Choosing a Backsplash for Your Kitchen
A backsplash is a main focal point of the kitchen. With so many styles and material options, how do you choose the right backsplash for your living space? Here are some tips to help you with the selection process.
Consider Your Lifestyle and Budget
When selecting your backsplash tile, it is a good idea to first determine the material you would like to use. Think about how you use the space. Do you like to cook? Are you a messy cook? Do you have a busy family life? While natural stone, like marble, is a stunning choice for a backsplash, it can easily stain (take into account how frequently you spill and drip) and requires regular sealing to protect it. Ceramic and porcelain are extremely durable and easy to maintain, with porcelain being the stronger and more moisture-resistant of the two. As you would expect, marble is a bit on the expensive side, while ceramic and porcelain are more budget friendly.
Choose Complementary Colors
Once you have narrowed down your material choice, you should consider color family. Good design complements rather than matches. When selecting a tile color, consider the colors of the cabinetry, countertops and flooring as you want to create a cohesive look where one design feature complements the others. Lighter colors will give the make the space feel airy and larger. Darker colors can emanate a cozy feel. If your design includes wood toned or dark painted cabinets, a lighter backsplash will provide good visual contrast.
Tiles vs. Slab
Do you prefer the versatile look of tile or a more modern aesthetic of a slab backsplash that matches the countertops? Another thing to consider is the installation of both. Tile is easier to install and usually more cost-effective (depending upon tile choice of course.)
Plain or Patterned Tile
If you have selected a busy countertop with plenty of veining, you may want to opt for a simpler backsplash of plain tile. With a more subtle countertop, a bolder patterned tile could provide a nice balance and draw the eye into the room. Another way to add contrast is with a plain tile that has texture and/or dimension, such as hand-formed subway tiles.
Tile Shape and Size
Shape and size play a large part of the design component of a kitchen backsplash. You can choose from rectangle, square, hexagon, wave, chevron, and more. And, you have sizing options from large to small mosaics.
How the tile is installed is just as important as its color and pattern. Installing tiling horizontally is the traditional choice. Hanging it vertically, something that has become more popular recently, can emphasize the height of the ceiling and make a smaller kitchen feel larger. If the tile is square, do you prefer the square shape or rather it be flipped like a diamond? Are you drawn to stacked or layered subway tile? What about a herringbone pattern? When selecting your tile, play around with the layout to see which options you prefer.
Incorporating a Design Above the Stove
In many kitchens, the space directly above the stove is the perfect spot to create a special tile feature wall. Consider incorporating a bold tile choice that complements the rest of the backsplash, a mosaic accent, the backsplash tile hung in a different layout, or a hand-painted tile mural.