Hob Splashbacks and Cooker Hoods
Once you’ve chosen the perfect hob, you’ll need to consider what’s going around it. Splashbacks and cooker hoods are an important addition to any kitchen – we’ll explain why here.
Do I Need a Hob Splashback?
If you’re changing your hob anyway, it’s well worth considering your splashback. Perhaps your old hob was in a different location, or you’d like a new splashback which matches in size or style. They’re the perfect finishing touch, and can really tie a kitchen’s look together.
If you value your kitchen decor and want to maintain a clean cooking area, a hob splashback is essential. These screens are fitted to the wall behind your hob. They capture splatters caused by boiling sauces, grease from sizzling bacon, and other bits of food which would otherwise end up on your wall. They also prevent damage to your wallpaper or paint from the heat or condensation. Some choose to install an additional splashback behind the sink, since this is another messy area.
Types of Splashback
Many hob manufacturers have ventured into the world of splashbacks. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages, but all are designed to protect the wall and make cleaning easier.
A traditional type of splashback. Many kitchens already have wall tile upstands behind the worktops, so adding tiles above the hob is a natural progression.
- Tiles available to suit all budgets.
- Consistent look, since they can match the tiles around the room.
- Completely flexible in terms of size. Decide how wide and how high up the wall you want your splashback to go – it’s possible to stretch it right up to the cooker hood.
- Many different styles and colour combinations available. A great way to get creative and add a focal point.
- If you’re not too handy, you’ll need a tiler to fit yours. And even if you’re a fan of DIY, they still take more work to install than other splashback types.
- Food can get trapped in the edges and grout, making cleaning more difficult.
- The grout will need maintenance to keep it looking its best.
Tile splashbacks have a consistent look, since they can match the tiles around the room.
Usually made from a single sheet of glass, these splashbacks are available in transparent and coloured variations. To avoid cracking from the heat of your hob, it’s vital you choose a toughened, or ‘tempered’, design. The highest quality designs often also have thicker glass for additional strength.
- Contemporary splashback which matches any colour scheme. Choose from transparent, textured, coloured and coloured behind the glass styles.
- They reflect light beautifully, making a kitchen look bigger and brighter.
- Hygienic – easy to wipe clean and stain resistant.
- Requires no maintenance once fitted.
- They tend to come with a fixing kit and self-adhesive backing, so you’ll probably have everything you need.
- Toughened versions are extremely heat resistant – some manufacturers promise to protect against temperatures as high as 200°c.
- Fitting can be fiddly and requires a lot of care.
- Can be pricey for a hardwearing tempered glass design. Made-to-measure sizes are particularly expensive.
- While cleaning away food marks is easy, keeping them shiny and smear-free is more difficult.
Glass splashbacks are available in transparent and coloured variations.
With stainless steel appliances becoming increasingly popular, it’s no surprise many people want a stylish splashback to match. Stainless steel gives a modern, professional kitchen effect.
- Creates a bold style statement which can
match your hob and/or cooker hood.
- Easy to wipe food off.
- A wide choice on offer from many retailers.
- Designs available to fit most budgets.
- Their modern design might not suit all kitchens.
- While they are durable against serious damage, stainless steel can scratch and mark easily.
- Can be prone to showing up fingerprints and water marks.
Stainless steel gives a modern, professional kitchen effect.
Acrylic splashbacks are often cut to size, and many people choose to continue the splashback over a larger area so it acts as an upstand too. Look for a fire rated acrylic, since normal plastic shouldn’t be used in close proximity to your hob. Alternatively, you could cover the acrylic with a transparent piece of glass.
- A cheap alternative to glass, with a similar visual effect.
- Available in a rainbow of different colours.
- Usually cut to measure, so you can choose the exact size and shape you want.
- Repels dust better than glass or stainless steel.
- Light and easy to install.
- Easy to clean – not prone to smudges and marks.
A cheap alternative to glass, with a similar visual effect.
- Can be difficult to find a heat proof, fire rated version.
- Scratches easily.
- Has a cheaper ‘feel’ than glass.
Other Types of Splashback
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a splashback. Some people choose to simply leave the painted wall, although this does leave it vulnerable to damage from grease, food stains and condensation.
MDF can also be used as a budget option. It’s coated in a range of laminate effects to give the impression of exotic woods, marble or granite.
Solid timber can also be used, and can match a wooden worktop. This can be an expensive option as it’ll be made to measure, and you’ll need to check it has been properly sealed to protect it from water damage. Creative designs
like mirrors, sheets of mosaic tiles, and even LED lit glass are also available.
Some people choose to simply leave the painted wall, although this does leave it vulnerable to damage from grease, food stains and condensation.
If you have a cooker hood and nearby wall units, it’s important to measure the available space. Your splashback should be at least the same width as your hob. This means it’ll provide adequate protection to your wall and give a neat appearance. Because of this, most splashbacks are around 60cm wide, the standard four burner hob width. Wider rectangular designs can be as big as 90cm. You’ll find square splashbacks start at 60cm high, while others stretch as tall as 75cm.
Do I Need a Cooker Hood?
Cooker hoods minimise the airborne grease which can stick to your units. They remove cooking smells, steam and condensation, keeping everything fresher and more hygienic. This makes them a must-have in any kitchen.
If you’re choosing a new hob, you’ll want a cooker hood which matches. Perhaps you’ve upgraded to a six burner design and want a wider hood to cover the whole cooking surface, or maybe you’ve switched to a more powerful gas model and you’re looking for an efficient extractor.
How They Work
Cooker hoods can be divided into two groups: those which extract the air, and those which recirculate it. Extractors vent the air outside through ducts, while recirculation hoods use filters to clean the air before releasing it back into the kitchen. Some designs can be used as either, depending on how you install them.
Extractors are generally considered the most efficient, simply because the grease, cooking smells and smoke are sent outside. They don’t have a filter restricting the air’s movement, so the airflow rate is often higher.
Their design makes installation more difficult. The ducting system will need to be fitted by a professional, and you’ll need to buy the kit separately too.
Separate grease and activated charcoal filters remove smells and other nasties from the air, before releasing the clean air back into your kitchen. Recirculation hoods still do their job well, but their design means they can release some heat and moisture back into the room. You’ll need to clean the grease off the filter and replace the charcoal filter annually to keep it working efficiently. A main advantage of choosing a recirculation model is how easy
they are to fit. They’re a standalone unit, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to vent through an outside wall.
Cooker hoods remove cooking smells, steam and condensation.
Types of Cooker Hoods
The most common design, with a long chimney which stretches down from the ceiling. They’re wall mounted, so not suitable for hobs which are placed on a kitchen island.
Also known as visor hoods, freestanding models tend to be less powerful and only suitable for smaller kitchens. They have the flat part without the chimney, and can be placed on the wall independently or fixed to the underside of a kitchen unit. A visor will help guide smoke into the filters, while a telescopic design extends outwards when needed for maximum area coverage.
These are built into a kitchen unit, keeping them neatly hidden away behind a door. A canopy design is also concealed within a cupboard, but lies flat within the base.
If your hob doesn’t back onto a wall, you’ll need an island hob. They can be more expensive, but designer models let you really make a statement.
Your cooker hood will need to at least match your hob in width to work effectively. The most common sizes are exactly 60cm, 70cm or 90cm wide, suiting nearly all four to six burner hobs. Compact versions are available if wall units have left you with limited space.
Height-wise, you’ll need to leave a gap of at least 50cm above an electric hob, or 65cm above a gas one. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines, however, as this does vary. Extendable chimneys can help you get the perfect position.
The airflow rate is also worth looking at. This will be measured in cubic metres per hour, so think about the size of your room. The larger your kitchen, the more powerful you’ll need your hood to be. This can also mean it’s noisier, so don’t simply choose the highest airflow rate you can find.
Work out your kitchen’s volume by multiplying its floor space by the ceiling height. You’ll want to then multiply this by 10, because it should be able to replace all of the air at least 10 times per hour. The result is the minimum m3/h rate which you’re looking for.
Built-in lights are a common feature across all budget cooker hoods. They help you see what you’re cooking more easily, and are definitely a useful feature to have.
Most models have two or three different speed settings, so you can save energy and run it more quietly if you’re only cooking something small.
Both of these features will be controlled by buttons or sliders on the front, inside or underside.