Kitchen splashbacks are nothing new. They are designed to protect your walls from splatters and spills around the central cooking areas in your kitchen. Usually installed behind the stovetop, sink or food prep areas, from a functional perspective they are a great way to reduce cleaning and permanent stains or marks from oil splatter, mixing bowls and food spills.
Recent design trends and new materials have added another dimension to what was once considered a simple choice (often tiles or paint); that is, bespoke options to create an additional design element or stunning feature piece to your kitchen.
Deciding on what will best suit and what will work in your home can be difficult. Price is also a big factor to take into consideration. Choices are varied and range from traditional tiles, chalkboard finishes, wallpaper, marble through to more modern materials such as textured paints, printed glass and pressed metals. To help you work through the choices, we have curated 5 popular choices to consider for your next kitchen renovation project.
1. Toughened Glass
Popular due to its simplicity, toughened glass is a good option to consider. There are no gaps or grouting making it very easy to clean and being sturdy, toughened glass can withstand the heat generated from cooktops and ovens.
Tempered or toughened glass is a type of safety glass processed through treatment to increase its strength compared with normal glass. If broken toughened glass crumbles into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged pieces like regular glass. This significantly reduces the risk of injury should the glass break.
Toughened printed splashbacks are limited only by your imagination
You can find toughened glass in an almost endless range of colours and prints. This allows you the freedom to blend or offset colour against the rest of your kitchen. Or if you are feeling bold and artistic, why not consider a printed glass splashback which opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Think floral designs, tropical rainforests, beach scenes or even your favourite family photo!
Some people also love the look of mirrored glass, which again is toughened glass and unlike your bathroom mirror, has a smoky silvery or bronze tint. The finish helps enhance your home’s natural light and adds interesting reflections and visual effects to your kitchen design.
Glass splashbacks are usually made to order to fit perfectly into your cabinetry design. Allow yourself plenty of lead-time for the design, templating, manufacturing, cutting and installation. Measurements are taken on-site and a template is created including any holes for power points etc.
Once the glass has been cut to size it is toughened, after which it cannot be cut again, so getting the measurements right is crucial. When ready, it then really simply is a matter of installation by gluing your splashback to the wall.
Cost: Expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $1,000 per square meter including installation, with cut-outs an additional cost.
Acrylic can seem like an odd choice, given that we usually associate it with plastic. However creating a sleek and easy to clean option, it is usually more cost-effective than tempered glass and great if you are into DIY.
Although they create the illusion of glass with a shiny surface, acrylic differs in that it cannot be installed directly behind your cooktop. To comply with Australian safety standards, you will need to include an additional stainless-steel plate or toughened glass for the width of your cooktop and extending at least 200mm above the cooktop burners. Acrylic is lightweight, durable and easy to install on your own, requiring just a little adhesive.
Printed acrylic splashback
Cost: You can buy large acrylic sheets by the meter from major hardware stores. No specialist tools are required, although if you are wanting to accommodate unusual cabinetry shapes you will have to arrange for cutting of the sheets.
Expect to pay from $70 – $150 per square meter plus hourly rates for preparation of the wall surface and installation.
While a traditional choice, tiles remain popular and still provide a wide variety of design options by using colour, shapes, mosaics and tiling patters to create studding effects and statement pieces in your kitchen.
Neutral subway tiles are currently in vogue, but so are herringbone, scalloped, penny and hexagon patterns.
The downside with tiles is keeping grout lines and joins clean and fresh over time. Sealants can help alleviate this, so remember to ask for advice from your tiling shop when you choose your products.
Cost: This will really depend on the type of tile you choose, which can range anywhere from $40 to $250 per square meter. You will also need to factor in the adhesives, grout and if you are not up to DIY, the cost of a professional tiler.
4. Stainless Steel
Definitely, a statement piece found in many industrial style kitchens, stainless steel is contemporary and often a nod to the industrial kitchen look.
As a material, it is durable and extremely hygienic but has its drawbacks when it comes to cleaning! Fingerprints, smears, spatters and marks are very obvious and difficult to mask unless you are fastidious with your cleaning. Specialist stainless steel cleaning products will assist.
You can buy sheets of stainless steel from major hardware outlets and specialist suppliers, but be careful when it comes to transport and handling to avoid scratches and dents pre-installation.
This industrial look works well if you are matching it up with stainless steel sinks and stone benchtops. As an alternative, you may also consider sheets of pressed metal which come in a variety of pre-pressed patterns and finishes. These tend to be manufactured from an aluminium alloy, which will not rust, and are suitable for use behind cooktops.
Cost: This will really depend on the thickness and quality, with the price similar to more expensive glass or stone splashbacks. Budget around $250 – $350 per square meter.
5. Reconstituted Stone
The big plus of using reconstituted stone for your splashback is that it can be measured to fit as a single piece of stone, creating a continuous grout and join-free surface. This also ensures that the colour and texture flow seamlessly.
This material is extremely durable, heat resistant and easy to keep clean. Matching a stone backsplash to your kitchen benchtops will allow for a balanced design effect throughout the space.
If this is the look you are after, make sure you order from the same batch to ensure the stone matches in colour and tone.
Reconstituted stone splashback
Cost: This will depend on the stone you choose, with engineered/reconstituted stone or quartz more cost-effective than top-end options such as marble. Prices may range from $450 – $2,000 per square meter, including the templating and installation by specialist stonemasons.
A word of caution if you have your heart set on marble, as it is known to stain more readily. However, a good sealant and some common sense when it comes to cooking and cleaning should do the trick!
A final tip on pricing: Get comparison quotes
You will find a wide range of costs and installation charges when it comes to splashbacks, so to take the guesswork out of the discussion by getting comparison quotes:
STEP 1. Measure the space you want to cover with a splashback.
STEP 2. Pick your top choices of materials that will suit your kitchen.
STEP 3. Get quotes from splashback suppliers including the splashback, materials, templating, any prep work of the walls and final installation costs.