SPLASHBACK

One of the aspects of this element, is that it is often overlooked by clients when initially considering design options. This is unfortunate, as the splashback is almost always the first thing you see and is visible from any distance once within the kitchen space.

Benchtops look like

glossy surfaces from afar, and it is only when you get closer, that the pattern & colour emerges. Splashbacks also allow for greater personalisation of the space as the type, style colour, patterns and finishes are almost endless.
The following are popular choices:

Benchtop material

Just about any material used for a benchtop can be used for a splashback, mainly dependant on whether it is to be placed behind a heat source, such as a cooktop, or not. As long as the material can be placed behind a cooktop according to Australian Standards, then there is no reason why the material cannot be returned up on the walls.
Engineered stones require 200mm from a gas flame (due to their polymer resin content which is deemed to be flammable), but natural stone, ultra-compacted surfaces and stainless steel, need not meet this requirement. Obviously, laminates and acrylics need to be used with careful consideration to placement too.
One of the best reasons to use the same material for benchtops and splashbacks, is that it creates a beautiful, continuous, almost seamless look. In smaller kitchens this adds to the feeling of space, as the definition between wall and countertop is blurred. Particularly useful if a ‘clean-line’ look is sought after.

Glass

Continues to be popular, although these days it is often combined with other selections so as to add more design elements. Available in virtually any colour, glass can also be custom printed with any image and is available in gloss or satin finish, and solid or metallic effects added. Where the splashback is to be situated opposite a window with a great view, a mirrored glass splashback is almost a must.
A mirror splashback will also help to make the area feel more spacious. Glass is a popular option for most contemporary and fuss-free designs. Some glass splashbacks can also be accessorised with integrated technology such as a smart touch screen interfaces (think ipad/ipod/home controls).

Tiles

Are enjoying a great resurgence. The choices are almost endless, and provide a great, and often inexpensive way, to add that special touch to individualise and elevate an otherwise basic design. A must in the more traditional designs, and fabulous for softening a more contemporary look. Tiles are versatile, usually relatively inexpensive and very durable, and go a long way to defining a style in any application.
White high-gloss subway tiles laid horizontally are a classic. The addition of black or grey grout will give visual contrast, while white grout projects a super-clean appearance. Patterned tiles such as mosaics can make a statement in an all-white space, as can colourful geometric arrangements. Perfect for style punctuation.
A tiled kitchen splashback can be a key focal point in any kitchen design and the arrangement can be just as important as the tiles themselves. The grout on a tiled splashback with large tiles therefore need less upkeep, however, smaller format tiles allow for more complex design options.
How you choose your kitchen splashback tiles depends on the overall style of your kitchen. Splashback tiles can pull a kitchen design and colour scheme together. A traditional kitchen could showcase detailed hand-made tiles, while a modern kitchen could feature concrete or distressed metal look tiles.

Exposed bricks

Are an important inclusion for the urban industrial warehouse look, while rendered bricks give sleek visual appeal. Bricks must be sealed or fitted with a glass panel to protect from water and stains.

Clear glass

Allows the view outside to be enjoyed and improves natural light in a home. A touch of well-planned landscaping in the area external to the splashback ensures a beautiful outlook, specially where the window faces a common border fence. Needs to be planned well in advance. Perfect where there are limited natural light sources existing, or where a window has been removed to create wall space for much needed cabinetry.

Pressed metal and metallic finishes

Add texture and an interesting dimension. Pressed metal is a wonderful choice for the traditional or a farmhouse look. For a metallic look, consider brushed stainless steel or brushed metal for a raw and modern aesthetic.

Chalkboard

This is another creative option where you can write reminders, menus, and grocery lists for the family. Use alone or in conjunction with other materials (specially behind cooktops and sinks), to create interest.