What is a Backsplat?

A backsplat is the central piece of wood located on the back of a chair, running vertically to connect the seat to the top rail.


A backsplat is an essential and often decorative component of many chair designs, particularly those found in dining and side chairs. This vertical strip of wood provides structural stability to a chair by connecting the top portion of the chair, or top rail, to the chair's seat. Its primary purpose is to offer support to the sitter's back, but designers frequently use the backsplat as a canvas for artistic expression.

The design and craftsmanship of the backsplat can vary greatly, reflecting the style and period of the chair. In historical furniture styles, such as Chippendale, Queen Anne, and Windsor, the backsplat often features intricate carvings, shaped forms, or pierced designs that add character and beauty to the chair. For contemporary chairs, the backsplat may have a simpler, more minimalist design but still plays a crucial role in the chair's overall aesthetic and functional integrity.

Selecting the right backsplat design when choosing or designing a chair is crucial, as it can significantly impact the chair's comfort, durability, and visual appeal. Whether ornate or simple, the backsplat is a testament to the skill of the furniture maker and the evolving aesthetics of furniture design over time.


In the realm of furniture making, the backsplat is a defining feature of many classic chair designs. For example, in antique Chippendale chairs, the backsplat often features elaborate carvings, contributing to the chair's elegance and visual interest. In modern settings, designers might opt for backsplats with sleek, geometric patterns that complement contemporary interior design themes. When restoring old chairs or custom-designing new ones, attention to the backsplat's style and craftsmanship can significantly enhance the piece's overall look and feel.


  • Can the design of a backsplat affect the comfort of a chair?

    Yes, the design of a backsplat can influence the comfort of a chair. An ergonomically designed backsplat that follows the natural curve of the sitter's back can provide better support and comfort compared to a straight, rigid design.

  • Is the backsplat only found in wooden chairs?

    While traditionally made of wood, backsplats can also be found in chairs made of other materials, such as metal or plastic, especially in modern designs. However, wooden backsplats remain popular for their aesthetic appeal and structural properties.

  • How do I choose the right backsplat design for my chair?

    Choosing the right backsplat design involves considering both aesthetics and functionality. Think about the chair's overall style, the interior design theme it will complement, and the level of comfort and support you desire. Consulting with a furniture designer or an interior designer can also provide valuable insights.

Practical Application

When selecting chairs for your home or design project, pay close attention to the backsplat's design and craftsmanship. A well-designed backsplat not only enhances the chair's beauty and style but also contributes to its structural integrity and comfort. Consider the theme of your space and choose backsplats that resonate with the style, whether it's traditional elegance or modern minimalism. For custom furniture pieces, collaborating with skilled craftsmen can help bring your unique vision for a backsplat to life, making the chair a standout element of your interior design.