As you plan for your dream kitchen, it’s essential to consider all the features that will make your space functional, stylish, and easy to maintain. The upstand is a feature that people often overlook. An upstand serves several crucial functions in a kitchen. Firstly, it helps to prevent spills and splashes from damaging your wall. Cooking can be messy, and without an upstand, it’s easy for water, sauces, and oils to splash onto your wall and cause staining or even water damage.
What is an Upstand in a Kitchen? Understanding the Importance and Benefits
If you’ve ever been in a kitchen, whether it be a home kitchen or a professional one, you may have noticed a slight, raised edge running along the back of the countertop. People know this raised edge as an upstand, and it serves various important purposes in the kitchen. In this article, we’ll dive into what an upstand is, why it’s important, and some tips for choosing the right one for your kitchen.
The Importance of Upstands
While upstands may seem like a small detail, they serve several important purposes in the kitchen. Backsplash prevents water, food, and liquids from splashing onto the wall or floor from the countertop’s back. This keeps your kitchen clean and hygienic and prevents water damage and mould growth.
Upstands create a neat look in the kitchen by visually separating the countertop and the wall. They can be an important design element, adding a pop of colour or texture to your kitchen’s decor.
Types of Upstands
Several types of upstands are available for your kitchen, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Tiled upstands are a popular choice for kitchen backsplashes. Individual tiles are installed in a specific pattern to create a cohesive design element. Tiled upstands are available in various materials, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone.
You can customize tiled upstands to match your kitchen’s overall style by choosing from different colours, shapes, and texture options. You can arrange the tiles in various patterns such as herringbone, brick, and subway.
One of the advantages of tiled upstands is their durability. They are resistant to heat, moisture, and stains, making them ideal for use in the kitchen. You can easily clean tiled upstands and replace individual tiles if they are damaged.
Installation of a tiled upstand requires DIY skills, including measuring, cutting, and laying the tiles. It’s important to ensure that the tiles are level and properly aligned to prevent unsightly gaps or uneven surfaces. Moreover, it is important to be cautious while applying grout to avoid any moisture seepage behind the tiles..
Tiled upstands can be a beautiful and practical addition to any kitchen. They provide personalized appearance and practical benefits like stain protection based on the homeowner’s style preferences.
Stainless Steel Upstands
In commercial kitchens and food preparation areas, people commonly use stainless steel upstands to protect against potential hazards. These elevated structures consist of stainless steel, a solid and non-porous material that can withstand corrosion, staining, and bacterial growth. People design them for mounting on walls, counters, or other surfaces, preventing spills, splatters, and other food debris from getting behind them, which could cause damage or contamination..
One of the primary benefits of stainless steel upstands is their durability. Stainless steel is a strong material that can withstand heavy use, frequent cleaning, and exposure to moisture and heat. This makes stainless steel upstands ideal for commercial kitchens and other food preparation areas where hygiene and safety are top priorities.
Stainless steel upstands also offer a clean and professional appearance. These are easy to clean and maintain, and their smooth surface is resistant to scratches and dents. Stainless steel upstands can be customized to fit a space’s specific dimensions and design requirements, and they can be seamlessly integrated into existing kitchen fixtures and equipment.
Glass upstands are a popular alternative to traditional upstands in modern kitchens. The toughened glass makes them durable and easy to clean, which makes them a practical choice for busy kitchens. Glass upstands are available in a range of colours and designs, including clear, frosted, and tinted glass, as well as patterned and textured options.
Glass upstands are usually installed by measuring the length of the countertop and ordering a custom-cut piece of glass that fits perfectly. The glass is then attached to the wall using a specially designed glass adhesive. It is very important to ensure that the adhesive used is strong enough to support the weight of the glass and that the glass is level and securely attached to the wall.
One of the main benefits of glass upstands is their aesthetic appeal. They can create a sleek and modern look in the kitchen. Pair them with various countertop materials, including granite, quartz, and marble. LED lights also illuminate glass upstands to create a stunning.
In terms of maintenance, glass upstands are relatively easy to clean. They can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent and polished with a glass cleaner to maintain shine. But it’s important to note that glass upstands are prone to chipping and cracking, so care should be taken when handling them.
Overall, glass upstands are a versatile and stylish option for modern kitchens. They can provide a practical solution for preventing spills and splashes while adding a unique design element to the space.
Choosing the Right Upstand
Choosing the right upstand for your kitchen involves considering several factors: material, height, colour and texture, and cost.
Upstands are available in various materials, including stainless steel, glass, tile, and natural stone. Stainless steel is a popular option due to its durability and ease of maintenance, while glass and tile upstands can add a stylish design element to the kitchen. Natural stone upstands, such as granite or marble, can provide a high-end look but may be more expensive and require more maintenance.
The height of the upstand is also an important consideration. Generally, upstands are around 10-15 cm tall, but they can be taller or shorter depending on personal preference and the countertop size. A taller upstand can provide more protection against spills but also make the kitchen feel more closed-in.
Colour and Texture
Upstands are available in various colours and textures to match any kitchen design. When choosing an upstand, consider the colour and texture of the countertop and cabinets to ensure that the upstand complements the kitchen’s overall look.
The cost of an upstand will depend on the material, size, and installation method. Stainless steel upstands are the most affordable option, while natural stone upstands can be expensive. Hiring a professional to install the upstand will also add to the overall cost.
By considering the following factors and weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can choose the right upstand for your kitchen that adds a practical element and enhances the overall look and feel of the space.
Installing an Upstand
Installing an upstand in your kitchen is a relatively simple process that can be completed by a DIY homeowner with some essential tools and materials. Here are the steps to follow:
Measure the area: Determine the length and height measurements of the space where you plan to install the upstand. This will help you determine how much material you will need.
Choose the material: Upstands can be made from a variety of materials, including tile, glass, stainless steel, and composite materials. Choose a material that complements your kitchen’s design and meets your needs.
Cut the material: Use a saw or tile cutter to cut the material to the correct size. It is important to wear gloves and protective eyewear while cutting the material.
Apply adhesive: Apply a strong adhesive to the back of the upstand. Be sure to use an adhesive that is suitable for the material you are using.
Position the upstand: Carefully position the upstand on the wall, ensuring it is level and in the correct position.
Secure the upstand: Use clamps or tape to hold the upstand in place while the adhesive sets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.
Finish the edges: If necessary, finish the edges of the upstand with trim pieces or caulk.
Clean up: Once the adhesive has dried, remove any clamps or tape and clean up any excess adhesive or debris.
It’s important to ensure the upstand is level and securely attached to the wall to prevent it from shifting or coming loose. If you need clarification about your DIY skills or have concerns about the installation process, it may be best to hire a professional to install the upstand.
Maintaining an Upstand
Maintaining an upstand in your kitchen is important to keep it looking clean and hygienic. The maintenance required will depend on the material of your upstand.
For tiled upstands, a regular cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent is usually sufficient to keep them looking fresh. However, the grout between the tiles may become discoloured or damaged over time, requiring re-grouting. This can be a DIY task, but it’s important to ensure the grout is applied evenly and allowed to dry completely before using the upstand again.
Stainless steel upstands require more maintenance to keep them shiny and free of fingerprints. We can clean them using a damp cloth and mild detergent, but avoiding using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface is important. To maintain the shine of the stainless steel, you can use a specialized stainless steel cleaner and polish, readily available in most hardware stores.
For upstands made from other materials, such as glass or acrylic, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to prevent damage to the surface. Some materials may be more sensitive to harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners than others.
In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to promptly address any damage to the upstand. Chips or cracks in the surface can be unsightly and compromise the integrity of the upstand, allowing water to seep in and cause further damage. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to repair or replace the upstand to keep your kitchen looking its best.
Proper maintenance of your upstand is vital to keeping it looking great and functioning correctly. With regular cleaning and prompt attention to any damage, you can ensure that your upstand will provide a durable and attractive addition to your kitchen for years to come.
Several alternatives should be considered if an upstand isn’t the right choice for your kitchen.
One option is to use a taller backsplash instead of an upstand. A taller backsplash can provide similar benefits to an upstand while adding a more dramatic design element to your kitchen. A taller backsplash can also help protect the wall behind your countertop from splatters and spills.
Another option is to use a silicone sealant to seal the gap between the countertop and the wall. This can help prevent water and food from spilling over and accumulating in the gap. However, it’s important to note that this method may not be as effective as an upstand or taller backsplash at preventing spills and may not provide the same design benefits.
In conclusion, an upstand is a practical and visually appealing addition to any kitchen. It protects the wall behind the countertop from spills and splatters while providing a cohesive design element. Upstands come in various materials, heights, colours, and textures, making it easy to find one that complements your kitchen’s style. Proper maintenance is important for keeping your upstand looking its best, and there are several alternatives to consider if an upstand isn’t the right choice for your kitchen. Whether you install an upstand or explore alternative options, taking steps to protect your kitchen walls is an important aspect of kitchen design and maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need an upstand in my kitchen?
While not strictly necessary, upstands can provide several benefits in the kitchen, including preventing spills and adding a cohesive design element.
Can I install an upstand myself?
Yes, installing an upstand is a relatively simple process that can be completed by a DIY homeowner with some basic tools and materials.
How do I clean my upstand?
The technique for cleaning your upstand will vary based on its material. Tiled upstands may require re-grouting, while stainless steel upstands may need to be polished.