What is the difference between a kitchen upstand and splashback?

If you have ever asked what is the difference between kitchen upstands vs splashbacks, this is the article for you! Read on!

kitchen upstands vs splashbacks.  Image shows a high end splashback for a designer kitchen in manchester. Minimalist, modern luxury and bespoke.
Kitchen upstands vs splashbacks. Where do we begin?!

What is a kitchen upstand?

A classic beige shaker kitchen with upstand on the counter tops. kitchen upstands vs splashbacks.
A splashback combind with an upstand.

A kitchen upstand is a small strip usually made from the same material as the worktop, granite, quartz, hard wood, laminate or stainless steel for example. It is fixed at the back end of the worktops, against the wall, usually around 80-100mm high. It doesn’t give the same “splatter” protection as a kitchen splashback but does create a neat finish where the worktop meets the wall. It gives a more pared back, minimalistic kitchen look. If you’re a messy cook, it’s probably going to be a big no, or at least make sure you use washable paint on the walls above! 

What is a kitchen splashback ?

A beautiful tiled splashback in a classic country in Manchester, UK. kitchen upstands vs splashbacks.
A classic tiled splashback!

A kitchen splashback is much larger than the kitchen upstand. It covers the wall between the worktop and underside of the wall cabs.  It’s designed to be an easy to clean surface that protects the wall from cooking spills and splashes. Splashbacks today are more than a practical addition. They can introduce colour, texture and can become a feature piece.  A kitchen splashback behind a sink is a practical way to prevent water damage or staining on the walls, when washing up.

What material options are there for kitchen splashbacks and upstands?

kitchen upstands vs splashbacks. Luxury materials used for full designer kitchen splashback in Manchester, UK. Marbles, granites, tiles, wood and more.
Luxury splashback!

Most kitchen upstand tends to be from the same material options as the kitchen worktops, i.e quartz, laminate, granite, corian and porcelain, to name a few. Kitchen splashbacks may match the surface or be an opportunity to add a different colour or material into the bespoke kitchen. Think glass, tile, mirror or steel. When it comes to deciding which one to go for, the choice may come down to whether you want a cohesive look or one full of contrast. One important point to note is some options will be limited if being used behind a gas hob. If you are unsure or just super excited about the plethora of choice, we are here to help you with that decision! For more material ideas, check this article out here.

How do I decide between a kitchen upstand and kitchen splashback?

There are a few factors to consider here. 

First, the overall look in your new bespoke kitchen. Do you want more of a minimalist look or do you want to create a bold statement with matching surfaces? 

Secondly, the cost. Splashbacks by their nature come in more expensive than a kitchen upstand, as we’re talking about using much more material. With all of this choice it would be easy to be overwhelmed but fear not, we have 20+ years experience to guide you here!

Lastly, the style of the bespoke kitchen. We think modern kitchens tend to look better with splashbacks in worktop material or glass, to give a bolder statement look. Whereas traditional kitchens tend to look better with upstand or tile features to keep that pared down look.  

Kitchen upstands vs splashback. Do I need a splashback if I have an upstand? It doesn’t need to be confusing.

You can double up which is more common than you might think. Painting the wall above an upstand in a washable paint will certainly help but in heavily used areas, i.e behind sinks and hobs, it’s advisable to go a bit higher than standard upstand height. Glass mirror splashbacks can look great above the upstand in modern kitchens also. We would say if you’re going to tile though, you wouldn’t do both upstand and tile. Are you still wondering what the difference is between kitchen upstand vs splashback? In order to avoid kitchen mistakes like this, let us guide you through this element in the design stage.