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Sevenoaks A21 / M25 junction 4
Sevenoaks A21 / M25 J4

What is an upstand?

An upstand is an extension of the kitchen worktop which goes a short way up the wall behind the worksurface (usually 60 to 120mm).

What an upstand is for

The purpose of an upstand is to create a seal between the worktop and the wall, to ensure that no liquids can seep behind the cabinets.

It also catches a lot of the day to day splashes and mess. This is particularly useful because upstands are easier to clean than kitchen walls.

What an upstand is made of

The upstand is usually a thinner slice of the same material as the worktop is made from. Thanks to this continuity of design, the upstand has a subtle effect, making it less noticeable. Upstands are generally 20mm thick, compared to 30mm for worksurfaces.

What is the difference between an upstand and a splashback?

An upstand is an extension of the worktop which goes from 60 to 120mm up the wall and features along the entire length of the worksurface.

A splashback is much taller, usually covering the whole height of the kitchen wall. Splashbacks sometimes continue along the length of the worktop, but they are generally used more selectively to provide additional protection behind hobs or sinks.

As a rough rule, if it’s lower than 200mm it’s an upstand, if it’s higher than 200mm then it’s a splashback.

Upstand design options

You can configure your wall protection in many different ways to suit the design of your kitchen, for example:

Here the upstand increases in height behind the hob. This protects the wall without the need for a full height splashback. More about this bespoke Dartford kitchen.


In this kitchen, a striking, glass splashback sits above the continuous upstand. More about this bespoke kitchen in Hayes.


For these homeowners we ran the upstand vertically to frame the sides of this beautiful splashback.


In this elegant kitchen we used the same material for both the upstand and the splashback. More about this kitchen.
Vince Hone

Vince Hone

Since founding Great British Kitchens & Interiors back in 1984, Vince has worked tirelessly to create exquisite spaces for hundreds of clients to cook, entertain, work and relax in.