Your kitchen backsplash is an important component to the room.
It can be funky, refined, neutral, or loud. Your backsplash should showcase the theme and color scheme of your kitchen. Ultimately, the backsplash is a focal point, leaving you an opportunity to be very creative.
If you find yourself having a tough time deciding among tiles, simply live with them for a bit. Tape color and tile samples to the walls. See what they look like throughout the day as the natural room light changes. You may want to consider choosing one main color and a couple of accent colors to use throughout the kitchen, including the backsplash.
Countertops often dictate the backsplash style and color. You also need to consider hardware and lighting fixtures.
Try blending metallic tiles in different shades, as well as various finishes, such as brushed stainless steel, oil-rubbed bronze or even an antique brass. If you include small tiles of marble or granite, you can pull in the countertop color.
WHERE TO INVEST
The wall space above your range and sink gets a lot of visual attention, so play with it. Get bold and creative.
Consider a neutral tile for the rest of the kitchen.
You can even bring in a wild glass tile to create a showy centerpiece above the stove. This is the place to play up the pattern. You can install your tile on the diagonal, or apply a staggering brick pattern with slim subway tiles. Don’t be afraid to spice it up in this typically 2′ x 2′ area. Even as one of the larger swaths of tile space, it’s still small. So if you choose a bold color or trendy tile pattern for this area, you can easily change it down the road without tearing out your entire kitchen backsplash. One bold idea is back-painted glass in carrot orange. This works well in a contemporary kitchen.
If you’re on a tight budget, avoid trendy tile. Revisit classic white ceramic that can cost less than a dollar per square foot.
Never skimp on the grout. Your tiles need to adhere perfectly to the wall.
Flexibility is important if you’re on a tight budget. You may not get the exact tile size, color, or texture. Where are you willing to compromise? Base every decision on your priorities.
If you need to cover a lot of surface area, like an entire wall, you can add interest by opting for practical metal panels. Stainless steel sheets come in a variety of finishes. They are very durable. The only downside is that they tend to be challenging to clean.
There are some common mistakes you must avoid. If you plan to order your own tile from a supplier, be sure to ask about these important tile components.
Primary (field) tile should be thicker than decorative tile. If not, you’ll spend more money “building up” the wall so that the majority of your tile lies even with those few decorative pieces.
Remember trim pieces. If you choose a beveled tile, you’ll need a corner round trim piece (rather than a bullnose). Ask which trim and decorative moldings come with the tile—these pieces should all coordinate in glaze and thickness.
Find out if the tile is in stock. With inventory turning over less, there are longer wait times for backordered tile to be shipped to stores.
WEAR AND TEAR
How easily can you clean the tile?
What is the best way to seal it? Ceramic tile doesn’t need this step, but natural tile does if you want to maintain it well.
If the tile is stainless steel, find out if abrasives will scratch it.
Get a grout additive and seal the grout so it stays clean longer.
For the most part, you can apply any type of tile to a backsplash as long as porous materials like cork and bamboo are sealed. And remember there are building codes that require a clearance between the range and the wall to protect any material. Because of clearances and sealants, if anything gets splashed on the tile you need to be able to easily wipe it off.
Cork mosaic tiles are great for doors and walls. Tiles made of 100% bamboo are sealed to create a backsplash that’s warm yet contemporary. Recycled glass tile is durable, stain resistant, and comes in a variety of unique colors that result from melting and repurposing recycled glass. These tiles come in all sizes, from thumb-print sized mosaics to larger squares.
Hopefully you learned quite a bit about picking the perfect kitchen backsplash!
Feel free to stop into Builder Supply Outlet or the Edge Showroom with any home improvement questions you may have regarding bathroom vanity sinks, tops, remodeling, tile, backsplash, cleaning, sealing, grout, windows, kitchen cabinets, construction, contractors, designing/installing a new kitchen or bathroom — or anything else. We can help you through the entire design and installation process from A-Z. Or call us anytime in Broadview, IL at 1-708-343-3900 or in Orland Park, IL at 1-844-876-3343. You can also make an appointment to meet with one of our Edge Kitchen and Bathroom designers at no charge by clicking here.