If you’re having a new kitchen designed, or wanting to give your kitchen that extra something, think Splashback! Surprisingly this is a much neglected and forgotten item yet it should be an essential part of your kitchen.
Splashbacks are back in a big way! Not only are they effective causing less labour in cleaning and maintenance; they also create great visual impact making your kitchen trendy and stylish; so you could say they’re a necessity.
When it comes to splashbacks, it isn’t advisable to DIY. You need a specialist: someone who understands the technical aspects of kitchens and your requirements for work and design impact.
Below, we examine the materials and patterns that are currently ‘in vogue’:
If your kitchen is spacious you could consider using large tiles of a rectangular shape to cover the space behind the cooking area – simply because your larger kitchen affords you enough space to do this.
Smaller kitchens adapt the more intimate and homely feel by using smaller tiles and cleverly utilising colour. Mosaic is an option but not a necessity – it all depends on your personal tastes.
Glass, slate, granite and travertine are very popular in different forms and go well with the splashback concept. Neutrals or pastels are possibly the best colour choice to opt for. A very modern design concept is the utilisation of borders in another material – metal, wood, tumbled stone – together with glass tiles can make for a beautiful and timeless effect.
Ceramic tiles are usually found on floors and walls up to the ceiling. This is because they are not only practical but also the most hygienic of surfaces. Ceramic is a natural fire retardant, it doesn’t absorb smells, it is easily cleaned, it gives a permanent and perfect finish without dressing it up. In Europe the use of ceramics is extremely popular – and not without good reason! Remember that ceramics are not just those colourful squares but can be a wonderful design of tumbled stone and glass that makes amazing effects right there in your home.
Vertical is the new Horizontal! It is being hailed as the newest hot look for stylish kitchens. It gives a waterfall effect when staggering really long tiles, bringing a fresh approach to both kitchens and bathrooms! So although rectangular and square shapes still work well, consider your tiles going down instead of across and think what an elegant look this would give.
Don’t forget, that your splashback is an integral part of your kitchen and as such needs to blend in with and complement the design, colour and materials of its surroundings. That doesn’t mean it has to match, but, if you make it a dramatic piece that really stands out, there’s the possibility it won’t fit in with anything. Have lots of fun planning your backsplash so that the end result gives a complete effect.
You’ll find wood on tables, cabinets, doors, etc., but somehow it just doesn’t work for splashbacks. It neither looks right nor is it easily cleanable. It can warp, discolour, retain odours, chip easily, and for many other reasons shouldn’t be considered as splashback material.
Paint is also a poor idea and really not recommended. Not only is it quite dated, on a backsplash it’s also hard to clean and makes no statement. Before resorting to paint, have a look at other budget backsplash ideas which would make your kitchen look better, and would do a better job.
Whatever you decide make sure that you choose material that cannot be stained – soy sauce for example; cannot grow bacteria – in the grouting; does not absorb odours or is not hard wearing. Stone should be sealed therefore and grouting done expertly thus limited the amount exposed to wear and tear. Epoxy grouting is often recommended for jobs like this as it has a high resistance to staining.
Ages ago, backsplashes were either nonexistent or just an afterthought. Nowadays they are part of the primary design element in modern kitchens. They are essential if only from a hygiene point of view. However, if you do have one, it may as well look good. Don’t try this type of thing by yourself and spend money on something that never quite looks right. DIY always looks like DIY.
Work with a designer and discover all the many options open to you before making a decision. This way, you will truly appreciate the full benefit of what the right splashback can do for you.