Subscribe to

Splashback or Tiles: Which is Best For Your Kitchen?

Modern kitchen splashback in a large kitchen.

Splashback or tiles? When it comes to your kitchen, there’s no doubt that you want to make sure it remains as clean and mess-free as possible; that’s where a kitchen splashback comes in. So, why are splashbacks an important kitchen feature? The short answer is that they are protective for your wall and are easy to clean and sanitise.

Inevitably, water can easily splash onto your wall while washing up, or food can easily bubble over while cooking. Without a kitchen splashback or tiles to protect your painted or wallpapered wall, then it’s at risk of being stained, damaged, and ruined.

A kitchen is the heart of any home, and that’s why we’re going to share with you the breakdown of what a splashback is, alongside the pros and cons of the different types of splashback, to help you design the luxurious bespoke kitchen you deserve. We’ll also explain what tiles are best for kitchen splashbacks and why.

Cream tiled splashback.

What is a kitchen splashback?

A kitchen splashback is a sheet of glass, acrylic, stainless steel or tiles attached to the wall to protect and prevent your wall from any spillages, grease stains or water marks. They’re most commonly placed behind your hob or kitchen sink but can be placed anywhere.

A kitchen splashback makes cleaning easier as you don’t have to try and get stains or marks out of a painted or wallpaper wall. There are a variety of kitchen splashbacks that can come in a range of designs and colours from tiled, glass, acrylic and stainless steel. Each type has its own benefits, from different colours to complement your existing interior to being more water resistant. We’ll now talk you through four types of splashback.

1. Tiled splashbacks

‘Kitchen splashback or tiles?’ is a frequently searched for question, and there’s often confusion between the two. UK kitchens commonly come with tiled walls that cover the surface area of the wall, which in theory, is the same as having a very large tiled splashback. Of course, having a wall covered completely by tiles comes with the responsibility of ensuring they all stay clean and mark free.

In comparison, a tiled splashback is an arrangement of tiles placed behind the hob or sink with the sole focus of protecting the wall. A tiled splashback can easily be chosen to complement your existing kitchen interior. For instance, a specific colour of accessory in your kitchen can be emphasised with a matching coloured tiled splashback. Regardless of if you have a tiled wall or a tiled splashback, the downside is that the grout surrounding the tiles will be the most stubborn and detailed area to clean.

When it comes to ‘what tiles are best for kitchen splashbacks?’, we would always recommend Italian porcelain tiles. Porcelain tiles are a low maintenance choice for your kitchen. They’re perfect to be used as a tiled splashback as they’re durable, moisture-resistant and come in a variety of types from stone to marble effect to more contemporary designs, for example.

The Ultimate Tile Terminology Guide explains in more detail the variety of tile types, their finishes and more. For instance, when looking for a tiled splashback, looking at the moisture absorption rate of the tile is important, especially when the splashback is placed behind a sink.

Glossy white kitchen tiled splashback.

2. Glass splashbacks

A glass splashback is a brilliant choice for your kitchen if you’re looking to achieve a sleek and modern design. A glass splashback is available in varying colour choices, and if you want to make the splashback a central feature of your kitchen, you can choose one that comes in a design or pattern. As a heat resistant choice that’s easy to clean, it’s perfect for a busy family, but often comes with a higher installation and design cost.

White marble glass kitchen splashback.

3. Acrylic splashbacks

Acrylic splashbacks are similar to glass splashbacks in the fact they can come in a variety of colours, designs and patterns, whether you want the splashback to stand out or blend into your wall. The benefit is that they are much more cost-effective than glass, but compared to glass or tiled splashback, they can look cheaper and show scratches more easily.

Light blue acrylic kitchen splashback.

4. Stainless steel splashbacks

A stainless steel splashback is a great option for kitchens of all ages to add a modern touch. As a heat-and water-resistant material, stainless steel is brilliant for the purpose of a splashback. However, if your stainless steel splashback is too large, it can take away from the modern look and appear too industrial. Also, stainless steel may not colour match with the other hues in your kitchen, especially if you prefer a softer and more natural aesthetic.


Pros and Cons of Splashback Types

To help you in your decision of which splashback type is best for your kitchen, we have compiled this easy to understand pros and cons list.

Tiled Splashback


  • Timeless and classic in design
  • Can complement kitchen’s existing aesthetic
  • Italian porcelain tiles are easier to clean, durable and moisture resistant


  • The grout around the tiles can be difficult to clean
  • Requires more attention to detail of each tile

Glass Splashback


  • A modern and sleek choice
  • Easy to clean and sanitise
  • Heat resistant
  • Varying colours and patterns to brighten up your kitchen


  • Higher cost for correct installation
  • Fingerprints may be seen more easily

Acrylic Splashback


  • More cost-effective than glass splashback
  • Multiple choice of vibrant colours
  • Hard wearing
  • More prone to show scratches
  • Can look cheap compared to glass or tiled splashbacks

Stainless Steel


  •  A heat and water resistant option
  • Can look very modern for all ages of kitchen


  • Dependent on the size of the splashback it can look too industrial
  • Need to clean often as dried food or stains can be difficult to remove

We hope you found these tips useful to help you in answering ‘what is a kitchen splashback?’ and deciding which is best for your home, kitchen splashback or tiles. If you would like a bespoke luxury kitchen, why not get in touch with one of the Inter Ceramica team who would be more than happy to help you.