Splashback in the kitchen - which back wall fits?

Roasting, cooking, sizzling, steaming, whisking, stirring, seasoning, lid on, lid off, and perhaps a small glass of wine - wonderful. However, the subsequent "splatter collage" of sauce, vegetable soup, frying fat and water on the wall can significantly spoil the aesthetics. We provide an overview and compare materials that can be used to permanently cover part of the kitchen wall behind the hotplate and sink.

Especially for this use, we do not consider: plaster or concrete, which are used more for whole walls, as well as small splashback folding walls, which are not a permanent solution. We also leave out too delicate materials such as natural stone and wood. Both can create a wonderful atmosphere in the kitchen and, with the right coating, are ideal for kitchen walls. But not for the splashback behind the hob and sink, of all things.

Finally, a brief note on wallpaper protective paint. Around wet areas, such paints are an alternative, but not in the immediate vicinity of hotplates.

Price comparison

When weighing up, we have dispensed with individual prices. Individualization options and sizes of the area make direct comparisons difficult and confusing.

For the relatively small areas of a commercial kitchen for families, the acquisition costs range across the board approximately between €15 and €100 - for less than one square meter of space. The differences within a segment can be almost as great. When it comes to whether the installation is not better in professional hands, larger differences also occur. A professional tiling strikes fast between 150 € and 200 € per square meter. Safety glass walls also belong to the high-priced segment.

Material costs for orientation

favorable price range: approx. 6 - 19 €
Splash guard adhesive films

middle price range: approx. 20 - 50 €
Wall splashback made of various plastics and metals

high price range: approx. 50 € - more than 300 €
Ceramic tiles, safety glass wall splashback

Ceramic tiles

Even though ceramic tiles have long ceased to be an alternative as a complete wall covering in the kitchen, tiles for smaller surfaces have a few good arguments. They are robust and suitable for repelling all kinds of liquids in any temperature condition.

However, nothing works with ceramic tiles without joints. They are a dirt trap, regardless of whether they are on the floor or on the wall - even if the tiles themselves can be cleaned quickly and easily. How well they seal also depends on the care with which the tiles were installed.

For more than a small handful of tiles, we always recommend calling in a professional. Remember: the tiles should be aligned with the plumb so that they hang straight. The distances from each other should be the same on all sides. Anything else looks unsightly and looks unprofessional.

One advantage over complete wall coverings is the particularly large selection of motifs. As part of a rustic kitchen, for example, you can set great accents.


  • durable, robust
  • Tiles easy to clean 
  • good mechanical protection


  • Replace if damaged, do not patch
  • Joints comparatively not easy to clean
  • Installation laborious, dusty, possibly costly
  • not easy to apply on old pavement

Glass plates

For a glass surface (only recommended in one piece) please use only ESG glass (safety glass). This is particularly impact-resistant, scratch-resistant and heat-resistant. Acrylic glass or Plexiglas are thermoplastic materials. They are not suitable for areas around the stove and hotplate, as they can quickly deform under the heat that is usually generated there.

Unusable as a wall covering, a glass panel offers a particularly wide range of design options, for example, by placing a photo or even lighting behind it. On the other hand, for example, pattern wallpaper or stone walls can also be covered transparently.

In terms of care, glass plates are quite insensitive. With a normal glass cleaner and a soft cloth, dirt of any kind is quickly and thoroughly removed.

It is not quite as easy to attach the glass plate. Gluing over old coverings is no problem with the right silicone adhesive if the lower covering holds the additional and not inconsiderable weight of the glass plate on the wall. Variants with screw connections are less recommendable. Dirt that then accumulates behind the glass plate usually stays there.


  • ESG glass: very robust and heat resistant
  • easy to clean / maintain
  • Design variety through printing


  • ESG glass can be cut only once, not corrected
  • Acrylic and plexiglass not heat resistant, therefore unsuitable
  • rather for smaller areas (weight)

Aluminum or stainless steel

Splashback walls made of stainless steel or aluminum are found particularly often in company kitchens. Aluminum composite panels belong to the same category and differ from the other two variants in that they are significantly lighter. This also facilitates bonding with the original back wall.

From a hygienic point of view, these products are just as high quality as ESG glass panels. Commercially available cleaning agents are perfectly sufficient for easy care.

Stainless steel and aluminum can also be printed well from the face side. However, suitable coatings such as transparent liquid laminate should be used. This ensures heat resistance and protects the print. Without printing, aluminum and stainless steel appear somewhat colder and possibly less aesthetic. In addition, scratches and other mechanical marks can then be detected more quickly. In this condition, care should also be taken when choosing cleaning agents.

On old tiles, the panels can usually be glued very well. Alternatively, they can be riveted, for example, on wooden back walls.


  • heat resistant and unbreakable
  • can also be edited afterwards, re-cut
  • Design variety through printing
  • cheaper than ESG glass


  • unprinted scratches are quickly visible
  • wrong detergents can leave traces

Plastic wall protection panels

Plastic sheets as splash guards have many advantages when they are designated as heat resistant.

Sufficiently heat-resistant splashback walls for private kitchens combine many advantages of other coverings. They are easy to glue without any problems, provided that the substrate is solid and dust-free. In addition, they are also easy to work with later - for example, if you forgot the two sockets between the stove and sink when ordering.

The design options offered by a large selection of print motifs has something for every taste. Differences between e.g. natural stone motifs and real stone are almost no longer recognizable at a normal distance. Once applied, plastic plates are break-proof and in the case of particularly strong mechanical stress, pressure marks balance themselves out again.

For hygiene, plates made of one piece are of course the best choice. Care is quick and easy with standard household products. Scratches and surface damage are not to be expected unless you are constantly hitting the material with a butcher's axe.

Unlike tiles, stainless steel and aluminum, many plastic claddings are even intended for large-scale use. Especially from materials that are harmless to health, such as CERAMIN, kitchens can also be completely clad, including the floor. Depending on taste, an extra splash guard behind the stove and sink is simply unnecessary.

Special case PVC

PVC is critical in several respects. It is thermoplastic and "works" under prolonged, accumulated heat, such as over the stove. Unsightly dents and waves can result. In addition, as has been proven for many years, PVC poses a health hazard. This concerns the plasticizers (phthalates) it contains. They leak out over time - particularly influenced by heat and contact with liquids and grease.
More information about PVC and health here.


  • solid, durable protection
  • easy to maintain
  • great variety of designs due to printing
  • can be processed well afterwards
  • lightweight, fits on tiles, concrete, plaster, etc.
  • easy to glue at home


  • Material is often not heat resistant
  • PVC is hazardous to health

Self-adhesive wall protection films

Wall protection films are only a solution when the budget does not allow more. These self-adhesive films are available in a wide range of colors and some suppliers advertise with individual printing.

The protection against moisture is usually given, but the heat resistance over the stove and hotplate is very limited. The film can only be wiped clean with a damp cloth using normal cleaning agents. With an average thickness of often only a fraction of a millimeter, protection against mechanical damage is virtually impossible.

The application of these self-adhesive films is not for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers if the area is to look reasonably aesthetic afterwards. And please don't let anyone tell you that these films are suitable for sticking over tiles. Theoretically yes, but please consider the joints! It is almost impossible to paste over tiles in such a way that the film lies firmly and cleanly in all joints. This means that there are air pockets everywhere, which can tear very quickly. And if the wall behind it is not absolutely dust-free and smooth, any unevenness can also lead to holes at simple touches.


  • Most cost-effective variant
  • wide variety of designs plus printing


  • quickly cracks and holes under mechanical stress
  • difficult to apply cleanly
  • not suitable for gluing over tiles 
  • quickly looks "cheap"
  • once glued is not correctable
  • Very short service life


First choice

Plastic wall protection panels (except PVC) combines the most important properties against stress from pressure, moisture and heat with high design quality, comparatively easy application, and maintenance, and last but not least, the best price-performance ratio. Hands off PVC!

Almost first choice

Glass panels made of ESG safety glass offer slightly better protection against mechanical pressure, moisture and heat. A noble appearance is also convincing in transparent form. The comparatively high material costs in particular are a major disadvantage. Hands off acrylic and Plexiglas!

Aluminum or stainless steel are comparable to toughened safety glass in terms of protection against mechanical damage, moisture and heat. Except for lightweight aluminum composite panels, the high weight can be disadvantageous when older cladding is pasted over. Unprinted, scratches are quickly and permanently visible. First choice only for company kitchens.

Second choice

Ceramic tiles have provided unrivaled good service over many decades. The heat protection is super, that against moisture depends on the quality of the joints and that against mechanical stress only conditionally. Installation is only recommended by professionals and the tile format with joints dominates any design. Can be done, but there are better and clearly cheaper materials.

Third choice

Self-adhesive wall protection films are suitable at most for short-term use, for example in temporary housing or when the budget is necessarily limited. Despite sometimes good printing quality, foil almost always looks cheap.

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