what is a splashback

Most kitchens will include a splashback, but it may not be something you have ever given much thought to other than when redecorating or if you have issues with it! They are designed to protect your painted wall from water splashes out of sinks or food splatters when you are cooking.

Typically situated behind the stove or sink, kitchen splashbacks can also run along other kitchen walls to offer protection while you are preparing food.

Due to their ability to withstand heat, tiles have previously been used to make splashbacks. However, there are now a variety of materials available. They are a great way to add colour, interest and different textures to your kitchen.

Splashback Material

When selecting a kitchen splashback, you should be looking for ease of cleaning, durability, and design.

Beyond that, it really comes down to a matter of choice and what works for you in terms of design, but we have included some of the most common materials below and provided some details on them:

Tiled Splashbacks

Tiled wall behind the cooker

A tiled splashback is probably the material we are most familiar with in kitchen designs. Tiles are flexible to work with, cutting down to fiddly shapes and coming in many different colours and designs.

You can match tiles to your wall colour and then have statement tiles behind your range or on a section of your wall that is most visible in your kitchen space.

Porcelain tiles are also very heat resistant, so they are perfect for around cooking areas and will not be damaged by splashes if used behind the kitchen sink.

However, one issue with having a tiled splashback is that the grout between tiles can be prone to staining if cooking liquids splash onto it.

Glass Splashbacks

glass kitchen wall

These splashbacks are made of toughened glass and have the advantage of being easy to wipe clean and having a modern look without detracting too much from your existing design.

If you have a feature wall, tiles or maybe exposed brick that you want to retain, having a transparent splashback will give you the water-resistant coverage you need for your kitchen wall.

You can also add a background colour to toughened glass splashbacks, providing a colour match to your wider design scheme.

Another way to use a glass splashback is to have a mirrored one. This has the benefit of being able to bounce light back into your kitchen. The mirrored finish can also be distressed to give the splashback a vintage feel.

Metal Splashbacks

Having a stainless steel splashback behind your cooker can create a modern industrial feel to your kitchen. Other materials can also be used – copper is one of these – to contrast nicely, especially against a blue or grey colour scheme.

One thing to note with metal kitchen splashbacks is that they can be more challenging to keep looking clean as smear marks from wiping can show up.

Stone Splashbacks

A nice way to keep a continuous line from your worktops to walls is to have a stone splashback using the same material as your worktop is made from. Quartz or granite can create a stylish and long-lasting splashback but may not be cost-effective if you have a large surface area to cover.

You could mix materials up in your kitchen to make a stone splashback more affordable. Using a different material behind your gas hobs – tiling or glass, for instance – would bring the cost down.

Wooden Splashbacks

Wood on its own isn’t a particularly robust material for a splashback as it is quite porous and may mark with splashes. But put a layer or glass of acrylic on top of it to protect it, and it makes a wonderful natural and organic splashback which will suit a traditional kitchen design.

Acrylic Splashbacks

An acrylic splashback is similar to glass in that it can have a colour applied on the back of the sheet or be mirrored, and it creates a sleek and modern look in a kitchen.

However, it is not as resistant to heat as a glass splashback is and, therefore, cannot be installed in an area where cooking is done, as the heat would damage it.

It makes a great material to use for a splashback behind a sink or along with worktops, though!

Factors Around Choosing a Kitchen Splashback

You have plenty of options when it comes to a kitchen splashback design, and it is worth considering a few of the following things when you are looking into different materials:

Current Kitchen Design

Contemporary kitchen and open plan living room

Do you want your splashback to complement your existing kitchen design and colour scheme or work as a contrast to it? You can add a modern touch by installing a stainless steel splashback or making a statement with mosaic tiles. Use something like a natural stone if you do not want to make your splashback a focal point.


The cost of splashbacks can vary considerably depending on the material and design that you select, so if you have a certain budget, keep it in mind as you look into options.

A tiled splashback or one made from acrylic will probably cost you less than purchasing one made from stone, metal or glass. So give thought to what material will be an affordable option and best create the look you are going for.

Acrylic may be a cheaper option over glass for a sleek look in your kitchen, and you can always add more of a feature splashback at a later date. If you want to enhance the colours in your walls, then there are so many different tile options and grout colours to complement, many at a very reasonable price!

Choosing the Right Splashback

If you have been wondering ‘what is a splashback’ and asking yourself ‘how do I choose the right one for my kitchen walls’, then we hope we have provided you with some useful information and tips to help you in your kitchen design.

A splashback is simply a protective surface that is fitted to a wall. They come in many different materials, from stone to tiles, even stainless steel! The cost can vary as much as the material, so be careful to have a budget in mind before selecting a finish you can’t afford!

When purchasing a splashback, the most important factors to keep in mind are that it should be easy to wipe clean and that it should be heat and splash-resistant.

But beyond the practicalities, you also want to make sure it looks great in your kitchen, behind your range or sink!

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