Advice about splash backs

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Now here is a great opportunity to really launch out with design ideas! Ironically we are nearly spoiled for choice as so many materials make practical and beautiful back panels to our working kitchens: mirror or metal splash backs, granite or glass splash backs. In the world of splash backs, the options are endless. A useful way to help with the decision making is to sift the materials in terms of practicality and then concentrate on the visual appeal.

In simple terms smooth, hard, surfaces are easier to keep clean than rough, softer ones. However few things are that simple and it could be argued that rough cast tile or brick splash backs actually look cleaner than smooth glass or metal. The reality of course is just that, they do look cleaner but the opposite is the case; the grease just shows up less on brick or tile!

So we have a dilemma, to a major extent we are going to have to compromise on beauty versus practicality. However there is some substantial middle ground which helps the process. Distressed glass and metal panels not only look wonderful but they have sort of “disruptive camouflage” effect brought about by the apparent unevenness of the surfaces; this goes a long way to hiding the smears which can be difficult to manage on sheer glass or steel. Panels of natural stone or quartz based products also work well for the same reasons and have an enormous “wow” factor. Generally we would use these in conjunction with a low upstand of around 60 – 80 mm around the wall. This seems to work best if all the stone is of the same breed, whereas it is works perfectly successfully to mix glass, mirrored (coloured or plain), tiles or metal with stone work surfaces.

All this is very subjective and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. It is also scheme led to a certain extent and the materials need to complement one another.

In conclusion my advice would be brave; use lots of soft, similar colours for the furniture, walls and woodwork and then really push it with the colours and textures of the accessories: work surfaces, splash backs and fabrics! One example below is using a silestone splash back and metal island top for a clean contemporary look in a Georgian house.


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