Your kitchen's splashback is very important, as it needs to protect the kitchen walls from food splatter and grease, as well as the risk of a stovetop fire. The splashback is also very visually prominent, so it needs to be attractive as well as functional! While standard kitchen tile is often used for a splashback, note some unique materials and looks you might want to consider for your home's kitchen.
Wood isn't typically used for a splashback since the material absorbs stains rather than repels them, and it may expand and then shrink when exposed to humidity, such as from boiling water. However, pressed wood that has been treated with a strong sealant can be a good choice for a kitchen, and especially if you don't often cook on the stovetop. Wood panels can add a modern touch to the kitchen, whereas distressed wood can make the space seem more traditional and cosy.
If you love the look of metal in a kitchen, but find stainless steel to be a bit dull, consider oxidized brass. The oxidization process gives brass a lighter look that isn't as uniform as steel or solid panels of another metal, and also means that you don't need to polish and shine the brass. Brass is easy to clean, and the metal material means more protection from the risk of fires, something to consider if you have a gas stove with an open flame and often cook with oil on the stovetop.
Chalk paint makes a wall very easy to clean, and adds a layer of water and fire protection to the wall as well. A chalkboard splashback also allows you to have some fun with the space; you can draw decorative items on the splashback, or use the space to write out shopping lists, menus, and recipes, to make the kitchen fun and functional.
Stone is naturally water and fire resistant, and can create an interesting contrast between the benchtops and the upper kitchen cabinets. The natural look of stone can also tone down stainless steel surfaces.
Choose marble for a very upscale look, or a darker shade of granite if the kitchen seems a bit sterile. Granite with brown or reddish tones can work well in a traditional kitchen and also bring in some warmth, and may coordinate with timber look tiles in the kitchen. Be sure you keep the stone splashbacks properly sealed over the years to help avoid discoloration and staining, and this will ensure you have a kitchen that is unique and personal but still very functional.