Your kitchen’s backsplash is an important visual element that can help to tie the whole room together. When remodeling your kitchen, picking a great backsplash can be difficult, because there are so many different kinds of tile available. Think about the look you’d like to convey, the overall style and decor of your kitchen, and how formal you’d like the backsplash to be. Read on to learn about all the things to consider when choosing a backsplash.
What Is a Backsplash?
Your kitchen’s backsplash is typically the area on the wall between the countertops and the bottom of the wall cabinets. While some parts of your backsplash may remain plain, many homeowners like to highlight the areas above their sink or stove. Decorative tile is typically used to cover the backsplash area. Some people choose to simply add tile or other decorative materials above their sink or stove, while others opt to extend the backsplash throughout the kitchen.
Factors to Consider for Your Backsplash
When used properly, a backsplash can convey visual appeal in a way of your choosing. You can pick something classic or quirky and something muted or bold. When it comes down to it, your backsplash can be seen as a beautiful work of art and a great way to show off your unique style. Here are some different elements that you get to choose when picking a backsplash.
It may be most important to consider the style of your kitchen when picking your backsplash. Take a step back and look at the big picture of the room overall. While you may be tempted to simply match the backsplash with your countertops or cabinets, this can sometimes result in an uninspired look. A backsplash is your opportunity to make a bigger visual impact and add a lot of personality to your kitchen. In some cases, matching your backsplash to your countertops or cabinets can give a more traditional feel while choosing something bolder can give you a modern or industrial vibe. You can choose to make your backsplash a centerpiece or choose to blend it in with the rest of the room. Think of your backsplash as a focal point of your kitchen and decorate accordingly. You can even choose to extend your backsplash to an even larger area.
Matte or Glossy
Choosing between matte or glossy tiles is mostly about aesthetics, and this is really up to your personal preferences. Glossy tiles are reflective and can work to make smaller spaces look larger, and darker spaces look brighter. Glossy tiles are easier to wipe clean, though dirt and imperfections show up more clearly on shiny surfaces. On the other hand, matte tiles can hide dirt better and are better for giving a more natural or rustic finish to your backsplash. However, matte tiles aren’t quite as easy to clean.
In more traditional kitchens, backsplash colors are often dictated by the color of your countertops. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case, and it certainly doesn’t have to be boring. You can use a color that matches with your countertops and then add in a few accents or highlights. It doesn’t hurt to mix and match colors, materials, and finishes in your backsplash. Overall, your kitchen should have a pallet of a few different colors that work well together.
Shapes and Pattern
The shape of the tiles you choose and the pattern they form can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of the backsplash. There are a lot of shapes of tiles available, including squares, rectangles (often called subway tile), and other geometric configurations like hexagons. You can also choose a straight pattern, or set the tile on a diagonal angle. And you can use mixed types or colors of tiles to create an interesting pattern. For a stunning and unique backsplash, you can even create a mosaic with small glass tiles.
Backsplash tiles are available in a variety of materials including ceramic, stone, metallic, glass and more. For a more eco-friendly vibe, you can choose reclaimed or recycled glass, cork, or, bamboo. If you are going with a Mediterranean kitchen, you may want to add in a terracotta tile to match the style. Every material has pros and cons. For example, natural tiles like slate, granite, and marble need to be sealed yearly, while stainless steel tiles can be easily scratched. Porcelain is more durable than ceramic but is also more expensive.
The type of tile you use and the size of your backsplash will largely depend on how much room you have in your budget. If there are tiles you like, but that are too expensive for your entire backsplash, use them as accents. And keep in mind that in addition to the tiles, you should invest in a good grout.
Before making your final backsplash decision, try to get samples of a few of your favorite tiles and keep them around your kitchen for a few weeks. By doing so, you’ll get a better idea of what tile looks great with the rest of your kitchen decor and which designs you won’t quickly tire of.
A Word About Grout
When you think about a backsplash, tile is often the first thing that comes to mind, but people tend to forget about grout. Grout is important – it is what adheres the tiles to the wall, but it also adds an aesthetic quality of its own. Grout fills in the spaces between your tiles, keeps moisture from getting beneath your tiles, and protects the edges of your tiles. Over time, trends in colors, patterns, and materials will change, but a high-quality grout never goes out of style!
Find the Perfect Backsplash
You can also choose from different colors of grout, and this can offset or complement your tiles. Sometimes, people who opt for lighter-colored tiles will choose a darker grout. Contrasting colors of tile and grout can add a layer of visual appeal, so if you’re using your backsplash as a focal point, this might be a good option. However, matching your tile and grout is a contemporary trend. Remember, lighter-colored grout can show dirt more, while darker grout hides stains.
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