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What Is An Upstand In A Kitchen?

What Is An Upstand In A Kitchen?

In the world of kitchen design, attention to detail is crucial, and one such detail that often goes unnoticed is the upstand.

If you've ever wondered what an upstand is in a kitchen, you're in the right place.

In this post, tailored specifically for our UK audience, we'll explore the concept of kitchen upstands and their significance in both functionality and aesthetics.

From their purpose of protecting walls to their ability to enhance the overall look of your kitchen, we'll delve into everything you need to know about this often overlooked yet essential element.

Click here to see our range of DIY Kitchens Online from JMT Trade...

What Is A Kitchen Upstand?

An upstand in a kitchen refers to a vertical panel that is typically installed at the back of a worktop or countertop.

It acts as a protective barrier between the worktop and the wall, covering the joint where the two meet.

Upstands are usually made of the same material as the worktop, such as laminate, granite, quartz, or acrylic, ensuring a seamless and coordinated look.

The primary purpose of an upstand is to prevent water, moisture, and food splatters from seeping behind the worktop and potentially causing damage to the wall or cabinets.

By creating a barrier, upstands help maintain a clean and hygienic kitchen environment while also facilitating easy cleaning and maintenance.

Apart from their functional aspect, upstands also contribute to the overall aesthetics of the kitchen.

They provide a finished and polished appearance, adding a touch of sophistication to the design.

Upstands can complement the worktop material, colour, and pattern, enhancing the visual appeal of the kitchen.

The height of an upstand can vary, but it typically ranges from 100mm to 150mm (4 to 6 inches).

However, it can be customised to suit personal preferences and design requirements.

When installing an upstand, it's important to ensure a proper fit and secure attachment.

Professional kitchen fitters or installers have the expertise to accurately measure, cut, and fix the upstand to the wall, creating a seamless and durable connection.

What Are the Benefits of Kitchen Upstands?

Kitchen upstands offer several benefits that contribute to both the functionality and aesthetics of the space.

Here are the key advantages of having upstands in your kitchen:

  1. Protection: The primary benefit of upstands is their ability to protect the walls behind the worktop. By covering the joint between the worktop and the wall, upstands prevent water, moisture, and food splatters from seeping behind and potentially causing damage. They act as a barrier, keeping your walls safe from stains, mold, and other potential issues.
  2. Easy Maintenance: With upstands in place, cleaning your kitchen becomes easier and more efficient. They create a smooth surface that can be easily wiped down, allowing you to quickly remove any spills or splashes. Upstands eliminate the need for constant scrubbing of the wall, saving you time and effort.
  3. Hygiene: Upstands contribute to maintaining a hygienic kitchen environment. By preventing liquids and food particles from reaching the wall, they minimize the risk of bacteria growth and contamination. This is especially important in areas near the sink or cooking range, where splashes are more likely to occur.
  4. Visual Cohesion: Upstands add a finishing touch to your kitchen design. They create a seamless transition between the worktop and the wall, providing a clean and coordinated look. Upstands can be matched to the material, color, and pattern of the worktop, enhancing the overall aesthetics and visual appeal of the kitchen.
  5. Customization: Upstands offer customization options, allowing you to personalize your kitchen design. They come in various materials, including laminate, granite, quartz, or acrylic, giving you the flexibility to choose a style that complements your overall kitchen aesthetic.

By incorporating upstands in your kitchen, you can protect your walls, ensure easier maintenance, maintain a hygienic environment, and enhance the overall visual cohesion of the space.

It's worth considering upstands as an integral part of your kitchen design to reap these benefits and create a functional and beautiful kitchen that stands the test of time.

How Much Do They Cost? And Where Can You Buy Them?

The cost of kitchen upstands can vary depending on factors such as the material, size, thickness, and supplier. It's important to note that prices mentioned here are approximate and can vary.

At JMT we have a unique and bespoke range of upstands finished in some incredible colours and styles, which add an elegant and sophisticated look without breaking the bank.

Click here to view our kitchen department with everything from complete kitchens to upstands and lots more.

The JMT Netherby Range

At JMT, we believe everyone should have a kitchen that makes them smile.

That's why we offer special upstands that make your kitchen really stand out, starting from just £40!

One of our stars is the Granite Upstand (3000X95X12). This upstand not only makes your kitchen look fancy, but it's also handy and easy to put in place.

And to make sure everything matches perfectly, with coordinating splashbacks and upstands we can help create a seamless and contrasting match from your countertops to your walls.

The Chromix Series

The Chromix series is not your typical upstand range… It’s quite different from your usual upstand options and it goes up to £190.

This series features a cool metallic bronze colour and a textured finish that makes it truly unique.

The Chromix series is especially good for covering large wall surfaces, adding a trendy, cool vibe to your kitchen.

The Chromix series has a warm bronze colour that matches beautifully with warm wood colours or even deep red shades.

So, the JMT Netherby Range and the Chromix series aren't just things you can buy – they're your way to having a kitchen that's full of character and works exactly as you need it to.

Find out more by heading over to our upstand section.

What’s the Difference Between Upstands and Splashbacks?

While both upstands and splashbacks serve a similar purpose in protecting the kitchen walls, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Position and Coverage: Upstands are installed vertically at the back of the worktop, covering the joint between the worktop and the wall. They are typically around 100mm to 150mm (4 to 6 inches) in height and provide a protective barrier in a localised area.

    Splashbacks, on the other hand, are larger panels that cover a broader area of the wall behind the worktop. They extend vertically from the worktop to the upper cabinets or up to the height of the wall. Splashbacks can cover the entire wall between the worktop and the upper cabinets, offering comprehensive protection.
  2. Material and Design: Upstands are often made from the same material as the worktop, providing a seamless and coordinated look. They can match the colour, pattern, and material of the worktop to create a cohesive design.

    Splashbacks, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of materials such as glass, tile, stainless steel, or acrylic. They offer more design flexibility and can be a focal point or an opportunity to introduce different colours and textures to the kitchen.

  3. Functionality and Cleaning: Upstands primarily protect the wall behind the worktop from splashes, stains, and moisture. They are easier to clean and maintain as they cover a smaller area. However, they may not provide the same level of protection for the entire wall.

    Splashbacks offer more extensive coverage and protect a larger surface area of the wall. They are particularly useful in areas prone to heavy splashes, such as behind the sink or the cooking range. Splashbacks are generally easy to clean but may require more effort due to their larger size.

Ultimately, the choice between upstands and splashbacks depends on personal preference, budget, and the level of wall protection desired.

Upstands are a more subtle and cost-effective option that offers localised protection and coordination with the worktop, while splashbacks provide comprehensive coverage and more design possibilities.

It's important to consider your specific needs and aesthetic preferences when making a decision.

What is the Best Way to Cut Kitchen Upstands?

The best way to cut kitchen upstands depends on the material they are made of. Here are some common methods for cutting different types of upstand materials:

  1. Laminate or Acrylic Upstands: For laminate or acrylic upstands, a fine-toothed hand saw or a circular saw with a blade suitable for cutting laminate can be used. Measure and mark the desired cut line on the upstand, ensuring the correct dimensions. Support the upstand securely and carefully cut along the marked line, maintaining a steady and controlled motion.
  2. Natural Stone Upstands: Cutting natural stone upstands, such as granite or quartz, requires specialised tools and expertise. It is recommended to seek professional assistance from a stonemason or stone fabrication specialist who has experience working with stone materials.

They will have the appropriate tools, such as a wet saw or diamond blade, to make precise cuts without causing damage to the stone.

When working with any type of upstand material, it's crucial to follow proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective eyewear and gloves.

Additionally, always double-check your measurements before cutting to ensure accuracy.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with cutting upstands yourself, it is advisable to consult with a professional kitchen fitter or installer.

They have the necessary expertise and equipment to handle the cutting process accurately and efficiently.

Remember, different materials require different cutting techniques, so it's essential to consider the specific material of your upstands and choose the appropriate tools and methods accordingly to achieve clean and precise cuts.

How Do I Fasten Kitchen Upstands?

To fasten kitchen upstands securely, there are a few methods you can use depending on the material and design of the upstands. Here are some common approaches:

  1. Adhesive: One common method is to use adhesive to attach the upstands to the wall. Apply a suitable adhesive, such as a construction adhesive or silicone adhesive, to the back of the upstand in a zigzag or wavy pattern. Press the up stand firmly against the wall, making sure it is level and aligned. Use masking tape or clamps to hold it in place until the adhesive sets and dries according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Fixing Clips: Some upstands come with pre-drilled holes or channels on the back. In this case, you can use fixing clips or brackets specifically designed for upstand installation. Attach the clips to the wall, following the provided instructions, and then slide the upstand into the clips, securing it in place.
  3. Screws: For upstands made of more substantial materials or if additional support is needed, screws can be used. Drill pilot holes into the upstand and corresponding holes into the wall. Insert wall plugs into the wall holes, align the upstand, and then screw it into place using appropriate screws. Be cautious not to overtighten the screws to avoid damaging the upstand or wall.

Remember, the specific method of fastening upstands may vary depending on the material, thickness, and design.

Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions or consult with a professional if you have any doubts or concerns.

It's important to ensure that the upstands are securely attached to provide a stable and durable installation.

This will help protect the walls, maintain the aesthetics, and ensure the longevity of your kitchen upstands.

Upstands vs Splashbacks - Which Are Better?

The choice between upstands and splashbacks depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Both options offer their own advantages and considerations. Let's compare them to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Coverage: Upstands cover the joint between the worktop and the wall, typically up to a height of around 100mm to 150mm (4 to 6 inches). They provide localized protection and are ideal for preventing splashes and stains in the immediate area.

    Splashbacks, on the other hand, cover a larger area of the wall, extending from the worktop to the upper cabinets or up to the height of the wall. They offer comprehensive protection for the entire backsplash area.
  2. Design and Aesthetics: Upstands are often made from the same material as the worktop, creating a seamless and coordinated look. They blend well with the overall design and provide a clean finish.

    Splashbacks offer more design flexibility as they come in a variety of materials, such as glass, tile, stainless steel, or acrylic. They can introduce different colours, patterns, or textures to the kitchen, becoming a focal point or a statement piece.
  3. Maintenance: Upstands cover a smaller area and are generally easier to clean. They require minimal effort to wipe down and keep in good condition.

    Splashbacks, due to their larger size, may require more thorough cleaning. Depending on the material, they may have specific cleaning requirements or be more prone to showing fingerprints or smudges.
  4. Budget: Upstands are generally more cost-effective compared to splashbacks. They cover a smaller area and require less material, making them a more budget-friendly option.

    Splashbacks, especially those made from premium materials or customised designs, can be more expensive due to the larger size and material costs.

Consider your specific needs, the kitchen layout, and your design preferences when choosing between upstands and splashbacks.

If you prioritise localised protection, a seamless look, and cost-effectiveness, upstands are a suitable choice.

However, if you desire comprehensive coverage, design flexibility, and the opportunity to create a focal point, splashbacks may be more appropriate.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, budget, and the overall design goals for your kitchen.

Both upstands and splashbacks can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen, so choose the option that aligns best with your vision and requirements.

What Are Upstands for Kitchens Made Of?

Upstands for kitchens can be made of various materials, depending on your design preferences, budget, and the overall style of your kitchen.

Here are some common materials used for kitchen upstands:

  1. Laminate: Laminate upstands are a popular choice due to their affordability and wide range of colours and patterns. Laminate is a durable material that is easy to clean, making it suitable for kitchen environments.
  2. Solid Wood: Solid wood upstands offer a natural and warm aesthetic to the kitchen. They can be made from a variety of wood species, such as oak, beech, or walnut. Solid wood upstands can be stained or finished to match or complement the kitchen cabinetry.
  3. Granite or Quartz: For a luxurious and sophisticated look, granite or quartz upstands are an excellent choice. These materials are durable, heat-resistant, and offer a wide selection of colours and patterns to suit various kitchen designs.
  4. Acrylic: Acrylic upstands provide a sleek and contemporary appearance. They are available in a range of colours and can be seamlessly joined for a smooth and hygienic surface. Acrylic upstands are also easy to maintain and keep clean.
  5. Glass: Glass up stands add a modern and reflective touch to the kitchen. They are available in different colours and finishes, including clear, tinted, or frosted glass. Glass upstands are not only aesthetically pleasing but also easy to wipe clean.

These are just a few examples of the materials used for kitchen upstands.

Each material offers its own unique characteristics in terms of appearance, durability, and maintenance requirements. It's important to choose a material that aligns with your desired style, budget, and practical needs.

When selecting a material, consider factors such as the overall kitchen design, the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake, and the compatibility with other kitchen elements.

Additionally, consult with a kitchen specialist or supplier who can provide guidance and help you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements.

Tips From an Expert Kitchen Fitter

Certainly! Here are some tips from an expert kitchen fitter to help you with your kitchen installation or renovation project:

  1. Plan and Measure: Before starting any work, carefully plan the layout of your kitchen and take accurate measurements. This will ensure that your cabinets, appliances, and other elements fit properly and work efficiently within the space available.
  2. Invest in Quality: Choose high-quality materials and fixtures for your kitchen. Quality cabinets, worktops, and appliances will not only look better but also stand the test of time, providing you with a durable and functional kitchen.
  3. Consider Functionality: Think about how you will use your kitchen and design the layout accordingly. Ensure that your workspace flows efficiently, with easy access to key areas such as the sink, stove, and refrigerator.
  4. Proper Lighting: Incorporate a well-designed lighting plan in your kitchen. Use a combination of task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting to create a functional and inviting atmosphere. Consider under-cabinet lighting to illuminate work areas and enhance visibility.
  5. Storage Optimization: Make the most of your kitchen's storage potential. Choose cabinets and drawers with smart storage solutions such as pull-out shelves, dividers, and organisers. Maximise vertical space with tall cabinets or utilise wall-mounted storage options for frequently used items.
  6. Attention to Detail: Pay attention to the finishing touches that can elevate the overall look of your kitchen. Consider decorative features like cornices, pelmets, or decorative handles to add character and style.
  7. Professional Installation: If you're not confident in your DIY skills, consider hiring a professional kitchen fitter for the installation. They have the expertise and tools to ensure a precise and efficient installation, saving you time and potential headaches.
  8. Maintenance and Care: Regularly maintain and clean your kitchen to keep it in top condition. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and caring for your cabinets, worktops, and appliances. This will help preserve their appearance and extend their lifespan.

Remember, every kitchen project is unique, so adapt these tips to suit your specific needs and budget.

Whether you're undertaking a full kitchen renovation or a simple update, careful planning, attention to detail, and professional guidance can make all the difference in creating a functional and beautiful kitchen that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Can You Buy Fitted Kitchens Online?

Yes you can buy fitted kitchens online and you are in the perfect place to do so!

Here are JMT Trade we have been manufacturing kitchens in-house for over forty years.

You can use our website to buy your own custom designed, dream kitchen.

Or quality is second to none, we pride ourselves in our customer service and our prices are kept low as you are buying direct from the manufacturer with no middle man bumping up the price.

With ranges from Zola, Strada, Aldana all the way up to the Netherby range which is our budget friendly premium range.

Our handcrafted kitchens can be customised to fit any shape or size of room, with gloss or matt finish, you have a hundred different colour schemes to choose from.

Check out this link to see our range of kitchens for sale…

Final Notes On Kitchen Upstands

A kitchen upstand is a vertical panel positioned at the back of a worktop or countertop, protecting the wall or cabinets from water, moisture, and food splatters by creating a barrier.

It is typically constructed from the same material as the worktop, such as laminate, granite, quartz, or acrylic, which ensures a cohesive look.

Apart from its functional role, an upstand contributes to the kitchen's aesthetics, offering a polished and sophisticated appearance.

The upstand's height generally varies from 100mm to 150mm but can be tailored to specific design needs.

Overall, a kitchen upstand serves both practical and aesthetic purposes, making it a beneficial addition to your kitchen.

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 Phil Tuddenham

Author - Phil Tuddenham

Philip Tuddenham is the force behind JMT Trade Ltd. Philip stepped into the family business in 1998, and has taken JMT to new heights.

He has decades of expertise and experience in designing, manufacturing and installing kitchens, bathrooms, domestic and commercial furniture.

In 2007, Philip broadened JMT's horizons. Introducing new ranges and diversifying into new territories such as media walls and school furniture.

While embracing this innovation, JMT remained true to its origins, continuing to provide excellent bedrooms and bathrooms.

Under Philip's leadership, the company continues to uphold its long-standing tradition of exceptional customer service and high-quality products.