01
Jun

20 splashback ideas that could transform your kitchen

Splashbacks are aptly named. As clean as you may be during cooking, your splashback will get grubby. Oil splashes, condensation, washing up splashes and fatty residue unable to be drawn into your extractor fan will all end up on your kitchen walls. Making a careful splashback selection can reduce the evidence of this grime during cooking and make cleaning up easier on cleaning day.

Splashes aside, it is no secret that a kitchen can be launched from ordinary to legendary with a well-chosen splashback. It may even be updated with less cost than replacing an entire kitchen. A kitchen with an otherwise neutral palette can be given a bright pop of colour, textural interest or rustic charm just by selecting a splashback that sings.

Various budgets are catered for in kitchen wall cladding. It is worth keeping in mind that while some materials are listed as more expensive below, if the area to be clad is small, then opting for a high-end material will not blow the budget and may add that impotant wow-factor. There are also economies in going large scale. Whatever your preferences, be sure to discuss them with your designer before ruling the high-end options out from the get-go.

Whatever your budget, style or cleaning timeline, there is a splashback option that will suit. This handy guide answers five questions for each option.

Glass Splashback

Glass splashbacks can add great wow-factor when paired with undercabinet lighting.

  • Will it show the grime?
  • Will it be easy to clean?
  • How will it handle kitchen wear and tear?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Can I have it near my cooktop?

According to Australian Standards “The proximity of the nearest burner to a combustible surface will define whether protection is needed. A combustible material will require thermal protection for distances less than 200mm. If the distance measured from the periphery of the nearest burner to any vertical combustible surface is 200mm or greater, then the combustible surface does not need protection.”

Individual style is expressed in all facets of our lives, why should our home be any different? As the kitchen is the hub and heart of the home, our personal style should be revealed all the more readily. A carefully chosen splashback can really make a kitchen come to life. Which splashback suits your life, style and needs best?

  1. Toughened Glass (as a splashback or window)

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
C A+ A+ $$-$$$  

Toughened glass may be painted on the reverse in a great variety of colours. Although painted glass has a certain level of opacity, it should be noted that if holes are left in the wall (for instance from old powerpoint sites) they may be visible through the splashback and should be dealt with prior to installation. Marks will show if the background is one colour. Shadows of more opaque splashes may add to their prominence. Glass splashbacks suit any kitchen style. Lighting directed towards your glass splashback can add atmosphere, wow-factor and amp up the style.

  1. Printed Glass

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ A+ A+ $$$ Yes, but not <150mm
VR Art Glass printed splashback

VR Art Glass printed splashback

Toughened safety glass may be used in close proximity to gas burning cooktops compared to other materials. Ticking the safety box is just the tip of the iceberg. Printed glass is moisture resistant, heat resistant, and stands up to the many rigours of kitchen usage. The design on printed glass not only adds style but provides camouflage resulting in a clean look, even with a few olive oil splashes and condensation that naturally occur in a well-used kitchen. When it is time to clean, it is easy with a microfiber cloth – no cleaning agents required.

  1. Mirrored/Silvered Glass

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ A+ $$$ Yes
Warehouse Kitchen

Mirrored Splashback gives the illusion of extra space.

I know what you are thinking – a B for looking clean?! Mirrors in the kitchen can look cleaner than solid colour glass due to the reflection of the rest of your kitchen. Toughened safety glass should always be sought for kitchen applications. As with all glass, cleaning is simple and chemical free.

  1. Slumped Glass

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ B A+ $$$ No

While slumped glass looks clean due to patterning, the three-dimensional nature of the product is what makes it slightly more difficult to clean. A toothbrush would be required to get into some of the grooves of the design. Slumped glass is not toughened and can therefore only be placed 200mm or more from the nearest burner.

  1. Stainless Steel

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
D B C $$$ Yes
Smith_and_smith_kitchens_kitchen_pics_016

Stainless steel splashback with reflected warm tones from timber floor.

Stainless steel can be very difficult to clean to a satisfactorily uniform look. Much of the stainless steel on kitchen appliances, such as fridges, has an easy clean coating on it to limit streaking. Generally, stainless steel splashbacks are not armed with such a coating. While stainless steel is easy to wipe and disinfect, it is difficult to achieve a streak-free appearance.

  1. Pressed Metal

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B D F $$ If it is more than 5mm thick

Pressed metal can look beautiful as a compliment to a variety of kitchen styles, however, it must be noted that pressed metal is very thin and will not stand up the natural wear and tear a modern kitchen is generally exposed to. Even cleaning will be difficult without denting. If a worn-in patina is desirable – then this may be your material.

  1. Glass Tiles

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ A+ $$$ Varies
maribyrnong_modern_kitchen_MuranoGlassTiles

Murano glass over ceramic tiled splashback.

Glass tiles cover a raft of size, colour and pattern options for your splashback. A greater portion of the cost of glass tiles is often in the installation because they are difficult to cut, and if transparent can reveal what is below – expert care in tiling is required! Be sure to factor this into your budget. These glass tiles were found here.

  1. Ceramic Tiles

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ A $ Yes
Glen Iris Modern Industrial Kitchen by Smith and Smith

Make a feature of your tiled splashback.

Ceramic tiles have always been a popular option for kitchens. The continuing trend this year is the subway tile effect (a staggered “brick laying” pattern). Ceramic tiles can be affordable and come in a huge range of colours and textures to suit different looks and needs. Tiles that mimick pressed metal effects are now available and very popular in traditional kitchen styles.

  1. Porcelain Tiles

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ A+ $$-$$$ Yes

Porcelain tiles are harder than ceramic tiles and wear very well in a busy environment such as a domestic kitchen. Porcelain tiles are also appropriate for flooring, which means an exact match can be achieved between floors and walls if desired.

  1. Large Format Porcelain

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ A+ A+ $$$$ Yes

Large format porcelain is the next big thing in kitchen surfacing. It is easy to see why it has achieved such propulsion. Large format porcelain comes in an excellent array of colours, textures and effects including solid colour, metallic effect, timber effect and marble effect. Textured and patterned porcelain withstands more splatters and condensation before appearing grubby, with the solid colours performing less well. Porcelain is one of the hardest, heat and moisture resistant surfaces for this application and therefore wears very well. As with all premium products, the price tag does match.

  1. Timber Lining Boards

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ D C $ No

Timber lining boards can add country charm to a kitchen, but they are highly combustible, subject to denting (if softer timbers are used) and difficult to clean. If old-world charm is the desired look, then lining boards may be worth the extra elbow grease!

  1. Timber Veneer

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ B $-$$$ No
Smith_and_smith_kitchens_kitchen_pics_018

Timber veneer splashback.

Timber veneer can be an excellent wall cladding within a kitchen providing it has a fully sealed two-pack polyurethane finish. As with all timber, it is not appropriate behind your cooktop.

  1. Natural Stone – Granite/Marble

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B B A+ $$-$$$ Yes

Natural stone has been the number one choice for Mediterranean kitchen surfaces for centuries. It is hard, non-combustible, adequately moisture resistant and due to is natural veining can hide cooking splatters and condensation. Over time, natural stone will develop a patina due to oil absorption from cooking. An additional benefit of natural stone is the potential for backlighting. Backlighting natural stone can enhance the variation in the stone and provide brilliant wow-factor. Make sure it is sealed to ensure the splashes and spatters will not penetrate.

  1. Engineered Stone

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ A+ A+ $$-$$$ No
white modern kitchen

Marble splashback

Engineered stone is a popular choice for benchtops and can be continued up walls for a seamless effect. A separate wall cladding must be chosen for areas within 200mm of a cooktop, however.

  1. Laminate

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ B $ No

Laminate may be used as a feature wall; it is a popular choice for wet areas. Colours may be matched to doors or benches if this is desired.

  1. Corian

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B A+ B $$$ No

Corian is an acrylic coating, which can scratch easily, however it may be polished by hand to remove scratches. Some great features of Corian are that an almost seamless join may be achieved, it can be moulded to great effect and may be backlit.

  1. Roller Shutters – laminate or extruded aluminium

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
C B B $$$ No

Roller shutters are a fantastic method of hiding extra storage space. Various styles of roller doors are available and the cavity they hide can be as large (for appliances) or small (for spices) as desired.

  1. Painted Plaster

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
B C D $ No

Painted plaster certainly is cost effective, but it lacks wow factor and ability to stand up to wear and tear. It is not generally moisture resistant (depends on the coating) and does not withstand the constant cleaning required for a kitchen area.

  1. Raw Brick

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ F A+ $ Yes
Splashback - Silvan farmhouse kitchen by Smith & Smith, Photos - Tim Turner

As brick can be difficult to clean, consider a different material below while exposing it above the splatter line.

Raw brick provides a cost-effective option for a feature splash back if the brick already exists in situ. Scribing of the bench-top will be required to fit it exactly to the irregularities of the brick; this can be expensive and will not result in a straight line between bench-top and splashback. If rustic charm is your bag, then raw brick will suit your kitchen well. A fire rated coating can be applied to fill pores, bind dust from mortar and brick and make cleaning easier.

  1. Raw Bluestone

Looks clean Easy to clean Wear and tear Cost Less than 200mm to Gas Burner?
A+ F A+ $$ Yes

Bluestone also provides a cost-effective option if it is already in place. It has a rustic charm, is heat resistant and has been used around cooking areas for centuries. Unfortunately, it is not easy to clean due to its porous nature. Sealing will stop stains penetrating but an uneven surface will always prove a challenge to clean. Scribing of the benchtop will also be required for bluestone due to the irregularities of natural and quarried stone. As for brick, a fire rated coating may be applied to reduce pores.