To Up-stand or Not?

Bespoke splashback designer, Emma Britton, shares her thoughts on up-stands.

In my line of work as a glass splashback designer I encounter up-stands on a daily basis. For those who don’t know what that is - it is the bit at the back of a worktop which goes against the wall. It usually matches the worktop and will be of the same material, e.g. granite, laminate, corian or stainless steel. Although it can be made of glass or tiles too. What makes it different from a splashback is the height; an up-stand is usually 100mm high, as any higher than 200mm and it’s a splashback! They are used as an alternative to a splashback, giving some protection to your painted wall but not as much as a full splashback.

What I want to discuss in this blog post is when a glass splashback and stone worktop are used together and what looks better when executing the design. Personally, I think if you are having an up-stand and a splashback it is entirely up to you whether you sit the glass above the up-stand or leave a gap for the glass to go in between the up-stands; but one thing I would recommend is thinking about it from the beginning of your kitchen design. The glass splashback you choose and the worktop material should inform your choice.

For ideas - here are a few of my clients' kitchens who have used both up-stands and my patterned glass splashbacks. They should give you an idea of what is possible.

In the following projects a gap has been left for the glass splashback to sit in between the up-stand and they work really well.

Julie had my classic ‘Foxglove’ design and the white of her up-stand gives the ‘Foxglove’ a real focus.

foxglove2 Julie Cox

Again Sophie’s kitchen looks great with a gap left for her bespoke splashback; I think this one would have been successful either with or without an upstand.

IMG 1781

In these projects the splashback is sat on top of the up-stand when installed. Here the ‘Foxglove’ splashback with the up-stand looks great because of the whole design of the space; it is framed above by the extractor hood and cupboards and to the edges by the metro tiles...

Foxglove Loughborough

and the contrast of the red in the ‘Poppy’ with the black up-stand looks great.

Poppy Up the garden path

Again here the matt grey against this gold bespoke design looks really good; and in Karin’s kitchen I enhanced the feature of the up-stand by sitting two rogue birdies that had escaped the lighting cage and flown away onto the up-stand.

Karin Bespoke

However I do think these last few bespoke patterned glass splashbacks, although they make focal points, could have benefitted from having a gap left in between the up-stand and splashback. Now only because they have vertical stem shoots...


Emma Britton Bespoke Poppy Splashback

Foxglove with Bees


and they would work well with the vertical surface of the glass meeting a horizontal surface of a worktop - in order to simulate nature when plants grow out of the ground.

So, up-stand or splashback, gap or no gap?... Small design details such as this one are something that designers and fitters instinctively think about, but if you are new to planning your kitchen, this is why I recommend considering where you put yours and whether to have one or not from the beginning so you can get the small details right.



NOTES to the editors

Emma creates exclusive splashbacks nationwide and clients can commission Emma to create a bespoke design for them or choose from one of her three popular collections.

Emma is exhibiting at Grand Designs for the 4th time this October
Stand: K8

Contact details
Emma Britton
07989 269 347
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Facebook @Emma Britton Decorative Glass Designer
Instagram @EmmaBrittonDecorativeGlass
Twitter @Emma_Britton


Leaf PR
Alison Millar
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