9 modern kitchen splashback ideas for a designer-style space

From mirrored to metal and large-scale slabs, there's something for every taste and design aesthetic

Turquoise kitchen with white worktops and yellow geo patterned splashback
(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

If you’re in the process of renovating your kitchen or are planning out your dream design for the future, you may have considered making a statement with your   splashback . ‘Deciding on a splashback can be daunting, what with all the options,’ as William Durrant, owner of Herringbone, points out, but if it's modern kitchen splashback that you know you're after, there are some great design tips and ideas to help hone down your final choice.

Choosing your kitchen splashback ideas ‘can also be a fun and very creative process,’ and ‘a great way of adding fun, colour and style to your kitchen,’ William adds. ‘When splashbacks are chosen thoughtfully, they can tie together different elements in the room, such as cabinetry, countertops, and flooring,’ Jen Nash, Head of Design at Magnet, reveals. ‘This coordination creates a cohesive and harmonious design that contributes to the overall beauty of the space.’

But which kind of splashback is best for for a modern kitchen look? Keep reading to see the top modern kitchen splashback ideas according to the experts.

9 modern kitchen splashback ideas

As you think about which splashback could work best for you and your kitchen, Mark Sellars, Head of Product Design and Development at Wren Kitchens, offers up some initial advice.

Remember to consider your overall kitchen design when looking to create a contemporary splashback, as well as the colour scheme, and your own personal preferences. These ideas can be customised to suit various kitchen sizes and styles, adding a touch of modern flair to any culinary space.’

Here are the splashback designs that the experts recommend most:

1. Mirrored

Cream Shaker kitchen stainless steel range cooker

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

First up is a great option for smaller kitchens or kitchens that don’t get a lot of light. ‘Reflective surfaces, such as mirrored splashbacks, can create the illusion of a larger space, which is particularly beneficial for smaller or dark kitchens to help brighten and open up space,’ Mark explains.

Jen concurs. ‘Mirrored splashbacks can give the illusion of more space and make a kitchen feel bigger than it is. This is because ‘they keep the horizontal plane expanding.’ So if you're looking for ways to make your small kitchen feel bigger, this is a great option. 

Depending on your taste, there are a number of different ways you can add a mirrored splashback to your kitchen. Keep it modern by opting for a crisp, clean design, whereas ‘distressed or antique style mirror splashbacks work well in period properties,’ Mark suggests.

‘The key to using a mirror on a splashback is to make sure it's framed properly. Otherwise, it can look unfinished. We love the look of a mirrored splashback within a chimney. It's a great way to add a touch of personality and character to your kitchen,’ says Melissa Klink, Creative Director at Harvey Jones.

2. Wood finishes

Dark wood kitchen with dark wood splashback and open shelf

(Image credit: Wilsonart)

‘Wood is a popular finish used in kitchen design, but usually you’ll find it included through worktops or furniture. Wood-finish splashbacks are a great option for anyone who wants to add texture and interest to their kitchen in a subtle but intriguing way,’ reveals Elliott Fairlie, product manager for kitchens at Bushboard.

You do need to be mindful of the finish of the wooden splashback to ensure that it will stand up to the heat, steam and what Melissa describes as the ‘'splash zones' where oils and liquids can splatter.’ For ease of maintenance and cleaning, look at alternatives. ‘When incorporating this look into your kitchen, I would recommend opting for a wood-effect aluminium splashback, as they’re fire safe and waterproof, meaning there is no need to protect it with an expensive glass cover,’ she says.

3. Geometric designs

Grey slab kitchen with white worktops and white geometric tiled splashback

(Image credit: Wilsonart)

Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or add some visual interest with a simple subway or metro tile design, geometric tiles and laying your kitchen tiles in a geometric pattern can instantly add a smart touch to your modern kitchen splashback idea.

Hexagon, picket and triangular shaped tiles are some of the experts' favourites and you can also choose to go down the monochromatic route, with tiles all in the same colour family or go for a more striking and vivid design with contrasting colours.

4. Marble and marble-look

Richly veined marble kitchen splashback with white worktops and warm wood doors

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bee Holmes Photography)

‘Classic and elegant, marble is one of the most sought-after finishes in kitchen design. It exudes luxury through its timeless aesthetic, pairing well with both modern and traditional kitchens,’ Elliott details.

While real marble can be a considerable cost, ‘by opting for a marble-effect splashback instead of solid marble, you can reduce costs considerably, whilst still achieving your desired look,’ Elliott says. ‘Dark veined marbles are incredibly popular at the moment for those looking to move away from the norm.’

And it’s also worth considering ‘the texture and feel - we’re seeing a big trend towards matt or soft marbles, rather than shiny or gloss,’ according to Gavin Shaw, Managing Director of Laminam UK.

5. Textured tiles

Arched recess in a kitchen tiled in textured pink tiles with open shelves

(Image credit: Stone Superstore)

A great way of adding depth and character to your kitchen is with textured tiles. What we mean by this is tiles that are embossed or feature 3D patterns or designs.

From textured glass tiles to glazed ceramics, fluted and dappled finishes, these can create a ‘unique and visually appealing splashback that enhances the overall modern vibe,’ says Mark.

6. Large-scale slabs

Richly veined grey and white marble splashback in a white kitchen with black tap and sink

(Image credit: Davonport)

‘Slab splashbacks are making a big statement in 2024 kitchen design,' Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport, explains. 'These seamless, continuous splashbacks create a sleek and modern look.'

‘The term "slab splashback" encapsulates the idea of using a single, continuous piece of material, often natural stone or engineered quartz, to cover the entire wall space behind the countertop and kitchen cabinets,’ Richard adds. ‘This design choice is an exercise in simplicity and boldness, and it has rapidly gained prominence for several compelling reasons.’

‘Opt for large-format tiles or slabs to create a seamless and visually impactful kitchen splashback,’ Mark agrees. ‘This modern approach reduces grout lines, giving a clean and contemporary aesthetic while showcasing the beauty of the chosen material.’

‘In addition to how good they look; slab splashbacks are remarkably easy to maintain. Unlike traditional tiled backsplashes, which require regular grout cleaning and sealing, a slab surface is a breeze to wipe clean. This low-maintenance feature not only enhances the kitchen's functionality but also preserves its pristine appearance over time,’ Richards concludes.

To create a continuous look, you can run the same material that your kitchen worktops are made of up into the splashback or upstand.

7. Metal and metallic accents

Copper kitchen splashback in a teal kitchen with white worktops

(Image credit: Chris Snook for The Main Company)

If you’re going for an industrial feel, a metal splashback or one with metallic accents could be a great choice. Think about copper, stainless steel and brass finishes, all of which add a contemporary feel to a kitchen.

Elliott agrees that ‘metal-finish splashbacks add texture and interest to a kitchen,’ while being ‘practical yet elegant.’ And for those with ‘cool-tone cabinets such as blues, greens and greys,’ steel finishes can pair incredibly well.

Mark also argues that ‘metallic splashbacks can complement modern appliances and fixtures, creating a cohesive and stylish kitchen design.’ Plus, metal splashbacks can be incredibly easy to clean and keep looking their best, as you can simply wipe it down without having to worry about dealing with different textures or finishes, perfect for cleaning your kitchen quickly.

8. Mix and match or add a pop of colour

Turquoise kitchen with white worktops and yellow geo patterned splashback

(Image credit: Davonport)

‘Mixing and matching-coloured tiles is also a great way to create impact by harnessing the colour blocking trend,’ suggests Molly Woodward-Moor, Interior Designer and Creative Director at Stone Superstore. ‘Go bold with contrasting colours in a striped or chequerboard style or keep it subtle with monochromatic combinations of one colour palette.’

‘Coloured glass tiles or mosaic patterns can create a focal point and bring energy to the space, especially when paired with neutral cabinetry and countertops,’ Mark says. This is one for you if you're looking for ways to add colour to a white kitchen. 

Elliott also has some tips for those who may be weary of using colour in their kitchen design. ‘Homeowners can sometimes be hesitant to add colour to their design as they worry they will tire of it quickly, but by opting for a muted, toned-down shade can help with this. I’d recommend picking a colour that appears in nature, such as blue, green, or dusk pink, as they’ll offer a calming feel to the space without overpowering it.’

9. Embrace the dark trend

Dark grey modern kitchen with dark grey worktops and dark grey splashbacks

(Image credit: Lundhs Real Stone)

Dark kitchens look to be even more dramatic for 2024,’ Gavin explains. ‘Black work surfaces and splashbacks will be paired with other black elements, such as stained or painted cabinetry or lighting for a wow-factor and opulent result.’

So, if you’re a fan of moody tones and darker designs, this could be the modern splashback idea for you.

FAQs

What's the latest trend for kitchen splashbacks?

‘Currently, there is a wide focus on stone splashbacks: granite, quartz, and marble are all on trend,’ according to Tara Gilson from Uber Interiors. ‘Stone not only teams well with both light and dark kitchen fittings but adds a more sophisticated feel to the room.’ 

This ties in nicely with slab kitchen splashbacks, which are set to be one of the biggest kitchen trends for 2024. While stainless steel splashbacks and kitchens have also emerged as another big trend.

Is it easy to change a splashback?

'Replacing a splashback requires a careful and skilled approach, so we would always advise getting a professional fabricator to do this to ensure there is no damage to the surrounding surfaces,' Gavin advises. 'With their expertise and specialised tools, a fabricator will be able to check that the wall is in optimal condition for a new installation and seamlessly install the new splashback to a high standard, as well as safely dispose of the old one.'

So, this might be something to leave to the professionals.

The perfect splashback will set the tone for your whole kitchen look, so try one of these stylish options for a contemporary scheme that has a luxe edge. 

Ellis Cochrane
Contributor

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.


Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.