What splashback options are there for my kitchen?

Olive & Barr mirrored splashback main

So, your kitchen is planned, cabinets ordered, flooring chosen and lighting decided on – but something seems to be missing. What about a splashback?

A splashback or backsplash (as sometimes known!) is placed either behind the sink or hob/cooker and protects your walls from splashes. But apart from catching stray drops of food, water, or grease, they can also add a design statement to your kitchen and truly add a boost of personality.

Because who said your splashback has to be white? As long as you choose a material that’s suited for the job, there are no rules to limit your creativity. Want a bright pink glass splashback or your favourite artwork recreated in a bespoke design? Sure, go for it!

Ledbury Studio kitchen
Ledbury Studio’s Chelsea Metallics Collection kitchen features a Verre Eglomise splashback. Pure gold leaf was applied to the reverse of toughened glass and antiqued to create a striking look. Prices for a Ledbury Studio kitchen start from £50,000.

There truly are no limits when it comes to splashback styles. You do you is the motto – so here’s our lowdown on the things you do need to know to make sure yours is up for the job.

Can I use any material for my splashback?

Well, almost. Wood might not be the best choice, as it warps with moisture, but cork is definitely possible.

Most commonly, however, you’ll find glass, solid surface, or tiled splashbacks.

Mirrored designs are also very popular, both gleaming and new or made to look more vintage.

Apart from offering classic marble or metro tile designs that suit every space, Showerwall also allows you to design your own custom acrylic panel. Apart from bathrooms, as the name suggests, their panels are suitable for installation in kitchens, utilities, and cloakrooms. Shown here is the Grey Volterra panel – available in a gloss or textured finish, prices start from £166.92, not including the accessories required.

Glass splashbacks

A glass splashback is usually applied as one large sheet. The material is incredibly heat resistant, which makes it a great choice if you apply it directly behind the hob, and can simply be wiped clean with a damp cloth. 

Plus, its smooth surface doesn’t have any nooks or crannies for bacteria to settle – not to mention the lack of grout lines also makes cleaning even more of a breeze.

In terms of design, glass also opens up plenty of opportunities. Who said a splashback had to be rectangular?

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Shaped Emma Britton splashback
Who said a splashback has to be rectangular? Glass designer Emma Britton‘s newest piece, the handpainted HomeGrown splashback, not only features bright chard as a motif, it also follows the plant’s outline. Shown here is a 143cm-wide x 88cm-high design, which is priced £1495.

Nobody’s stopping you from buying a design in a different shape – which can make a statement all in itself, but even more so if it’s printed with a bright motif. 

Due to the manufacturing process and advances, glass splashbacks come in all sorts of colours, plus they can be printed with patterns or motifs… so go on, let your creativity run free.

Tiles as a splashback

Probably the most common splashback option, tiles are affordable and hard-wearing – but they can be stylish, too. Tiles don’t have to be white square or metro designs. You can use any sort of wall tile to create your own splashback, but your options don’t stop there.

Main Company green splashback
Forest green tiles paired with dark cabinets and worktops, as well as metallic highlights, add warmth and create impact in this kitchen. It was designed by The Main Company, where kitchens start from £25,000. Photography: Anita Robinson

Why not go for coloured grout, for example? You’ll have to add grout lines anyways, so you might as well make them a feature. Or opt for a different laying pattern, such as a herringbone design. The size of your tiles also allows you creative freedom – the same design in two different sizes can look very different.

They only thing you should watch out for is to make sure it has a suitable surface. Cement tiles, for example, should be cleaned immediately or you run the risk of oil or other splatters staining them. This is especially important if the splatters are acidic – think lemon juice, red wine, or tomato sauce.

Marais Green splashback
For a Victorian touch, why not add a deep green splashback? These are the Marais Green ceramic tiles from Porcelain Superstore, priced £45.60 per sq m.

Oh, and. the biggest bonus? If a tile cracks or chips, you can usually swap it out instead of having to replace the whole splashback.

Solid surface splashbacks 

Quartz, as well as materials such as Corian, Dekton, or other manmade surfaces, is a popular choice for a splashback. These surfaces are hard-wearing, heat resistant, and hygienic, yes – but many also wow with their looks.

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You’ve heard of matching your splashback to your work surface, but why not take it a step further? Engineered quartz surfaces such as Caesarstone make it possible – as seen in this picture, where a slim breakfast bar made from the same material as the worktop and splashback completes the look. Shown is Caesarstone in Airy Concrete, price on application.

A lot of surfaces these days look like marble, for example. The stone itself may not be the best choice for a splashback, as it’s soft and easily stains, but a convincing lookalike brings the same elegance, without the heavy maintenance.

These materials are usually made to order, so have zero grout lines. For an extra cohesive design, opt for the same surface for your worktops and splashback, to create an exact match.

Dekton Avant Garde Laurent splashback
Inspired by Port Laurent, a natural marble with bold golden veining, Dekton’s Avant Garde Laurent surface is sure to add a dramatic touch to your kitchen. Prices start from £450 per sq m.

Acrylic splashbacks

This type of splashback is also very popular, but unlike many other materials, many designs are not the most heat resistant.

As a result, it is often (but not always) not suited to be placed behind gas or electric hob, as the heat from the flame or the cooktop can damage your splashback.

Bushboard floral splashback
Fancy some florals? It’s possible – for example with Bushboard’s 100% fire-safe Alloy collection of aluminium splashbacks. Shown here is the Alloy by Bushboard splashback panels in Urban Cluster, £265 for a 305cm x 60cm design.

However, you’re good to go if you have an induction hob; but do take care to ensure hot pots and pans don’t touch it. Plus, with technology advancing, some designs *can* take the heat, so it’s always worth to double check.

Fancy something different?

If you want something entirely unique, you could also opt for wallpaper, paint, or a different kind of artwork.

As part of their £164,000 kitchen renovation and extension, the owners of this Martin Moore kitchen decided on a splashback unique to them. It features a picture inspired by an artwork by Michel Pleau, which they bought in a gallery in Quebec, Canada. The original artwork was professionally photographed and then printed on glass to create the splashback. Photography: Darren Chung

You can use almost anything as a splashback; however, make sure you protect it by displaying it behind a sheet of clear glass or acrylic, so it doesn’t get damaged by splatter or heat.

Featured image: Antique or clear, a mirrored splashback not only makes a statement and allows you to keep an eye on everything, it also helps bounce light around the room. Prices for kitchens from Olive & Barr start from £10,000.

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