Ideas for your kitchen backsplash
If your budget allows, installing a backsplash is a practical feature that adds function and style to your kitchen while increasing its overall value.
There are a lot of options for homeowners today for any budget, you could even decide to install it later on when you have the budget for it but make sure you plan properly for that.
While you don’t necessarily need a kitchen backsplash, they do protect your walls from splashes of sticky, acidic foods and liquids, making kitchens more durable and hygienic, and raise the value of your space.
If you do have the budget for a backsplash, then here are some ideas to consider for your kitchen remodel or build. Photo by Roam In Color on Unsplash
The classic tiled backsplash
Tile is obviously the most common material used for kitchen backsplashes mainly for its ease of use, durability and hygienic properties but also for its cost effectiveness.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are excellent choices for backsplashes and flooring, offering an infinite amount of design and color arrangements to suit any style and budget.
With tile you can get creative or be traditional. The classic subway tile will never date. Instead of installing the traditional subway layout, consider stacking on top for a more modern subway version or even vertical?
Why your grout color matters!
When tiling a backsplash, tile isn’t your only choice in the design. What amount of space will you give between each tile and what color of grout will you choose?? Your grout color will make a HUGE difference! The example above is of a high gloss white tile paired with a medium grey grout. Imagine using a light grey, black or even white grout with this tile!
Contrasting your grout color will make more of a statement and can make the result look busy but not always. The grey grout in this backsplash looks terrific and provides definition. A white grout would hide the pattern and make the look more clean and understated.
Low budget kitchen backsplash ideas
If your budget does not allow for a designed backsplash, consider using paint! Paints are very high quality today and provide great protection from moisture. Use a bathroom and kitchen paint and consider going high gloss, easier to clean and adds drama. High quality paints are often anti-microbial, fighting mildew and mold, ideal for use in all kitchen spaces. Painting can truly transform your walls and protect them as well.
There are some great stencils you can purchase to paint a pattern on your wall. Great interior designers like Leanne Ford, my favorite, is well known to freshen up a space on a tight budget like a backsplash, bedroom wall or outdoor patio by stenciling! A great DIY project and no one else will have it;)
If you have a little money to spend, just do a backsplash trim! Look for a unique mosaic like in this example and take it a short way up the wall! Functional, practical, sexy and budget friendly.
This is a super simple way to achieve a designer look without breaking the bank.
Hand Made Tiles
If you are a perfectionist your are probably going to hate this idea as handmade tiles are full of imperfections which in my mind, make them perfect:)
While the tiles in this example are very artistic and colorful, there are many beautiful handmade tiles that are all made in the same color and shape, however with handling and baking they are not uniform, resulting in a variation. Each tile has its own tiny story.
Some will be chipped or warped but when tiled together they add character, beauty and life. Handmade tiles are really worth considering in a new house build where everything is new and perfect and you want your house to feel lived in. Handmade tiles are your way to bring charm into a new home.
If you really like the idea of handmade tiles for your kitchen backsplash but want to create a cleaner look, choose a few handmade tiles and combine them with something more consistent such as a glass tile or ceramic tile. There is no need to do the entire backsplash using just one type of tile.
Natural Stone Kitchen Backsplashes
Natural stone is the queen of kitchen backsplashes. Today’s trend is to use solid slabs of natural stone, often matching the selected countertop and using it as a backsplash like in this image by André François McKenzie.
What is not to love about having seamless stone for your backsplash, what a showpiece.
Obviously going with a natural stone slab is the most expensive backsplash option however, there are others!
Natural stone is also available in tiles. While some are still pricey, it is a more cost effective way to enjoy the beauty of natural stone. Polished granite tiles, polished marble tiles, slate, Jerusalem stone & soapstone are all options available!
Cons of Natural Stone Tile
Not only is natural stone tiles pricey but their veining can cause some issues as well. Unlike slab, the tiles have been made individually and collecting enough tiles in a similar color and veining can be challenging, the variation can be extreme.
If going with natural stone tiles, we advise that you personally select the tiles yourself. Leaving it to an installer may leave you with unpleasant results as they are not as invested in this decision as you are. You may have one tile in the middle of your backsplash that ends up being an eyesore.
Take your time and do not take short cuts. Pick out your tile, lay them out and even number them to be sure you have the pattern correct.
Glass is another material available in tile. Often seen in a mosaic tile format, these tiles add sparkle and light to your space.
In this example, a kitchen design by Sarah Richardson, (my favorite Canadian;) Sarah combined marble tile with a glass tile detail. The choice of color in this glass tile compliments the stainless steel countertop.
I took this photo about 15 years ago at one of Sarah’s lottery homes in Vancouver! lol. I think if she sees this today she will groan about the amount of stainless steel used in this kitchen.
Glass tiles can be found in clear, frosted, linear or iridescent finishes, they are incredibly durable, non-porous, and hygienic.
Cons of using Glass Tile
Glass tiles can be very tricky to cut and more costly. Although the installation process for glass tile is similar to installing ceramic tile, the choice of grout color is particularly important. Since most glass tiles are translucent, imperfections in your grouting job will show through the tile. Since these tiles are translucent, their color will also be affected by your choice of grout color, therefore it is recommended to use a white grout so that the true color of the tile will show through.
An important tip for using white glass tiles!!
If you want to use a white glass tiles in your kitchen backsplash design, beware that most white glass tiles will actually have a light green appearance!! It will never look like true white. If white is your color of choice and you wish to use glass tiles then frosted glass tiles are your only hope. These tiles create a much whiter appearance.
Solid glass Slab
Similarly to natural stone, you can also install a glass slab as a kitchen backsplash. Solid pieces of clear or colored glass can be installed between kitchen counters and kitchen cabinetry. These glass slab backsplashes create a luminating effect, perfect for a basement kitchen or a space with little natural light.
While it is more expensive, it will also show dirt, grease and grime easier though it is a surface that is very easy to keep clean.
Stainless Steel Backsplashes
A trendy product in the 2000s, stainless steel and stainless steel tile is also an option for backsplash.
Stainless steel is a 100% recyclable and it’s a flexible product that can easily fit into irregular corners and angles. Stainless steel is incredibly durable which resists heat and corrosion and since it can be installed seamlessly, it is incredibly easy to clean.
Although stainless steel is an attractive material on its own, today this product has been transformed into many different textures, patterns, and finishes resulting in many available choices.
The most popular form of stainless steel backsplashes are seamless, however this material is also available in tiles as well. This feature provides even more options as stainless steel tiles can be combined with other metal tiles to create endless design and styling opportunities.
Copper and copper tiles used as a kitchen backsplash is a brilliant way to add warmth and beauty to your kitchen. Like stainless steel, copper is a very durable and flexible product that can be installed seamlessly or in tiles. Copper backsplashes are also available in several styles, textures, patterns and finishes. They can be finger print and tarnish free!