A recent study revealed that an increasing number of UK homeowners are planning home improvements this year rather than moving house due to rising living costs.

New carpets, kitchens and bathrooms are top of the agenda, with those planning renovations expected to spend an average of £12,000.

There are, however, many projects homeowners can embark on to make a significant difference – without breaking the bank.

Today Leyland SDM launches a new 10-part series to inspire and guide in equal measure.


First up: How to add a bright splashback in the kitchen

A bright or heavily patterned splashback is a quick and easy way to give your kitchen a colourful update.

Whether you have a traditional or modern kitchen, the splashback can be a real focal point of the space. Installing a new one can instantly refresh and revitalise the whole room.

ight, vibrant colours and patterns can be particularly effective in white kitchens.

his is a job which can be completed over a weekend yet produce a positive impact for years.

Of course, you could just buy a readymade splashback, but where’s the fun in that? Here are a few different ways to get creative.


Stick-on vinyl

This is probably the easiest way to reinvigorate your splashback. You can buy stick-on vinyl sheets designed specifically for the purpose and available in all sorts of designs and colours.

These can be simply cut to size, the back easily peels off and the sheet can be stuck either to an existing splashback, or straight against the wall.

Alternatively, some people buy vinyl stickers and create their own imaginative patterns over a painted wall. An eye-catching effect can be created by painting the back wall brown, grey or black and using thin strips of white vinyl to produce a brick effect.



Another arty solution popular on Pinterest is to create a splashback with wallpaper. The great thing about this method is that the colour and design options are vast.

For this, you will need some plywood (we’d recommend 5.5mm thickness) cut to the size of your splashback. Cut the wallpaper to match and stick to the plywood using wallpaper paste, ensuring there are no air bubbles.

You will need a piece of toughened, heatproof glass cut to the same size as your splashback. This can be sourced from a local glazier and, when buying, ask them to drill four holes into the corners to the correct width of four mirror screws.

Finally, the splashback is attached to the wall, which is a two-person job. Drill the four holes into the wall and insert wallplugs. The mirror screws go through the glass, through the plywood and are then screwed into the wallplugs.

Another fantastic benefit of this method is the design can be easily changed when you get bored of it.


Laminate the walls

Pallet walls are very trendy at the moment, but it’s expensive and not really appropriate for behind the hob where oil and sauce splashes are commonplace.

A nice compromise, particularly for larger areas, is to install laminate flooring onto the walls. The tongue and groove nature of laminate flooring means it is easy to piece together and can easily be cut to size. It can either be attached to the wall with a nail gun or flooring adhesive.


Good old-fashioned tiles

You can’t go wrong with a real tile splashback. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are durable, moisture resistant and easy to clean.

People can get a bit spooked by tiling – but there’s no need, particularly if you’re only doing a small area such as behind the hob.

First, prepare the wall by ensuring it is even and by filling in any holes. Next, plan the tiles so you know where you want them and make necessary cuts using a tile cutter.

Working a square metre at a time, apply the tile adhesive to the wall. For ceramic tiles use a ready-mixed tile adhesive or powder adhesive and a powder tile adhesive for porcelain tiles.

Place the first tile into position, wiping off excess adhesive as you go. Pop a tile spacer above the tile and then repeat for the second tile, and so on.

Allow the adhesive to dry and then grout in between the tiles before using sealant to seal the edges around the tiles, preventing water from getting behind the tiles.