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How to fit upstands & back panels

A seamless transition

Upstands and back panels provide a smooth transition between the worktop and the wall. They protect your walls from flying food or greasy splashes, helping to keep your walls easy to clean.

They’re both straightforward to install:

How to fit upstands and back panelsHow to fit upstands and back panelsHow to fit upstands and back panelsHow to fit upstands and back panels

Upstands create a smooth transition between your worktop and walls. Available in a range of materials, heights and thicknesses, they’re simple to install, bonded to the wall above your worktop leaving a gap of around 2mm for keying corner sealant application to prevent spills getting in the joint.

Before installation you should plan how much upstand you require and where you’ll need to cut it. We find the following tips come in handy when planning your worktop area:

  • Avoid mistakes by double checking your measurements before making any cuts
  • Practise cutting on a small piece first to get used to cutting the material
  • For neat, precision cutting use straight edges and saw guides with secure clamping

Tools & materials for the job:

Step 1

Carefully measure the space for the upstand. At the approximate position of cut on the upstand it may help to apply a complete turn of masking tape. Mark out the determined

length in pencil over the tape for clear definition. Make a second check that the measurement is correct at the wall and upstand.

Follow the upstand instructions as you may need to make a clearance allowance on length for movement in the upstand from temperature and humidity changes.

Once you know the correct sizing, carefully and precisely cut your upstand to line using a fine-tooth hand or power saw as appropriate for the section size. After, remove the tape and clean the cut edges with fine abrasive paper.

Step 2

Check the fit of the upstand is good against the wall. Leave a gap of around 2 mm to the worktop using appropriate spacers to assist in applying silicone sealant.

You may need to make cut outs for any interfering wall features. If so, you’ll need to precisely measure and make the cut outs with a combination of drill and hand coping or jigsaw.

Once all is prepared use an appropriate adhesive to bond the upstand. Bond to the wall only and not to the worktop itself. Apply a zig zag run of adhesive on the rear face and place the upstand against the wall carefully. Remove any excess adhesive before it dries

Step 3

When the adhesive has dried seal the corner between the upstand and worktop with silicone sealant. For solid timber upstands it will be necessary to finish by oil treating as the worktop.


Back panels are another way to smoothen the transition between worktops and walls and are available in a variety of materials. Easy to clean they protect your walls from flicked food or greasy splashes. They’re also straightforward to install and are bonded to the wall above your worktop leaving a gap of around 2 mm for keying corner sealant application to prevent spills getting in the joint.

Before installation you should figure out how much back panel you require and where you’ll need to cut it. We find the following tips come in handy when planning your worktop area:

  • Avoid mistakes by double checking your measurements before making any cuts
  • Practise cutting on a small piece first to get used to cutting the material
  • For neat, precision cutting use straight edges and saw guides with secure clamping

Tools & materials for the job:

Step 1

Carefully measure the space where you’ll require back panelling. At the approximate position of cut on the panel you can choose to first apply a run of masking tape to mark up the determined size over in pencil for clear definition. Make a second check that the measurement is correct at the wall and marks on the panel.

Follow the back panel instructions as you may need to make a clearance allowance to account for movement in the panel from temperature and humidity changes.

Once you know the correct sizing, carefully and precisely cut your back panel to line using a fine-tooth power saw. Afterwards remove the masking tape and clean the cut edges with abrasive paper.

Step 2

If you’re placing the back panel over an electrical socket, carefully measure and mark the cut out position on the panel. Use a drill to create four holes within each corner of the intended cut out where the socket will sit. Then use a fine-tooth pad or power jig saw to cut between the holes to create the cut out for the socket. Make a final check of the fit to the wall to ensure all is correct.

Step 3

Apply adhesive to the reverse face of the back panel following the instructions. Only bond to the wall, not the worktop. Leave a gap of 2 mm between the back panel and wall using appropriate spacers. Carefully position and firmly apply to the wall. Clean any excess adhesive before it dries.

Step 4

Once the adhesive has cured, seal the panel to the worktop with silicone sealant.