resistance. Our materials typically have medium scratch resistance but some materials are more scratch-proof than others. Kaleido, Charcoal and Ocean are our most resistant materials. The Dapples are our softest as they’re made from recycled chopping boards and will scratch in the same way that a chopping board would. That being said, the pattern on the material often disguises any scratching and the surface can be refinished if necessary.
Heat resistance. It is fine to place a hot cup of tea directly onto our surfaces. However, applying 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 avoid any open flames as some of the materials are flammable. We’d also recommend giving the surface a really good supporting substructure, securing it from the underside to reduce warping through heat fluctuations. Please read our handling instructions before commencing any project with our materials.

What would you advise for making a table or shelving from Smile Plastics’ materials?
We’d recommend using the thickest material (20mm) for all tables and shelving as well as a good supporting substructure. A 2000mm x 1000mm tabletop with just 4 posts on the underside of the panel is not going to be sufficient to support the material. The panel may warp over time through gravity and excess weight. Please refer to our Handling Guidelines for more details.

It is necessary to order samples?
The accuracy of any material sample depicted on our website is significantly subjected to your computer screen’s capabilities. The sole purpose of showing the colour sample is informational and inspirational. Although we do our best to produce high quality examples, we still need to emphasise the importance of ordering real samples as a true reference point for your project.

Dimensions, availability and ordering

Do you offer a trade discount?
Volume discounts start from 3+ sheets. Please contact us for more details.

Do you sponsor students?
Sadly not. We can’t sponsor student projects right now although this is something we would like to be able to support in the future. Watch this space.

What size panels do you offer?
Our standard panels are 3000mm x 1200mm. We also offer 2000mm x 1000mm, 1200mm x 1000mm and 500mm x 500mm. Our larger panels are usually oversized with unfinished edges. All panels are available in standard thicknesses of 5mm, 12mm, and 20mm. Please note our Dapple materials are not available in 5mm.
If you require a custom thickness outside of our standard then please contact us to discuss.

I want far less than a panel. Do you make smaller sizes?
Our Classics samples can be purchased here, as a full set of 8 or as half set collections. Individual larger samples are also available at 240mm x 240mm. We recommend reviewing all our panel sizes or purchasing a larger piece to see more of the pattern.

How much does shipping cost?
Shipping full 3000mm sheets will be done so on an oversized pallet to most parts of the UK for £240 + VAT. Oversized palletised shipping will accommodate around 11 of our heaviest sheets. We also ship internationally so please get in touch for an accurate shipping quote based on your location. We offer an in-house cutting and finishing service to cut your panels to your required sizes. Smaller parts can ship on smaller pallets or as parcels. This could be more cost-effective but also allows us to recycle any offcuts through our processes, minimising wastage. Contact us to get a quote.

Do you have any agents or distributors?
Pyrasied is our distributor in the Netherlands. Please contact sales@pyrasied.nl for a quotation.

Want to be an agent or a Smile Plastics partner? Please get in touch.

How long do I have to wait to receive an order?
We are a small batch manufacturer and our stock levels vary. If we do have your order in stock then we should be able to dispatch within 1-2 weeks. Lead times on out-of-stock orders are approximately 4-8 weeks for our Classics range and may be longer for any Custom materials. Please note our Black Dapple material is on an extended lead time of 15 weeks. Please get in touch to discuss further if this affects your creative project.

How do you take payment?
For non-website transactions, we request BACS payment, prior to dispatching your order. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept credit card, USD, PayPal or phone payments.

Are any of your past products available?
We’re afraid that like Elvis Presley, our past products will probably never come back. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to make the exact same product again. However, like Elvis, we may be able to create a good imitation (as a Custom piece of work!)

Getting started - Classics material

Aesthetics

  • What Classics material are you interested in?Please specify the materials you would like to work with on your project.
  • What is the end-use?If we know this, we can advise which materials and thicknesses would be best for your application.
  • How much material do you need?Is this a one-off order, or will
    you need lots of material
    over a long period of time?
  • Do you need specific properties from the material?Check the material properties
    under the Classics material page.

Details

  • Where are you based?Tell us where you are based so we can provide estimated shipping costs.
  • When do you need the order?If you tell us the date you would
    like your order delivered, we can provide an estimated
    lead time for you.
  • Do you need cutting
    and Finishing?
    We now offer a cutting and
    finishing service. See the Cutting and Finishing page for details. If you tell us your requirements in advance, we can include this in your lead time.

Getting started - Custom material

Aesthetics

  • What colours/patterns
    do you want?
    Colour palettes, moodboards, mock-ups, and inspirations can all be very helpful. We can usually colour match RAL colours by eye if required.
  • Do you have a preferred plastic type?They can feel and look different, so if you have a strong preference, please tell us.
  • What is the end-use?If we know this, we can advise which materials and thicknesses would be best for your application.
  • How much material do you need?How much material do you need?
    Is this a one-off order, or will
    you need lots of material
    over a long period of time?
    These can affect the costs and production methods we use
  • Do you need specific properties from the material?We can usually source materials with specific properties (like higher fire resistances) if required.
  • What are you lead times for bespoke materials?Custom materials tend to take 3-4 months to make up once they have been approved by you.

MATERIALS

  • I have some waste plastic – are you able to recycle it into panels for me?We can work with a range of different thermoplastics and materials. Please email details about your waste source to us so that we can review and advise on feasibility. Ideally, we would have a technical data sheet for the material, and we may well also ask for a small physical sample from you before commencing any project.
  • Does it need processing?Usually, we would need the material to be cleaned and shredded before we can use it, but we may be able to do this for you.
  • What is the end-use?An idea of the application of the sheets can help us advise on how we work with the material.
  • Are you looking to add colours or patterns?We can usually add pigment or patterns to the material provided or leave it to speak for itself.
  • What scale would this be?We can help with a one-off project or look at setting up an ongoing partnership.
  • What are the costs of making Custom materials?The costs of a Custom material will vary depending on the material, the preparation work required, and the number of sheets you need. There will also be significant economies of scale. Prices start from £150 per square meter.