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Upstands and splashbacks – what you need to know!

Dreaming of a kitchen that blends good design and quality with functionality and style?

Heard mention of upstands and splashbacks but, if you’re honest, not really sure what they do or even what the difference is between them?

Don’t worry, help is at hand. Here, The Marble Store team take a closer look at splashbacks and upstands’ place in the kitchen, why you need them, and what your options are.

Read on to find out more…


What are upstands and splashbacks?

First things first – let’s establish what the difference is between an upstand and a splashback?

The most notable distinction is the size.

Upstands are basically an extension of your worktop. Running the length, they return up the wall for between 6cm and 12cm. They help to finish off worksurfaces and can cover any gaps between uneven walls and the straight edge of a worktop.

In comparison, splashbacks cover a much wider expanse and are traditionally used in key areas, such as behind the sink or hob, to prevent damage from food and water splashes.

Technically, anything higher than 20cm is usually referred to as a ‘splashback’. Lower than 20cm and your buzz word is ‘upstand’.

Still with us?

In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter what you call them. They do the same job – enhance the look of a kitchen and protect surrounding walls and paintwork from splatters and stains.


Why have upstands and splashbacks?

Both options are intended to finish the look of your kitchen and increase its durability. Providing an easy to wipe surface that ensures the look and cleanliness of your kitchen remain intact – no matter how messy a cook you are.

But splashbacks and upstands are more than just a practical feature. They are part of your kitchen style statement too. And after blending into the background (literally!) for many years, they’re making a comeback, providing the opportunity to really stamp your own mark and personality on a kitchen.

The current trend is to cover more wall space – typically up to plug socket height or in most cases to meet the level of wall cupboards. Not only does this look good, but it makes for even simpler maintenance too.


What options are there for splashbacks and upstands?



This is the traditional upstand and splashback option – and it’s still a goodie.

Used in numerous ways, you can go for a bold pattern or eye-catching colour scheme throughout or keep designs simple and then go all out in feature areas to create a decorative focal point.

Tiles make it easy to configure wall protection to suit the size and shape of your kitchen – the downside is fitting them.

Grouting is an arduous and time-consuming task. It’s also one that frequently needs redoing. Daily maintenance is a pain too. Wiping tiled walls is preferable to bare walls, yes, but it’s still tricky, with nooks and crannies that can easily harbour dirt and bacteria if you’re not careful.



Glass splashbacks can add colour and a real contemporary twist to a kitchen space.

With minimal joints, they are hardwearing and low maintenance…to a degree. You’ve got to remember that no one likes cleaning windows, and that’s basically what you’ll need to do – regularly!

Glass may be easy to wipe down and will keep looking as good as new for a long time, but it will show splashes and watermarks easily. Which means you’ll need to be prepared for constant cleaning to maintain a streak-free look.


Granite, marble and quartz

As three of the most sought-after worktop surfaces, it’s hardly surprising that granite, marble and quartz are also popular options for upstands and splashbacks.

Opting for a continuation of your worksurface material creates a more fluid feel and is likely to make the area feel more spacious.

Similar to glass splashbacks, with these solid surfaces you reduce the number of joints, helping to streamline surfaces and ensure a hygienic kitchen space which is easy to keep clean.

Thanks to the attractive fleck and marble effect running through many of these surfaces, they are also less inclined to focus attention on smears and splashes. So you can be confident your kitchen will look good 24/7.


Talk to the team

Want to replace cracked or outdated tiles? Ready for a change or just keen to put your own mark on your kitchen space? We can help you to achieve it.

Whether you’re looking to replace worktops and go for a fully co-ordinating look with matching upstands or simply want to liven up your existing surfaces with a contrast splashback, the choice is yours. And with so many options to choose from here at the Marble Store, the only problem you’re going to have is deciding which colour to pick.

Shop now or for more help and advice, talk to the team.


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