A kitchen splashback can add a real wow factor to your home, so it pays to know your options when you plan a kitchen makeover. Here is our guide to the most common splashback materials and prices in New Zealand.
We tend to spend a lot of our time at home in the kitchen and it’s no surprise that this room is one of the most popular renovation areas of Kiwi houses.
A kitchen makeover brings together a whole host of different materials and products – from flooring and cabinetry through to appliances and, of course, splashbacks.
Kitchen renovation projects can range from a small ‘facelift’ to a full-blown revamp complete with changes to the layout.
Whatever you may be planning for your own kitchen, a splashback is a great and easy way to update your kitchen’s design and inject colour.
Glass is one of the most common materials for splashbacks in New Zealand homes.
Back-painted glass splashbacks can be produced in a huge range of colours that can be chosen to work with the rest of your colour scheme.
As the paint is applied to the back of the glass, it is well protected and the surface area can easily be cleaned, with no cracks or grouting that kitchen grease can get stuck in.
If you change your mind on the colour later on, you can simply remove and replace the glass splashback with another one.
“For the best colour result, it always pays to check the glass type that is being used,” advises Resene’s Karen Warman. “Low iron oxide clear glass shows true colour, while standard glass does not. Standard glass tends to have a greenish tinge to it.”
Gina Collins, general manager at Image Glass, explains: “Glass comes in two types – clearfloat and low iron. Clearfloat is ordinary window glass and has a green tinge to it. Low iron has had an extra process to remove this making the glass ‘clearer’.”
Prices reflect the difference in glass treatment, with ordinary clearfloat glass generally being more affordable per square metre than iron glass.
Image Glass also offers mirrored glass surfaces, which brighten and lighten up your kitchen space.
Prior to getting glass measured you need to make sure all your cabinets and benchtops are in place. Glass sometimes requires a join, depending on the length. This is generally best done in line with a cabinet finish or start point. If the join is behind the sink, the best place for it is behind the tap.
To create a real ‘piece of art’ in your kitchen, you can opt for patterned, graphic or textured glass. “Patterned glass uses a combination of painted glass and clever stencil work to get your choice of pattern put on glass,” explains Rochelle Hansen from Graphic Glass.
“Graphic Glass has photographic images or abstract patterns applied to the glass. Then there is also texture glass, which can add real visual interest to your kitchen, especially when backpainted with metallic colours.”
Once you’ve decided on the kind of glass splashback you want to install, you can choose to have a protective film applied to create a surface that is even easier to clean and shows far less marks.
Simon Bell, director of Diamond Fusion New Zealand says: “A protective coating guards your splashback from stains, scratches and other damage. Plus it reduces cleaning by up to 90 per cent.”
From $230 - $430+* per 750mm x 900mm splashback, excludes installation.
Check out this kitchen with a bright red glass splashback for inspiration.
A more affordable splashback option that replicates the high-gloss glass finish, is specially treated hardboard. This is available from around $80 per square metre. Seratone panels are moisture and stain resistant. They are UV cured to ensure scratch and chemical resistance, and they contain an anti-microbial silver additive, reducing the overall level of harmful bacteria.
From $175 - $370+* per 1200mm x 4.5mm, excludes installation.
Tiles are a great splashback option for any budget. There is a huge range of options available and you can opt for a neutral style or choose different colours or patterns. Many tiles are designed to imitate natural stone such as marble, or even wood or concrete.
The two main types of tiles are ceramic and porcelain. “Although they look the same, the main difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is that a porcelain tile is denser and less porous,” says Roy Tighe from Okapi Tiles. “In simple terms this means a porcelain tile is much more hardwearing.”
An interesting new trend with tile splashbacks is to work with 3D texture rather than just plain colour. Tiles that are on trend at the moment include metal-look products (such as the Paradox range from RAK), as well as hexagonal tiles.
A new product on the market, Laminam by Laminex New Zealand, is the world’s first full body tile in a large 3 x 1 metre format. This makes it an ideal product for a splashback (especially if you need a splashback of less than three metres), as it eliminates or reduces the need for any grouting and hence creates a seamless surface that is extremely easy to clean.
From $39.99+* per square metre.
Looking for inspiration? Check out this emerald green tiled splashback, excludes installation.
With a huge range of designs to select from, pressed tin panels can create a splashback with a difference.
You can create a country look by selecting a floral or Victorian design, or go with industrial style by picking the ‘small brick’ or art deco type of panel.
Becky Diprose from di Rosa Cabinetry and Furniture says: “Tin panels are easy to cut to size and install, so you can cover a large area at a very economical price. A powdercoat finish means the aluminium panels are protected from heat and moisture, available in the colour of your choice, and easy to clean.”
From $35+* per 46cm - 60cm panel, excludes installation.
An innovative product that is used more and more for splashbacks in modern kitchens is the so-called Laminex Solid Surface.
It is 100 per cent acrylic and can be thermoformed to realise an inventive design with seamless joins.
Teresa Walsh, marketing development manager, residential at Laminex New Zealand says: “The Solid Surface allows us to create seamless surfaces that are durable and hygienic. It can be applied horizontally and vertically, and we’re seeing a trend of creating full feature splashback walls.”
A range of colours and patterns are on offer, and the surface can even be engraved and backlit, creating stunning and unique designs.
From $430+* per 750mm x 900mm splashback, excludes installation.
This home renovation advice article featured on page 40 of Issue 015 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.
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