Splashback or Tiles? Let’s Compare…

So, you want to protect your walls from damage? Whether it be water, grease or food, having a tiled wall or a splashback is a great way to minimise staining.

When we prepare food, cook or wash our pots, it’s not uncommon for grease to spatter out of the pan or for water to splash up from the sink. And where does that substance go? Either on the floor, the countertop, or the wall behind it. A simple wipe with a cloth will remove the substance from counters and floors however, if you have a papered or painted wall, it’s going to be pretty tough to remove those stains. And that’s where splashbacks and tiles come in.

Splashbacks and tiles aren’t just ideal for spillages though. They can be used for decorative purposes too. They are a chance for you to get creative while preserving your walls. They come in many styles, shapes, and colours – a fully customisable product that reduces mess.

But, what’s better, splashbacks or tiles for the kitchen?

Usually, this decision comes down to personal preference. What do you like the look of? What goes with the decor in the room? Which material fits your budget? But, they both have their pros and cons when it comes to practicality, too. We’re going to delve into splashbacks and tiles to help give you as much information as possible before you make a purchase.

Is a Splashback Cheaper Than Tiles?

This depends entirely on what you’re planning to do and what material you’re hoping to use. An acrylic splashback is very inexpensive, but tiles are still cheaper. However, if you’re planning on tiling the entire wall instead of just the area behind your sink then acrylic would be cheaper.

Are Glass Splashbacks Cheaper Than Tiles?

Glass is more expensive than tiles – no matter how many tiles you decide to use behind your hob. The glass used behind a hob is toughened. While this is great for making it heat-resistant, it does come with a higher price tag.

If you’re interested in learning more about the types of materials that are available to you, please have a look at our guide: A Guide to Kitchen Splashbacks.

Splashbacks or Tiles? The Comparison

Time vs. difficulty – Depending on the material used and the size of the splashback, installing a splashback may be trickier than tiles. Although the process of adhering individual tiles to a wall is simpler, it also takes a while. So for this comparison, you either go the quick and hard route or long and simple route.

Cost  – We’ve mentioned this above, so we’ll keep this brief: In the majority of cases, splashbacks are more costly than tiles.

Design – There are many different types of styles, designs and colours to choose from for splashbacks and tiles – they’re very versatile. However, if texture is what you’re after, tiles are the best choice.

Installation – When installing tiles, you can easily adhere the tiles to the wall in any fashion that you choose. You can even cut tiles in half to make room for sockets. However, splashbacks need to be made-to-measure if you have sockets behind or to the immediate side of your sink or hob. If you purchase an off-the-shelf splashback, yes it’ll be cheaper than a bespoke one, but it’ll be difficult to cut the material. In fact, if you’ve opted for a toughened glass splashback, you won’t be able to cut this without breaking it.

Maintenance – Tiles and splashbacks are incredibly easy to keep clean and they both require little maintenance. However, the sealant used to adhere tiles is visible between each tile and, in most cases, this isn’t wipeable. For a simple wipe clean and zero maintenance, splashbacks win.

Statement pieces – If you want your tiles or splashback to stand out, a coloured block of toughened glass makes a much more beautiful statement than tiles. However, if your house has a country-cottage vibe, coloured tiles are definitely the way to go. Although tiles are commonly used throughout kitchens and bathrooms, they still hold a lovely old-fashioned vibe.

The Results

For us, splashbacks are a winner. They require very little maintenance, don’t take very long to install and have a great end result. However, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to fork out on an expensive piece of glass, we’d highly recommend that you look into different materials such as stainless steel and acrylic. Acrylic is a cheap and cheerful material although shouldn’t be used behind a hob. Failing this, we’d advise that you go down the tile route. The only downside to tiles is the upkeep of the grout. But, in today’s DIY world, you can get different colours of grout to reduce the need to replace it when it becomes stained.

It’s better to have a tiled wall or splashback behind your hob and sink than nothing at all.

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