Sustainable Kitchens

Upstands, Tiles or Splashback? Not sure what to go for in your new kitchen design? Basically all of them are designed to protect your walls from kitchen splashes. What you choose really comes down to personal preference and the type of look you’re trying to achieve. Here is an overview with lots of ideas from our gallery plus some tips and advice.

scandi new kitchen with white cabinet doors and circular cutout pull handles and open shelving
worktop and upstands in high-pressure laminate, splashback in toughened glass

When picking your choice of material to protect the kitchen walls behind your worktop, it’s worth bearing in mind that some materials will show the dirt more easily.

mid century modern kitchen with reclaimed iroko worktops and white slab doors
worktops and upstands in reclaimed iroko


Upstands are usually about 120mm high and are generally made out of the same material as the worktop. This gives them a seamless appearance, and enhances sleek lines of your kitchen design.

Our clients often opt for timber or recycled glass, like the ones above. It’s worth noting that upstands only protect the lower part of your kitchen wall. This might be all you need, to stop appliances banging against the paintwork. You may want to consider decorating your walls with durable or washable paint. But if your cooking and prepping tends to get a bit messier, it might be worth considering something more substantial, like a splashback.

worktop and upstands in recycled glass
modern new kitchen with slab doors and recycled glass kitchen worktops
worktops, upstands and splashback all in recycled glass


Splashbacks are much taller than upstands and may run the entire length of your wall, from the worktop to the overhead cabinets. Alternatively, you may decide to locate them just in the areas where they are most needed, such as behind the sink and the hob.

pale blue shaker kitchen with recycled glass worktops and purple splashback behind large range cooker
worktops, upstands and splashback all in recycled glass

Our most popular splashbacks tend to be made from toughened glass. Recycled glass splashbacks can match in with your worktop, or provide a stunning focal point in a contrast colour of your choice.

scandi kitchen with white slab doors - Sheffield Sustainable Kitchen
worktops and upstands in solid cherry, splashback in recycled glass
bespoke glass splashback by Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens

We can also supply toughened sheets of glass to match any colour you pick. These can be used either as upstands or splashbacks.

If you’re wanting something really unique, we can also create splashbacks from digitally printed images. The images – photos or original artwork – are printed behind the glass and then toughened.

One of our recent clients is an artist and wanted to to produce a kitchen splashback using a piece of her work – the result was stunning.

Another client used a beautiful photo she had taken herself to create a unique splashback for her new kitchen.


Tiles are also a stylish choice, and can change the whole look and feel of your kitchen if you decide to really go to town.

Or you may just want to tile the area behind your hob and sink area rather than the whole space.

pale blue shaker kitchen with gas rangecooker and white metro splashback
worktops and upstands in solid beech, tiled splashback

But whatever you choose, it’s worth bearing in mind that tiles could be more difficult to keep clean, so pick the colour of the tiles and grout carefully.

pale green new L-shaped shaker kitchen
worktops, upstands and splashback in Encore solid suface

So you can see there is a myriad of different options to think about, if you need any more inspiration, click here to visit our gallery.

When making your choice, you probably need to have decided what type of worktop you’re going for, as the two will be read together.

For an overview of our range of worktops, see this advice post here.

If you’re thinking specifically about choosing a timber worktop – click here to read more on why many of our clients choose one.


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