How to buy a kitchen splashback

Want to make a great style statement behind a sink or stove? Check out these great alternatives to tiled splashbacks

kitchen with gas cooktop with white worktop
(Image credit: TBC)

Check out our buyer's guide on how to buy a kitchen splashback.

Tiles, the old favourites, are no longer the only option so, if you're in need of tips and advice, read on...

The latest choices are all hardwearing and practical and come in endless colours and finishes. Of course, budget has to be taken into account but there are some very appealing option, such as coloured tiles and laminates, that can provide style on a shoestring. They can also be updated without too much disruption to the rest of the kitchen, so with that in mind, don't be afraid to plump for bold, bright colours to add pizzazz to your kitchen. You can always change the splashback if you fancy something different a few years down the line. If money is no object, consider glittering mosaics, bespoke designs in glass or high-spec composite in beautifully polished finishes.

Buyer's checklist

  • A seamless splashback is the mosy hygienic, as there is no joins for dirt to collect
  • Is your surface of choice heat-resistant? If not, it must be kept at least 300mm away from cooking appliances?
  • Reflective materials (glass, acrylic, steel, etc) can help bounce light around a dark room

What are the choices?

Tiles: There are a huge array of designs and colours available, and it can be used in both wet and hot areas. They're relatively easy to install by a confident DIYer, as they can be cut to size to go around corners or sockets. Tiles can be washed down with water and detergent. Grout may need rewhitening or renewing after a few years. They are also easy and cheap to install for an instant makeover. Prices range from £20 per sq m for basic designs.

Wood: Solid wood splashbacks have a designer look but
need looking after properly to protect them against moisture. They
should be oiled regularly and cleaned with a little warm water and a
non-abrasive cleaner. Wood-veneer splashbacks don't need oiling, but any
splashes need to be wiped off straightaway as they can stain. Prices
range from £80 to £350 per linear m.

Laminate: Highly durable and can be used in wet and hot areas. No sealing is required and is easily cleaned with detergent and water. There are a large choice of colours and designs available and can be fitted over an existing splashback. It is not repairable, so the entire panel must be replaced if it gets damaged. Prices range from £45 per linear m, although less expensive versions are available.

Corian: A non-porous man-made material. It's easy to
wipe clean (a little water with a gentle soap product works best),
stain-resistant and can be fitted so there are no conspicuous seams
between splashback and worktop where dirt can hide. Digital images can be printed onto the surface for a unique look. Tough, hardwearing and heat resistant, composite can be teamed with matching worksurfaces and sinks for a seamless look. However, it's one of
the pricier options, starting at £300 per linear m.

Stainless Steel: Gives an industrial look and will
reflect light around small kitchens. Stainless steel is highly practical and frequently used in professional kitchens. There is no sealing required. Simply clean regularly, using detergent and water, or wipe away fingerprints with a soft cloth. Use an E-cloth or wipe with baby
oil to keep clean. Choose a brushed finish to minimise signs of wear and tear. Prices range from £60 to £300 for a 100cm panel.

Stone: Limestone, sandstone, granite and marble are
classic choices. They're hard-wearing and age well but must be treated
with a sealant to make them impermeable. Warm water and a non-abrasive
household soap will keep them clean. Stone needs to be templated and requires professional installation. Prices start from £150 per linear m
for limestone and can be as much as £400 per linear m for granite.

Glass: This is increasingly popular in modern
kitchens, and is an easy way to add colour. The glass is toughened so it's safe and durable. It's
available in a variety of colours and is very easy to clean with a dry
cloth and a window and glass cleaner (be careful not to use anything
that could scratch the surface). It can create a striking feature when back-lit. Choose low-iron glass or its appearance may be tinged with green. Prices range from £80 for £800 for
pre-cut panels.

Ask the right questions

Does any splashback go with any worktop?

Corian and stone splashbacks generally look best with worktops of the same material. Wood, glass and stainless steel work well with any worktop.

Are they made to measure?

Wood, Corian, stone and glass splashbacks are usually custom-made for your kitchen and will include cut-outs for your plug sockets; stainless steel and some glass panels come in pre-cut panels.

Who fits them?

If you've chosen stone, wood or Corian, all of which need a strong
adhesive, you should use a professional. Some pre-cut stainless-steel
panels can be screwed to the wall and some glass panels are
self-adhesive - jobs that can be done with anyone with a little DIY knowledge.

Where to shop?

Baumatic, (0118 933 6900),

A good selection of stainless-steel designs.

Corian, (0800 962116),
Comes in over 70 colours.

Homebase, (0845 077 8888),

Sells a range of affordable glass splashbacks.

Mowlem & Co., (020 7610 6626),

Has designer wood and glass options.

Steve Robinson, (0845 450 7684),

Makes bespoke glass splashbacks.

Second Nature, (01325 505539),
Specialises in made-to-measure splashbacks including wood and stainless steel

Stone Age, (020 7384 9090),

Has a huge range of stone splashbacks.

Stonell Direct, (0800 083 2283),

Sells stone and marble designs.

Use our product finder to find the right kitchen splashbacks for you.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.