07 Sep 2015

The kitchen is known as the heart of the home, and as one of the most used parts within the house, it’s important that it is both pleasant to be in as well as practical and durable. The backsplash, or splash back as it is also known, is an often overlooked component of this area.

The kitchen is known as the heart of the home, and as one of the most used parts within the house, it’s important that it is both pleasant to be in as well as practical and durable. The backsplash, or splash back as it is also known, is an often overlooked component of this area. The space located on the wall directly behind and above the bench that incorporates the stovetop and sink is at risk of becoming dirty during cooking and food preparation. It is common for those inevitable oil and sauce splashes to end up on this back wall area.

A backsplash is created by attaching a waterproof material to the wall area so as to make it easy to clean and wipe down any splashes or remnants of cooking activity. In addition to being completely functional, however, a backsplash can also be a creative way to add some extra visual impact and style to your kitchen. There are a number of things you can do to achieve a stylish look that fits with your interior and decor.

Limestone tiles

Tiles are a great way to create an antique or homely look, particularly when paired with stone benchtops. Large tiles are the perfect complement to any kitchen. One consideration, however, is that limestone pavers must be treated with a sealant so as to prevent them from becoming stained and to allow for easy cleaning.

Stainless steel

When it comes to modern or industrial chic designs, it doesn’t get much better than stainless steel. In addition to matching your appliances, stainless steel provides an impactful backdrop to your kitchen. It is both a highly utilitarian and stylish choice, with textured steel providing an added effect. Perhaps the only downside of stainless steel is that it is notorious for holding fingerprints, so keep it clean with a soft rag in order to always have it looking its best.

Soapstone

For a rustic look, soapstone makes an excellent choice. The natural colours of the stone are in scales of grey and green, however oils can be used to dye the stone darker. As a less porous alternative to pavers or granite, soapstone makes a great backsplash material as it doesn’t require any additional sealant or treatment.

Beaded board

If your home has been designed with a country theme in mind then this is the perfect choice. Often overlooked, beaded board can make an excellent choice of material for a kitchen backsplash. The simple charm of this material can create a farmhouse atmosphere, an unpretentious way of adding style and warmth to your home.

Ceramic tiles

One of the most popular backsplash choices, ceramic tiles are truly versatile when it comes to design. Other than being easy to clean, they also provide an almost endless choice when it comes to design, due to their availability in several colours, shapes, and sizes. They can be mixed and matched to create truly unique splashbacks that add some serious style to any kitchen. The vast choices available simply mean that it’s no problem to match different decorative styles. Versatile, popular, and durable, it’s no wonder that ceramic tiles continue to be a favourite amongst both designers and homeowners alike.

Glass

Another truly modern material, glass has become a popular choice in designer homes. It’s easy to clean with a simple wipe down, and its simplicity means that it never looks out of place, no matter the style of your home or kitchen. Stained and coloured glass are both also available as backsplash materials for those looking to create a focal point or have a greater impact in their kitchen.

Laminate

As the most economical option, laminage is also known for the sheer amount of choice it offers when it comes to colour, design, and texture. The material is extremely easy to maintain, however one drawback is that most laminate splashbacks that extend from the countertop only reach a few inches up the wall. This is easily solved with a washable paint for practicality and style.

Pressed metal

A creative and unique idea, pressed metal offers the ability to mount a customised design or highly textural piece as a kitchen splashback. Pressed metal is easy to mount, easy to clean, and adds an element of intrigue to any kitchen. This is an idea that will certainly make your kitchen stand out.

Marble

A true classic and timeless representation of sheer elegance, marble continues to be a popular choice as a splashback material. While it looks glamorous and opulent, marble stains more easily than other materials, so consistency is key when it comes to getting it clean.

Mirrors

Popular in kitchen and homes that are short on space, mirrored splashbacks have the added benefit of creating an illusion of extra space. The reflection of light means that they can make the smallest of kitchens feel somewhat airy. Easy to clean but potentially more delicate and prone to cracks than other materials, mirrored splashbacks are a popular choice amongst those looking for a contemporary modern look.

Chalkboard

Perhaps a little playful and cheeky, the chalkboard is a creative material that is seeing some use in kitchen splashbacks in recent years. It’s especially fun in family environments, where messages can be written and one’s inner creativity can be unleashed.

With so many options available for the kitchen backsplash, it can be difficult to determine where to begin. The first step is to clearly identify your personal style and perhaps create an inspiration board of things you like and designs that resonate with your personal tastes. After this, consider the design of the rest of your home and which of these styles may work well with your current decor. A backsplash can be used to create a contrast in your kitchen, however it shouldn’t clash with the design.

From a practical perspective, consider what types of material you would be happy to maintain in the long term. Some materials are harder to clean than others, but consider the maintenance involved when making this decision. Once you have an idea of the style and material you want, you can begin to experiment with customising the look. Consider mixing and matching colours, or using patterns and textures such as a mosaic to add some interesting depth. Borders are another great way to get creative and add some visual depth to a splashback area, as is alternating between materials and colours.