Kitchens sell houses and are also the heart of the home. Overall this is probably the biggest investment you will make when renovating or building your home. NO pressure then to get it right!
There are many decisions to be made but one that is very important and I find often overlooked to begin with, is the kitchen splashback. A splashback can make quite a statement in the overall design or you may want it to blend in. In each case, they can be expensive and difficult to change. Retrofitting a kitchen splashback is not much fun so you really need to be sure that you are happy with your choice.
I have set out below the pros and cons for the different types for you to choose from together with some gorgeous inspiration.
A tiled kitchen splashback
There is no doubt that the kitchen splashback choice of the moment is one made from tiles.
The design possibilities are endless and this is a great opportunity to put your personal stamp on your new kitchen. Tiles are relatively inexpensive, particularly when compared with other splashback alternatives, and the choice is huge.
This gorgeous black and white geometric design is very eye catching but you need to ensure you love it and also that it works with the style of your home and your decorating look. The touch of timber here really softens the black and white theme.
Related: How to choose the right black
For a simple classic look you can't go past the white subway tile. Either plain, with a bevelled edge or with a beautiful crackled glazed finish, this look is popular and very cost effective.
Want to put your own stamp on the classic subway tile? Then change the grout colour.
Dark grey grout defines the edges and gives more of an industrial feel to the kitchen scheme. There is no doubt too that it is also very practical.
Which brings me to a word of caution with tiled splashbacks. The reason so many of us moved away from tiles to more seamless choices was that we were fed up with cleaning the grout! You can of course limit the tiled area to the food preparation and eating zones and switch to a glass or stainless steel panel for the area behind the stove top.
Ensure too that you speak with your tiler regarding the type of grout they will be using. A good quality epoxy grout, although more expensive, will hold off stains for far longer than a standard grout.
Subway tiles also come in a gorgeous range of colours. This stunning blue with white grout makes a great feature for this simple kitchen but you will need to ensure that you continue this colour into your decorating scheme. A pale grey grout could also be used here if you didn't want to see so much definition between the tiles.
Another favourite of mine. How could you not be charmed by this gorgeous kitchen? The link with the black windows in terms of both colour and style, is inspired.
Tiles come in all shapes and sizes. If you feel like mixing it up a bit then use a hexagon shape. These mosaic tiles come in larger sheets making them easy to install.
A stone kitchen splashback
A stone splashback is one of the more expensive options but I love them because it really gives the stone an opportunity to shine. The beautiful veining in marbles and granite are often lost when just used on the bench top but when installed vertically, they become almost a work of art.
A good kitchen designer and stonemason will ensure that the most stunning pieces are used in this area, or not of course, if you prefer a more subtle approach.
When considering this option though ensure that you view a piece of the stone in a horizontal position and then a piece with it in a vertical position next to it so that you can see how different they look. You have to be sure that you like the effect before signing off on it.
This approach is interesting as a plain white has been used on the bench top with the piece of natural stone used as the splashback creating a very effective link to the grey flooring.
Reconstituted stone that replicates a natural stone is also an excellent choice and more practical as it is more stain resistant than the marble it is copying.
A word of caution though with any type of stone behind gas stove tops. Check with your kitchen designer as you need to leave enough space between the gas and the splashback as the intense heat can crack the stone.
This gorgeous timber veneer splashback doesn't really belong in this section but I have included it to show how you can use stone as a splashback to create a very practical base for something more original. Just 10cm of stone is enough for water splashes and marks from wiping down the bench top.
I love this solution as it continues the benchtop material and acts as a base for a stunning feature.
A glass kitchen splashback
Glass splashbacks have fallen foul of the fashion machine but they really are a very practical and elegant solution for this area.
The dark colour used above makes the look more trendy and very eye catching. I think it is more the coloured glass that is not so popular, when dark or very light, white colours are used, the look is very contemporary.
Plain or tinted mirrored glass is also a very effective solution. Remember that water and grease splashes show on dark surfaces so although stunning, a dark grey or black glass will be high maintenance!
A window kitchen splashback
The designers who first introduced the window splashback to our home designs were geniuses. I really like this solution as it lets in more light, gives a very unique outlook and gives you the opportunity to get really creative.
You don't have to have the harbour bridge as the view, a simple fence with gorgeous greenery is just as effective. This option is relatively easy to maintain too.
A word of caution though if you are planning to have your cooktop in this zone of the kitchen and use the glass as a splashback. You can't use a tinted glass as the product in the glass to make it tinted reacts with the hot splatters from the stove top. Speak to the window supplier first to ensure that what you have selected will cope with splatters and marks.
Often with a window splashback there will be a small remaining area of splashback that still needs to be considered. I like to continue the stone benchtop in these areas as it starts to get fiddly with tiles, particularly with window reveals. A simple glass solution to match the wall and/or joinery colour is also a good idea.
Taking the window all the way to the ceiling is a stunning idea too to maximise the view and light. You just need to ensure that you won't be blinded by the sun as you obviously can't add blinds here!
Pressed metal kitchen splashbacks
An alternative idea that you don't see very often is a pressed metal splashback.
The benefits of a pressed metal splashback is that they are very durable and easy to install. They are also an affordable solution but they certainly do not look cheap.
A pressed metal splashback can give you a heritage look, particularly if you select one with an art nouveau pattern that evokes the period of Federation. These splashbacks in white also work well for a country look and in certain patterns and colours, particularly, silver and grey, suit an industrial style look.
There are of course other solutions for kitchen splashbacks: vertical laminates and stainless steel, amongst others, but I have just concentrated for now on the main options that I work with each day.
To help you decide on your splashback choice you may like the following:
My Pinterest page has lots of inspiration with boards dedicated to contemporary and classic style kitchens and I would love to hear your design dilemmas in the comments section below.