There was a time when there were very few options when it came to kitchen splash backs. Thankfully we’re no longer living in that era and if anything, we’re absolutely spoilt with fabulous choice. From mirror, to stone, tiles, glass or even window, there are so many great splash back options that have the power to propel your kitchen from drab to fab.
A mirrored splash back can look fabulous and it doesn’t have to be super shiny like bathroom mirrors. In fact, there are some lovely smoky grey ones that have a subtler, mirrored finish. But given that mirror doesn’t add texture, colour of movement to a space you have to have a good reason to use it.
One excellent justification is if you want to highlight a beautiful view. Your kitchen splash back may be opposite a beautiful garden or amazing ocean view, or something else that you want to reflect. Another reason to use a mirror is to maximise a feeling of space. If your kitchen is on the diminutive side, a mirrored splash back can really open it up.
Just remember to be mindful of checking Australian standards with respect to the type of mirror you need to install as not all mirror works behind a hot plate – some will crack and shatter when they get hot.
Using a window as a splash back is such a beautiful idea as it’s such an amazing way of connecting the inside of our homes with nature. Obviously this only works if you have the back side of your kitchen running along an external wall of your home and you must make sure there’s something to look at. If, for instance, the view is simply that of a Colorbond fence, you might want to reconsider installing a window If you are set on it though you could mount external art or an artificial or real green wall onto the fence – both options will make it much more attractive to look at.
But, like mirror, it’s really important that you check the Australian standards when it comes to glass – it can also shatter when it overheats.
People often discount stone as a splash back option because they think it will be too expensive. But not only are there some very affordable stone varieties on the market, the installation cost is less than tiles as there is no grouting required and the process doesn’t take as long.
Furthermore, if you’ve selected a stone bench top you will have to purchase an entire slab meaning may have a leftover piece. Slab dimensions vary, but generally they are 2400mm x 1200mm which means you might be able to get your splash back out of just one slab, making it a really affordable option.
Aside from being super easy to clean and heat-proof, stone splash backs have no grout lines and thus provide a beautiful, seamless look.
My least favourite splash back option, while there are some great colour choices I think it is a rather clinical look. But there are a couple of exceptions in my mind – a glass splash back can look fabulous inside an uber modern home and I don’t mind black glass in the right spot.
My favourite splash back option, tiles can bring so much texture and life into a kitchen. From the lovely movement and texture of a little mosaic tile to a timber-look variant, large format tiles or an on-trend patterned option, tiles can be amazing in a kitchen.
There are some things to consider though. If you want a really clean-edged finish you need to select a rectified tile for a nice, square edge and talk to your tiler about having really thin, almost imperceptible, grout lines. Some tiles are so well made and straight that you can forget the traditional grout joint entirely and simply have the tiles butt up against one another with a very thin line of sealant between then. This is a more specialised option though and will depend on your tiles and tiler’s experience.
And if you’re concerned about grout and the absorption of food stains from cooking, there are some amazing grouts around that are minimally porous too.
If you have a really tight budget and you don’t have a cooktop in front of your splash back (and thus no heat issues) you could consider an amazing laminate or board product – from timber-look to metallics, there are some ultra-cool finishes out there.