How to Select the Perfect Backsplash For Your Kitchen Update or Renovation

One of the top recommendations for adding value to your house is a kitchen upgrade. However, don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time or money on it, as this is a misconception. You don’t have to spend a fortune. For example, if you want to refresh your kitchen but can’t afford a complete remodel, a smart place to start is with tiling a backsplash, which only takes a weekend and can be very inexpensive depending on which you choose. You can switch out a backsplash without moving cabinetry or appliances, and the options for material choices, colors, and patterns are limitless.

The backsplash is frequently the last thing installed in the kitchen design. This area between the cabinets and counters of the kitchen is usually covered with tile to help protect the wall from water or grease and make cleanup easier. Because this wall area gets no foot traffic and little water spray, any material can be installed there, which can make the selection process seem difficult. 

Look at the Counter
The countertop and the backsplash meet one another at the wall line, which means that the first element of the kitchen you need to consider when choosing your backsplash is the countertop. Very busy counters like those made of granite cannot handle busy backsplash materials; the two patterns end up clashing with each other. Very plain counters, however, can handle backsplashes with lots of pattern and movement, which can help to liven up a plain kitchen. Use the counter as the color palette for the backsplash as well. Pick up a color from within the counter and use it as the primary or accent color for the backsplash to get a unified look.

Consider the Kitchen Style
The backsplash tile needs to match the rest of the kitchen design. This means using rustic or textured tiles in farmhouse, country and Tuscan kitchen designs and using sleek, contemporary tiles with clean edges in modern kitchens. If your home has a period or overarching style, run it through the backsplash as well. Use subway tiles in ranch style homes, arts and crafts tiles in a multitude of shapes and colors in a Craftsman home and handmade, hand-painted tiles in Victorian style homes. Take cues from the other design elements in the kitchen to help pull it all together. 

Consider the Theme
If your kitchen has a theme, collection or prominent style, consider using it in the backsplash as well. Tiles are available in designs and shapes such as grapevines, roosters, seashells, flowers and coffee cups. Create a backsplash theme that fits with the theme of the rest of the kitchen or home. This can be done subtly by running a decorative border in the same color as the plain field, or it can be done dramatically by using hand-painted tiles throughout the area.

Decide Where It Goes
Two areas in a kitchen can be tiled with a backsplash. One runs along all the counters and wraps the entire kitchen. The other focuses on specific areas, such as behind the cooktop, sink, bar, butler’s pantry or desk. It is also possible to tile all these areas, but use different tiles in the special areas to create focal points within the kitchen. If the kitchen design is already busy, consider using the same tile everywhere in the kitchen to unify it. Otherwise, consider using decorative tiles in large areas such as behind the cooktop to create a dramatic effect in the kitchen. 

Add Color
In many cases, granite forms the perfect neutral to accept bright colors. The backsplash is the perfect place to splash some color without overwhelming the beauty of the countertop. Vibrant colored tiles generally come in glass or ceramic and in many sizes so you can create anything from a mosaic to a large-format subway tile backsplash.

Comments 2

  • You can completely ruin a beautiful kitchen renovation by choosing the wrong backsplash. I’ve seen it, and it actually depresses me. Don’t go all the way just to ruin it with the last step of remodeling.

  • So true. Make sure that the design you choose accommodates the kitchen nicely. Choose something that flows. You don’t want a French style kitchen with modern subway tiles, for example. Use your head!

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