Subramaniam krishnan:  Kitchen by Neelanjan Gupto Design Co

What type of materials are used for wall claddings in kitchens?

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

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Given the nature of Indian cooking, the daily splatter of oil and spices on the kitchen walls, especially in the area near the stove can quickly spoil the look of the space. Wall cladding kitchens is a great solution to preserving the beauty of the kitchen as it is a decorative feature as well as a maintenance-free option to protect the walls and make them easier to clean.

Before you decide on the type of cladding for the kitchen walls, it’s important to ensure that it meets the following criteria:

- It should be resistant to water, hot oil splashes and steam

- The finish should not deteriorate due to constant exposure to high temperatures, hot oil and moisture

- It should be easy to clean, preferably with soap and water, but it should also be tough enough to endure an occasional deep cleaning with stronger chemicals or solvents without affecting the original finish

- It should help to maintain hygiene in the kitchen and should not encourage the accumulation of dirt on the surface or provide an environment where bacteria and mould thrive.

- It should be within your budget

The choices of materials used for wall cladding in Indian homes come in a range of finishes such as stone, concrete and steel. In today’s ideabook, we show you images of cladding on kitchen walls to give you an idea of the options available in the market as well as to provide inspiration on how you can use it to make your kitchen look more beautiful. You can even use cladding to create the design style of your choice in your kitchen.

1. Ceramic tiles—the popular choice

When it comes to designing kitchens, wall cladding with ceramic tiles is considered a functional as well as inexpensive option. Ceramic tiles are not only cost effective but also come in a wide range of colours, patterns and finishes, including smooth, textured, glossy or matte, making it easy to coordinate with the other elements in the space. In this example, we can see how the elegant grey and white patterned tiles perfectly match with the minimalist colour palette and style of the kitchen.

The mosaic effect with ceramic

Modular Kitchen - Baner:  Kitchen by DECOR DREAMS

Modular Kitchen—Baner


Another option when you use ceramic tiles for the kitchen panelling is to choose smaller mosaic tiles. While these create a stunning feature on the kitchen walls, especially when you use several shades, remember that it will be more difficult to clean that bigger tiles as over time, dirt and grime will accumulate in the grout.

2. Stone cladding




Using stone to clad the kitchen walls always brings a lovely rustic touch to the space. Stone is a natural material that is highly durable, but it is also porous. The disadvantage of using stone for kitchen wall cladding in Indian homes is that oil and stains can penetrate the surface and change its appearance in the long term. However, you can prevent this by coating the natural stone to make it resistant to moisture and stains. This treatment will have to be done regularly to maintain the original look.

A more practical solution, if you like the natural beauty of stone walls in your kitchen is to use vinyl or PVC cladding that looks like stone. They come in a range of finishes, including marble, granite and sandstone.

3. PVC or vinyl cladding

2BHK - Sai Subhashini Towers , Masjidbanda, Kondapur , Hyderabad:  Kitchen by Enrich Interiors & Decors
Enrich Interiors & Decors

2BHK—Sai Subhashini Towers , Masjidbanda, Kondapur , Hyderabad

Enrich Interiors & Decors

If you are looking for cheap wall cladding ideas for the kitchen, vinyl can be a good option. Using decorative vinyl panels, like we see in this image, can brighten up the kitchen and make it more cheerful. These panels are also easy to wipe down as they don’t have grout like ceramic tiles, making them one of the most maintenance-free alternatives for kitchen wall cladding.

Plain vinyl panels

Vinyl also comes in sober colours with glossy finishes and can be used even in modern or minimalist kitchens.

Versatile vinyl

An eclectic design of furniture and home décor accessory pieces:  Built-in kitchens by Rebel Designs
Rebel Designs

An eclectic design of furniture and home décor accessory pieces

Rebel Designs

Vinyl cladding panels come in a range of finishes, including wood, stone, steel and brick.

4. Plywood panels for kitchen cladding

Kitchen Cabinet with Storage Shutters:  Kitchen by Enrich Interiors & Decors
Enrich Interiors & Decors

Kitchen Cabinet with Storage Shutters

Enrich Interiors & Decors

Plywood sheets are another inexpensive alternative for kitchen panelling. They can be coated in a variety of colours and finishes, making them easy to incorporate in any design style. However, since this material is made of wood sheets, it does not handle moisture well, so it’s best to use it in the dry sections of the kitchen where the material isn’t continuously exposed to moisture or heat.

5. Tempered glass

The thought of using glass to coat the kitchen walls might not seem practical, but tempered glass is highly resistant to heat and extremely tough. Additionally, nowadays these glass sheets come in an array of hues. In this example, we see how the use of bright blue tempered glass brings a stunning look to the kitchen design. Similarly, you can choose almost any colour or a pattern to suit the style of your kitchen. It’s easy to maintain as the smooth surface can be wiped down to keep it sparkling clean.

Consult an interior designer to see whether tempered glass can be the best material for your kitchen walls.

6. Washable and water-resistant paints

SJR Watermark, 3 BHK - Mr. Ankit:  Built-in kitchens by DECOR DREAMS

SJR Watermark, 3 BHK—Mr. Ankit


Although most people don’t think of paints when they consider materials for wall cladding kitchens, this is another option that doesn’t cost a lot. The advantage of water-resistant and washable paints is that they can be cleaned easily. They also come in an array of shades, and you can choose between matte and glossy finish.

Find inspiration on the best shades to use for your kitchen walls.

7. Wall paper




In most Indian homes, wall paper is used in the living room or in bedrooms as a decorative element that enhances the style or ambiance in the room. It can work just as well in a kitchen, especially if it is installed on a wall that isn’t directly exposed to heat or water splashes. For instance, using a decorative wall paper near the dining table or snack counter in the kitchen can bring a charming touch to the space.

8. Black board as wall panelling

 Kitchen by Pixers



It’s a material that isn’t often used as wall cladding in Indian homes. However, cladding a wall with a black board can serve as a decorative and functional element. It will be useful for making shopping lists or leaving messages for the family. Alternatively, you can indulge the artist in you by drawing lovely pictures of dishes or drinks to add to the warm ambiance in your kitchen.

Deciding on the right type of kitchen panelling can be confusing. Therefore, we recommend that you hire a professional kitchen planner who can advise you on the merits and demerits of each material based on your lifestyle and the type of cooking that you do every day. Additionally, working with a professional will help you to pick the material that is best suited to the design style that you want in your kitchen, whether it’s rustic or Scandinavian.

Every material comes with pros and cons. Additionally, your budget will influence the decision as some materials may work out too expensive, especially if you have large walls to cover. From cheap wall cladding ideas to sophisticated coatings that bring style to your kitchen, the kitchen planner or interior designer will guide you towards making the best choice as they are aware of the various types of materials available in the market, based on which they can help to shortlist those that are ideal for your needs.

Get ideas on the best materials to use for kitchen cabinets in Indian homes.

Which of these materials will you use in your kitchen? Leave us a comment to let us know why.
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