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Backsplash vs. Splashback: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 10, 2023
"Backsplash" and "splashback" are interchangeable terms referring to a panel behind a sink or stove that protects the wall from splashes.

Key Differences

Backsplash is a term predominantly used in American English to describe the protective panel on a wall behind a sink or stove to prevent splashes of water, oil, or food. Splashback is the British English equivalent of this term, serving the same functional purpose in kitchens or bathrooms.
Both backsplash and splashback are designed to be easy to clean and protect the wall from moisture and stains. They often become a focal point in kitchen or bathroom design, with various materials like tiles, glass, or stainless steel being used.
The installation of a backsplash or splashback is a key element in interior design, especially in areas where water or cooking activities are frequent. While the terms are used interchangeably, the choice of term usually depends on the regional dialect.
In addition to their practical use, both backsplash and splashback offer an aesthetic element, often serving as an opportunity to add a decorative touch to a space. They can be simple and functional or elaborate and artistic.
Backsplash and splashback both require maintenance to keep them looking good and functioning well, though the level of maintenance may vary depending on the material used. They are essential in modern kitchens and bathrooms for both utility and design.

Comparison Chart


Protective wall panel in kitchens/bathrooms
Same as backsplash, different term


Predominantly in American English
Predominantly in British English


Tiles, glass, stainless steel, etc.
Same as backsplash

Design Impact

Aesthetic and functional in interiors
Same as backsplash


Depends on material
Same as backsplash

Backsplash and Splashback Definitions


Wall protection in kitchens.
The marble backsplash added elegance to her kitchen.


Behind sinks and stoves.
The stainless steel splashback was easy to maintain.


A key feature in modern kitchens.
They chose a glass backsplash for a sleek look.


Protects walls from splashes.
The splashback in her kitchen was made of ceramic tiles.


Easy-to-clean surface behind stoves.
He wiped the sauce off the backsplash.


Adds style to a room.
A mosaic splashback became the centerpiece of the kitchen.


Decorative element in design.
The colorful backsplash brightened the room.


An element of interior decor.
They installed a splashback with an intricate pattern.


Functional and aesthetic panel.
The backsplash protected the wall from splatters.


Practical kitchen feature.
The splashback prevented water damage to the wall.


An upright surface or border, as of tile, that protects the wall behind a sink or stove.


Splashes of liquid, especially noxious liquid, rebounding from a surface.


A vertical covering on a wall rising above a countertop or other work surface to protect the wall from spills and to decorate the wall.


(countable) A shield of an easily-cleaned material, such as those placed behind an oven top or kitchen sink and at industrial facilities, construction sites, etc, in order to catch splashes of liquid.
The oven comes complete with a stainless steel splashback.


(rowing) The small splash of water that occurs when an oar enters the water to begin a stroke, just before the rower reaches the catch.


(ambitransitive) To splash backward.


Are backsplash and splashback the same?

Yes, they refer to the same feature with regional term variations.

Can a backsplash be made of wood?

It's possible but less common due to moisture and heat concerns.

Can backsplashes be DIY projects?

Yes, many people install their own backsplashes.

Are there heat-resistant splashbacks?

Yes, materials like glass or certain tiles are heat-resistant.

Can a backsplash extend to the ceiling?

Yes, some designs feature full-wall backsplashes.

Do splashbacks require special cleaning?

Cleaning depends on the material but generally requires mild cleaners.

Is a splashback necessary in a kitchen?

While not essential, it's highly recommended for wall protection.

Can splashbacks be mirrored?

Yes, mirrored splashbacks are used for a modern look.

Are glass splashbacks durable?

Yes, tempered glass splashbacks are quite durable.

Are backsplashes only for kitchens?

Primarily, though they're also used in bathrooms.

Is tiling a popular backsplash choice?

Yes, tiles are a common and versatile backsplash material.

Do backsplashes add value to a home?

Yes, they can enhance both aesthetics and functionality.

How high should a backsplash be?

It varies, but typically ranges from 4 inches to the range hood height.

Can splashbacks be patterned?

Yes, they come in various patterns and designs.

Are adhesive backsplash tiles effective?

They can be a quick and easy solution, but may not be as durable as traditional tiles.

Can splashbacks be painted?

If the material allows, they can be painted.

Do splashbacks help with resale?

A well-designed splashback can enhance kitchen appeal for resale.

Is grout necessary for tile backsplashes?

Yes, for most tile types, grout is necessary.

Are splashbacks customizable?

Yes, they can be customized in size, material, and design.

Can a backsplash be a single slab?

Yes, materials like granite can be used as a single slab.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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