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Perfect Tiled Splash-backs, What should you choose?

Updated on January 7, 2013

A splash-back is the perfect way to protect your walls from water, heat and steam within your kitchen or bathroom. But with so many materials available to choose from how do you go about balancing the functionality of a splash-back with creating a stunning feature piece in your home?

Read on for my pro's and con's of tiled splash-back options to help you to easily select the correct one to suit you!

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are a versatile and hard wearing answer to a great splash-back, small format tiles work best in my opinion with the most popular size for this type of design being 148 x 148. Using ceramic tiles in a brick-bond effect using 2 complimenting colours looks great and creates a real feature within the room. Small format ceramic tiles come in a variety of colours from bright, bold shades down to softer pastel colours that could be used to pick out and compliment the shades and textures of the room. Ceramic tiles offers great longevity if fitted correctly and are very easy to keep clean simply by wiping with a damp cloth. Due to the large number of grout lines on a splash-back it is worth getting a good quality anti mould grout and cleaning it regularly to keep it looking at it's best.

Ceramic Tiles – Pro's

  • Not too expensive
  • Lot's of choice
  • Good longevity factor
  • Easy to use different colours for maximum effect.

Ceramic Tiles – Con's

  • Lots of grout lines to keep clean
  • Worth getting work done by a professional fixer
  • Can be difficult to source replacements in the event of damage in years to come (problem can be eradicated by purchased extra when buying your tiles)

These Turin tiles work well to create a lovely splash-back in a kitchen.
These Turin tiles work well to create a lovely splash-back in a kitchen. | Source

Glass Mosaics

Glass adds a touch of glamour and interest to a room, available in strong vibrant colours it is the perfect product to create a splash-back with a luxurious feel. Glass mosaics usually come on mesh backing that can but cut to size to offer excellent versatility, as with all mosaics they will usually need to be grouted as they are made up of lots of smaller glass tiles that are around 8 – 10 mm thick. As with ceramic, glass is very easy to keep clean and so longs it is fitted correctly it is very long lasting.

Glass Mosaic – Pro's

  • Adds lots of interest to a room.
  • Luxurious look and feel.
  • Available in lots of different colours and designs.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Available with some stunning sparkle

Glass Mosaic – Con's

  • Can be difficult to fix.
  • Care needs to be taken to ensure adhesives and grouts are suitable for glass.
  • Can be quite expensive

These lovely glass mosaic tiles offer luxury and depth to a kitchen or bathroom.
These lovely glass mosaic tiles offer luxury and depth to a kitchen or bathroom. | Source

Large Format Tiles

Large format tiles either in ceramic or porcelain make a great splash-back for kitchens and bathrooms. Their large size (often up to 700mm in length) allows a smooth clean finish with less grout lines. Large tiles offer a high class finish and some of the glazed porcelain ranges available today offer product lines that mimic the look of natural stone but without the price tag and maintenance of stone products.

Large Format Tiles - Pro's

  • Offers an expensive look without a huge price tag.
  • Not so many tiles are required.
  • Less grout lines to keep clean.
  • Can look like stone without the maintenance of stone
  • Great longevity

Large Format Tiles – Con's

  • Large tiles are very heavy and not suitable for all wall types.
  • We would recommend that a professional tiler fixes large tiles due to their weight.
  • Can be difficult to replace if there are damages further down the line.
  • Polished porcelain tiles need to be sealed.

These stunning large format tiles offer a seamless style to any splash-back.
These stunning large format tiles offer a seamless style to any splash-back. | Source

Pressed / Faux Mosaics

Pressed or faux mosaics are solid ceramic or porcelain tiles that are designed to look like “genuine” mosaics as they have grout lines scored or printed onto them to give the appearance of separate pieces. Pressed mosaics are often cheaper than genuine mosaics and can look fantastic. They make a really stylish splash-back in a bathroom, kitchen or cloakroom.

Pressed / Faux Mosaics - Pro's

  • Cost effective alternative to mosaics.
  • Easier to fix.
  • Lovely colours available
  • Less grouting required that genuine mosaics.

Pressed / Faux Mosaics – Con's

  • They don't look 100% like “genuine” mosaics but a very close alternative.
  • Not a huge number to choose from.
  • Scored mosaics need to be handled with care.

This stunning pressed faux mosaic gives the effect of mosaic tiles but it is in fact one tile that has grout lines pressed into it.
This stunning pressed faux mosaic gives the effect of mosaic tiles but it is in fact one tile that has grout lines pressed into it.


There are a wealth of different tile choices available for your home splash-back projects, hopefully this article has been a useful summary of some of the different options on the market today. The pro's and con's featured here are not exhaustive and are very much based on personal opinion and experience. If you have any questions or comments please enter them below, I would love to hear from you.

This article was written by Becky Whittaker who works for TileClick.

What would be your preference for a splash-back?

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