Tips for the perfect splashback

Splashbacks come in many different materials that go in and out of fashion, however, tiles have stood the test of time and continue to be one of the most popular materials for a splashback.

Tiles enable you to experiment with colour and pattern, but remember a splashback can often be the focal point when walking into the kitchen so it’s important to get it right.

 Unlike a large room to be tiled from top to bottom, there are no set rules on what tiles you should have for a splashback.  The only things you should consider are practical elements such as how easy they are to keep clean, ensure they are waterproof and of course – that they complement your overall finish and design.

Metro tiles are one of the most popular designs I get asked to complete splashbacks in.  The tiles are not too expensive, they have a gloss finish and there are an abundance of colours to choose from.  The best part about this tile is that because they are plain and simple, a different colour grout can really offset them.

Herringbone style of tiling for a splashback with the Metro tile gives a retro feel to tiling and adds a dramatic effect to the splashback.  This style of tiling works best in simple crisp colours with a bold grout. 

 Of course there are many tiles to consider, below are a few top tiles for a splash back.

Mosaics are great for creating centrepieces or border details, they’re often chosen to create kitchen splashback from because they are perfect for intricate designs and for combining different colour schemes. As mentioned in my wet room blog, these can be expensive - given the fact the splash back size is possibly one of the smallest amount of tiling to be completed in one room, it may be a great opportunity to use them. 

Using them as a boarder can be really eye catching and create a high end look.  This is a good idea if you want to add a splash of colour to the kitchen without going too bold or bright.  If you do choose this as a design style and you have a bright white crisp clean looking kitchen, I advise choosing a black or deep coloured mosaic rather than a bright colour, otherwise all the person will notice is the bright mosaic colour and not a lot else. The black and deep colours will blend better.

Natural Stone as mentioned in my wet room blog these are stunning tiles but can be quite expensive.  The best natural stone for splashbacks would be granite, slate and marble.  Natural stone does require sealing once installed again pushing the price up – but in my eyes there’s nothing better than natural stone tiles and they are without a doubt the most durable tiles you can get. You can even get natural stone mosaic tiles which help create a classic, rustic or contemporary look. It can be harder to clean and not all are stain friendly though so it’s important to keep this in mind.

Ceramic tiles are available in all shapes and sizes, and any style you want, you are guaranteed to find. You can even mix and match them! All you need to do is make sure you choose a glazed tile so they are waterproof. These are usually the cheapest type of tiles you can buy and can be replaced far easier if they so happen to chip or get damaged than other materials such as porcelain or natural stone.

 Porcelain tiles.  As they are made from clay fired in a furnace mixed with natural materials they’re known for being fairy uniform and non-porous. They are exceptionally durable (last longer than ceramic tiles). This tile is also good at resisting stains and is waterproof. Porcelain tiles are available to replica looks of luxurious materials such as marble or granite.  In fact there are so many patterns and now digitally printed porcelain tiles, you could easily loose weeks looking at all of your options  The disadvantages are that they are difficult to install (not that you would have to worry if you have a tiler!) and they are more expensive.  I’d say overall these are the best option for splashbacks in terms of practicality and value for money…but when it comes to kitchens - it’s not always about value for money and sometimes about what you prefer!


Top Style Tips

I would say that grout colours should be darker in the kitchen, there is nothing worse than white grout being stained. Tiles are easy to wipe clean but grout isn’t. Think long term too, tiles can last an age so it maybe that you keep the splash back and get new kitchen doors/surface over time and keep the tiles.  Make sure you’ll still love that orange statement tile with different kitchen cupboards in future.

You can use tiles to add layers of colours, patterns and textures so don’t be scared to use different shaped tiles. Combining patterned tiles to create a ‘patchwork’ look will add character and can really create a vintage style look to your kitchen.

A smaller petite kitchen can look homely and warm using pastel tiles for a splashback and create light and brightness.

Gloss tiles always look crisp and clean, if you’re going for a plain tile that’s ceramic or porcelain I would always recommend a gloss finish.

 If you need some ideas, I have plenty of photos on my Facebook  and Instagram page (link from this website) and I am always happy to answer any questions you have.

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