What Is An Upstand In A Kitchen | 7 Best Upstand Ideas For 2023

Many people get confused with the kitchen upstand. It sounds like an accessory, while actually, it is a construction feature.

Here’s your quick answer:

An upstand is the worktop border strip that sits upright at the back of the wall. Usually, a kitchen upstand is 6 or 15 cm high with a thickness of 2 cm.

It acts as a seal between the worktop and the wall to keep all the moisture and seepage away. 

Apart from this, it also enhances the aesthetics and can bring warmth and colours to your kitchen. That’s why it can be confusing to decide the right length and design of an upstand.

But worry not; our editors have done detailed research to guide you properly. So, sit back and keep reading for essential information and inspiring ideas.

What is an upstand in a kitchen?

It is a 2 to 6-cm worktop extension that sits against the wall. It is installed along the countertop wall.


Usually, it is the same as the worktop material, but you can also mix-match it with different colours or materials.

What’s the purpose of kitchen worktop upstand?

For many homeowners, it can be a great way to add a bit of dark colour to their cooking zones.


But, in a nutshell, it is a practical feature rather than a decor essential.

  • It creates a seal between the wall and the worktop to ensure no liquid seepage.
  • It gives your walls a neater finish and a nice overall appearance.
  • Upstands also protect walls from splash stains during working in the cooking zone.

The cherry on top is that you can install the kitchen backsplash tiles over it and ensure the finest quality seal.

Do you need upstands in a kitchen?

Even though an upstand is a practical kitchen feature, you can skip it too. They are not an essential requirement. You can also replace it with a traditional backsplash.

Is a kitchen upstand the same as the backsplash?

No, an upstand is different from the backsplash. Both sit against the worktop back wall and serve the same purpose.

The main difference between both is the height. A kitchen upstand usually has a length of 6 to 15 centimeters. On the contrary, the kitchen backsplash is over 20 centimeters in length. 

Are upstands old-fashioned?

Yes, they are quite old-fashioned. Noe many Brits homeowners prefer to replace them with stainless steel or opt for acrylic tiles.

7 Unique Kitchen Upstand Ideas To Try In 2023

As mentioned earlier, a kitchen upstand is a great way to add bright shades to your cooking area. So, here’re a few cool ideas that you can try to get the best appearance.

1. Show Your Inner Artist

This idea is perfect for you if you’re a fan of DIY projects. You can paint over the upstand and enhance the appearance more.


It will look great and extremely cool.
Just ensure to get the heat-resistant paint so your artwork doesn’t get ruined over time.

2. Mix The Shades Of Grey

Mixing dark and light shades of grey is a unique idea that enhances the overall appearance of your space. You can install a black or dark grey shade worktop and opt for light coloured upstand.


This will look stunning with white or off-white paint. It is worth mentioning that this idea is not suitable for small kitchens with dim lighting.

3. Try Glass Upstands

Undoubtedly, installing a kitchen glass upstand is the hottest trend of 2023. It looks cool and is also a practical choice. It ensures a clean and modern look while it is also easy to clean.


Just ensure that the glass is tempered and heat-resistant. Normal glass won’t bear the heat and eventually break within days.

4. The Timber Beauty

The timber looks great with any type of worktop and gives your kitchen a natural and warm feel. You can also paint it over time or embrace its natural look.


If you’re planning to use wood as an upstand, then it is best to keep its height under 5 cm.

5. Embrace The Concrete

This old-school style is unique and budget-friendly. All you need to do is fix a 6cm long brick along the wall.


The cherry on top is that you don’t need to hire a professional to embrace the beauty and roughness of concrete.

6. A Splash Of Colour

If you’re bored with either an all-white or a solid-colored kitchen, adding a splash of colour will give your space a retro vibe.


You can ensure a contemporary look by painting the kitchen countertop. If this seems too much, then you keep things simple by adding colour to upstand.

7. Stainless Steel Upstand

Stainless steel is mainly used in loft-style kitchens. After Corian, it is the best material for kitchen upstands.


It looks cool and enhances the aesthetics of your kitchen. You can match it with your backsplash and clean it swiftly. 

Kitchen Upstand FAQs

How tall should upstands be?

An upstand should be at least 3 inches. You can keep the size anywhere between 6cm (2 inches) to 15cm (3 inches). 

How high should quartz Upstands be?

Quartz upstands must have a height of 5 inches. It is best to install long kitchen upstands rather than opt for narrow or short heights.

Do Splashbacks go on top of Upstands?

Yes, it is best to put splashbacks above the upstands. It will create a strong seal and won’t let any moisture escape.

Wrapping It Up!

A kitchen upstand is the border strip that lays against the worktop wall.  Usually, it has a length of 3 inches, but you can also adjust it as per your preference.

Timber, tiles, and Corian are the most preferred material for kitchen upstands. For a rustic and contemporary touch, you can also opt for aluminium and glass upstands.

We hope that this article helps you to understand everything about upstands. Well, in the meantime, be happy and keep on cooking.

I like to research and write about modern kitchen designs and kitchen appliances; Whether you are looking to design a perfect kitchen or want the best cooking experience, my writing will surely help you out!