How To Design Your Kitchen With Sleek And Functional Upstands


When it comes to designing a kitchen, there are numerous elements to consider. One often overlooked feature that can make a significant impact on both the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen is the use of upstands. Upstands are a versatile design element that can be used to create a sleek and modern look while also providing practical benefits. In this guide, we will explore the various types of upstands available for kitchens, how to choose the right ones for your space, and provide you with design ideas and inspiration to upgrade your kitchen with upstands.

Benefits of Using Upstands in Kitchen Design

Upstands offer several benefits when incorporated into kitchen design. Firstly, they serve as a protective barrier between the walls and countertops, preventing water, spills, and splashes from damaging the walls. This not only helps to maintain the cleanliness and integrity of your kitchen but also reduces the risk of mold and mildew growth.

Secondly, upstands add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your kitchen. Whether you opt for a classic and timeless design or a more contemporary and minimalist style, upstands can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your space. They create a seamless transition between the countertops and walls, resulting in a cohesive and visually pleasing design.

Additionally, upstands can be used strategically to visually enlarge the space. Extending the upstands to the height of the upper cabinets creates an illusion of higher ceilings and a more spacious kitchen. This is especially beneficial for smaller kitchens where every inch of space counts.

Different Types of Upstands for Kitchens

When it comes to upstands, there are various materials and styles to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your kitchen design. Here are some of the most popular types of upstands:

1. Ceramic Upstands

Ceramic Upstands

Ceramic upstands are a classic choice for kitchen design. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing you to find the perfect match for your kitchen decor. Ceramic upstands are highly durable and resistant to stains, making them a practical choice for a busy kitchen.

2. Glass Upstands

Ceramic Upstands

For a sleek and modern look, glass upstands are an excellent option. They add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your kitchen while also providing a reflective surface that enhances the overall brightness of the space. Glass upstands are easy to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice for contemporary kitchens.

3. Stainless Steel Upstands

Stainless Steel Upstands

Stainless steel upstands are a popular choice for kitchens with a more industrial or minimalist design. They offer a clean and sleek look that complements stainless steel appliances and fixtures. Stainless steel upstands are highly durable and resistant to heat and moisture, making them an ideal choice for a busy kitchen.

How to Choose the Right Upstands for Your Kitchen

Selecting the right upstands for your kitchen involves considering various factors such as the overall design style, color scheme, and functionality. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

1. Consider the Design Style

When choosing upstands, it is essential to consider the overall design style of your kitchen. If you have a traditional or farmhouse-style kitchen, ceramic upstands with intricate patterns and textures may be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you have a modern and minimalist kitchen, glass or stainless steel upstands can create a sleek and contemporary look.

2. Coordinate with the Color Scheme

The color scheme of your kitchen is another crucial factor to consider when selecting upstands. You can either choose upstands that match the color of your countertops for a seamless look or opt for contrasting colors to create a bold and eye-catching design. Consider your personal preferences and the overall ambiance you want to achieve in your kitchen.

3. Prioritize Functionality

While aesthetics are essential, it is equally important to consider the functionality of the upstands. Ensure that the material you choose is resistant to heat, moisture, and stains, especially if you have a busy kitchen. Additionally, consider the height of the upstands and whether they will effectively protect your walls from splashes and spills.

Installation Process for Kitchen Upstands

Installing upstands in your kitchen is a relatively straightforward process that can be done by a professional or as a DIY project. Here is a general overview of the installation process:

  • Measure the length of the countertop where the upstands will be installed.
  • Using a level, mark a straight line on the wall at the desired height for the upstands.
  • Apply adhesive or silicone sealant to the back of the upstands.
  • Carefully position the upstands along the marked line, pressing firmly to ensure a secure bond.
  • Use a spirit level to check that the upstands are level and adjust if necessary.
  • Allow the adhesive or sealant to dry completely before using the kitchen.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the appropriate tools and materials for a successful installation. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with the installation process, it is recommended to seek professional assistance.

Maintenance and Care of Kitchen Upstands

To keep your kitchen upstands looking their best and maintain their functionality, regular maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to help you keep your upstands in top condition:

  • Upstands should not be cleaned with abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch the surface.
  • Spills and splashes should be cleaned immediately to prevent staining. Gently wipe the upstands with a soft cloth or sponge and a mild detergent or kitchen cleaner.
  • For glass upstands, use a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to maintain their shine and clarity.
  • Regularly inspect the upstands for any signs of damage or wear. Repair or replace any damaged upstands promptly to prevent further issues.
  • Consider applying a protective sealant to the upstands to enhance their durability and resistance to stains.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure that your kitchen upstands remain in excellent condition for years to come.

Design Ideas and Inspiration for Kitchens with Upstands

Design Ideas and Inspiration for Kitchens with Upstands

Are you looking for design inspiration to upgrade your kitchen with upstands? Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Classic Elegance: Pair ceramic upstands with marble countertops and vintage-inspired fixtures for a timeless and elegant look.
  • Modern Minimalism: Opt for sleek glass upstands, white quartz countertops, and handleless cabinets for a clean and minimalist design.
  • Industrial Chic: Combine stainless steel upstands with concrete countertops and exposed brick walls for an industrial-inspired kitchen.
  • Bold Contrasts: Choose upstands in a contrasting color to your countertops for a bold and eye-catching design. For example, black upstands against white countertops create a striking visual impact.

Remember to consider the overall style and ambiance you want to achieve in your kitchen and select upstands that complement your vision.

These examples showcase the versatility and impact of upstands in creating a stylish and functional kitchen.

Upstand Alternatives for Kitchen Design

While upstands are a popular choice for kitchen design, there are alternative options to explore. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Tile Backsplash: Instead of using upstands, you can opt for a tile backsplash that extends from the countertops to the upper cabinets. This creates a visually appealing and practical barrier between the countertops and walls.
  • Integrated Splashback: Some countertops come with an integrated splashback, eliminating the need for separate upstands. This provides a seamless and streamlined look.
  • Stainless Steel Sheets: If you prefer a more industrial look, consider using stainless steel sheets instead of upstands. They offer a similar functionality while adding a unique and contemporary touch to your kitchen.

The choice between upstands and alternatives ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the overall design concept of your kitchen.


In conclusion, upstands are a versatile and practical design element that can upgrade the look and functionality of your kitchen. From protecting your walls to adding elegance and style, upstands offer numerous benefits. By considering the different types of upstands available, choosing the right ones for your kitchen, and following proper installation and maintenance practices, you can transform your kitchen into a sleek and functional space. So why wait? Upgrade your kitchen with upstands and enjoy a beautiful and practical cooking environment.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our social media

Scroll to Top