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  • Antoinette Prinsloo

Wallpaper as a Kitchen Splashback – Pros, Cons & Advice

Kitchen with green geometric pattern wallpaper

Wallpaper is a versatile material that comes in various patterns, textures, and colours, allowing you to add a touch of personality and style to any room in your home. While traditionally used for wall decoration, wallpaper can also be utilized as a creative and unique splashback in your kitchen. However, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of using wallpaper in this manner before making a decision.

Can You Use Wallpaper as a Kitchen Splashback?

Yes, you can use wallpaper as a kitchen splashback. However, it’s important to choose a durable, moisture-resistant wallpaper and properly seal the edges to prevent moisture from seeping behind the wallpaper. Opting for a low-maintenance wallpaper that is easy to clean and maintain is also recommended.

What Type of Wallpaper is Best for a Kitchen Splashback?

The best type of wallpaper for a kitchen splashback will depend on your specific needs and preferences, but here are a few options to consider:

  • Vinyl wallpaper is an excellent option for a kitchen splashback due to its moisture-resistant properties and easy-to-clean nature. It is durable and can withstand frequent cleaning, making it ideal for areas where splashes and stains are common.

  • Washable wallpaper can be used as a kitchen splashback as it is easy to clean if it becomes stained or dirty. This type of wallpaper is typically made from vinyl or similar material that is resistant to moisture and stains.

  • Foil wallpaper is a unique type of metallic wallpaper that offers moisture resistance, making it an ideal choice for use as a kitchen splashback. It is not only easy to clean but also comes in a wide range of colours and patterns, allowing you to select an option that perfectly complements the style of your kitchen.

  • On the other hand, textured wallpaper can introduce an intriguing dimension and tactile appeal to your kitchen splashback. It is crafted from various materials, such as vinyl and washable wallpaper, and some options are specifically engineered for use in kitchens, providing additional moisture resistance

It’s important to choose a wallpaper that is heat-resistant as it will likely be in close proximity to your cooktop. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation to ensure that the wallpaper stays in place and doesn’t peel or bubble.

Pros of Using Wallpaper as a Kitchen Splashback

  • Versatility. One of the key advantages of incorporating wallpaper as a kitchen splashback is the extensive range of options. With its diverse spectrum of colours, patterns, and textures, you have the freedom to select a design that harmonizes seamlessly with your kitchen decor. Whether your taste leans towards a striking, bold pattern or a more understated, tactile design, there is a wallpaper option to perfectly suit every individual style and preference.

  • Durability. is a durable material that can easily withstand the daily rigors of a busy kitchen. If you opt for a vinyl or washable wallpaper, you can simply wipe down the surface to keep it clean and free from stains, making it an ideal choice for a kitchen splashback.

  • Cost-effective. Another significant advantage of using wallpaper is its cost-effectiveness. When compared to alternative kitchen splashback materials such as tile or glass, wallpaper is a more budget-friendly option. This makes it an attractive choice for those looking to enhance their kitchen's aesthetic without incurring significant costs.

  • Easy installation. The installation process is relatively straightforward and can be completed as a DIY project by most individuals over a weekend. Unlike tile or glass, wallpaper does not require specialized tools or skills for installation, allowing you to save on additional costs by completing the installation yourself.

Cons of Using Wallpaper as a Kitchen Splashback

  • Not heat-resistant. While wallpaper is durable, it is not entirely heat-resistant. Special care should be taken, especially if using a gas cooktop with an open flame.

  • Adequate separation: Ensure that the cooktop is sufficiently separated from the wallpapered wall to prevent any damage from flames. Consider using added protection like clear tempered glass.

  • Moisture resistance: Although relatively durable, wallpaper is not as moisture-resistant as tile or glass. In areas with high humidity, it's important to take extra precautions to prevent moisture damage to the wall behind the wallpaper.

  • Replacement challenges: Unlike tile or glass, replacing damaged or outdated wallpaper can be quite challenging. Therefore, it's essential to carefully consider the long-term satisfaction with the design if using wallpaper as a kitchen splashback.

Can You Put Glass Over Wallpaper in a Kitchen to Protect it?

Certainly! You can enhance the durability of the wallpaper in your kitchen by installing a protective glass splashback. This ensures that the wallpaper stays safe from heat, moisture, grease, and food stains. When opting for this solution, it's important to select tempered glass that is sufficiently thick to withstand the rigors of daily kitchen use. This tempered glass offers heat resistance, makes cleaning easier, and reduces susceptibility to scratches. It's advisable to avoid acrylic or plexiglass, as they are unable to withstand high heat from the cooktop and are more prone to scratching.

Is it Safe to Use Wallpaper in the Kitchen?

Using wallpaper in the kitchen can be safe with certain precautions. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Heat Resistance: Ensure the wallpaper can withstand heat, especially near the cooktop. It's essential to use heat-resistant wallpaper and maintain a safe distance from any open flames. Consider adding extra protection like clear tempered glass in high-heat areas.

  • Moisture Resistance: Select wallpaper that can handle moisture from spills and splashes, particularly around the sink and stove. Look for wallpapers designed for kitchens and bathrooms that are moisture-resistant.

  • Cleaning: Opt for wallpapers that are easy to clean, such as vinyl or washable varieties. These can be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and stains.

  • Adhesion: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper wallpaper installation. Use wallpaper paste suitable for kitchens and bathrooms to ensure the wallpaper adheres well and avoids peeling or bubbling.

  • Protection with Tempered Glass: Consider installing a clear glass splashback over the wallpaper to provide additional protection against heat, splashes, and scratches, especially near the cooktop with an open flame

Kitchen with geometric pattern wallpaper

Using wallpaper as a kitchen splashback presents an opportunity to infuse your kitchen with a touch of your personality and style. The wide variety of colours, patterns, and textures available in wallpaper makes it easy to find a design that perfectly complements your kitchen or home decor. However, when choosing wallpaper for this purpose, opting for heat-resistant and moisture-resistant options is essential to ensure durability in the kitchen environment.

Proper installation techniques, such as ensuring a smooth and clean surface, using the right adhesive, and applying a protective sealant, are crucial to guarantee that the wallpaper remains intact and looks its best for years to come. With these considerations in mind, you can confidently and creatively use wallpaper to create a stunning, yet practical, kitchen splashback.


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