Backsplash

Backsplash ideas for your new kitchen

You need to select the right backsplash so it compliments kitchen cabinets and the counter. A kitchen just doesn’t seem complete without a backsplash treatment. It protects the wall from moisture and food splashes. But it does not need to be just practical. There are hundreds of surfaces you can use to give your new kitchen that finishing touch. There are an amazing variety of shapes and colors to choose from but don’t get carried away with the choices.

Look for texture more than color. If your counter is a plain color and your cabinets do not have too much grain you can add some interest with a more patterned or textured tile. However, if the counter top is variegated and has a lot of pattern, choose a smoother finish tile in a fairly even color so the counter will stand out.

You do not want a competition between the counter and the backsplash. The objective is to tie all the colors of the cabinets, counter and floor together with the right kitchen backsplash tile. Wallpaper, beadboard and tin panels are all easy to install yourself with a little patience. It can be done at any time since it does not affect any other part of the kitchen.

Granite, marble and glass backsplash materials need a professional installation for best results. For the best look, do not add the matching 3″ counter backsplash as the tile looks best starting right at the counter and continuing up against the upper cabinets. If you have a canopy hood against the wall, you can install the tile right up level with the top of the cabinets behind the hood. It looks best if there is some kind of trim at the top edge of the tile though.

 

Ceramic tiles

 

This is still the most popular kitchen backsplash surface. It is easy to install, easy to clean and not expensive unless you go for designer tiles. Install the 4 x 4 tiles on the diagonal for a more organic look. You may install subway tiles in a grid pattern for a less traditional appearance or use an inset area above the stove to vary the pattern. Many ceramic tiles have matching inserts and border listello tiles available for a more decorative design element. You can find kitchen backsplash ideas for subway tiles in your local tile store.

 

Stone tiles

 

Available stone tile for backsplash includes tumbled marble, granite, slate, marble and limestone. Although the natural stone tile gives a beautiful finished backsplash, it is not without regular maintenance. Care should be taken to ensure the surface is sealed before use and reapplied periodically around the most used areas such as the stove and sink.

If you are considering a tumbled marble or slate tile, be aware that it will not show its true color until the final sealer is applied. For a kitchen backsplash application, the tiles should have a sealer or it will become difficult to clean them in high use areas.

Stone tiles come in various sizes and shapes. The square ones look great installed on the diagonal. You will get with a very natural, varied look when the grout is applied to the tumbled marble tiles. If you are considering installing stone tiles yourself, be aware that you need a wet saw to cut the tiles.

 

Beadboard

 

For a country or cottage feeling there is nothing more fitting than a beadboard backsplash. Beadboard is usually made of pine tongue and grove boards nailed together. Also available are panels with the look of tongue and grove which are easier to install.  However, they do not have the detailed texture of real tongue and groove beadboard.

After a few coats of paint the beadboard is easy to maintain with just a wipe. If you decide to change the color, just get out the paint brush for and instant update. Care should be taken to make sure you have a good bead of caulking where the backsplash meets the counter to avoid water leaking into the cabinets. It is helpful to add a small piece of square trim where the counter and beadboard meet to make clean up easier.

 

 

Glass

 

There are two ways to work with glass on a backsplash. Glass mosaic comes in hundreds of sizes and colors and is easy to apply with minimum cutting. Glass tiles can be installed on the diagonal or used in large pieces cut to fit around the cabinets. The glass can be back painted to any color before it is installed. This gives you infinite decorating possibilities.

 

 

Marble

 

You can use large 12″ tiles on the backsplash if they are marble or granite matching the counter. Install them on the diagonal with tight grout lines. Marble subway tiles look great with a matching marble counter but full slab marble looks even better if it fits the budget. A matching shelf installed about 6″ above the counter could be very handy but does not stand out as a contrasting surface against the marble backsplash.

 

 

Natural stone pebble tiles

 

Natural stone pebbles are perfect for a backsplash but there are stones that are suitable for floors as well. The stones are attached to a backing and come in 12″ square sheets. This makes them very easy for the homeowner to install which saves money on hiring a professional to do the work. For a backsplash, we recommend the mini pebble tile or the flat stone pebble tile. You can order samples of the tiles you are considering before you decide on which stone you like best.

 

 

Tin or metal

 

Once reserved for ceilings, tin ceiling panels are now used for various decorative uses including backsplash material. They are available in lots of finishes and colors. Patterns vary from huge designs to smaller tile repeats. A tin or metal backsplash is not only a low maintenance option for your kitchen but it can be installed in a fraction of the time than many other materials. As they are easy to apply, this is something any homeowner can install. It just takes a little patience and attention to detail. The finished kitchen backsplash can be painted with an optional last coat of glaze to bring out the detail of the pattern. Tin materials can definitely be used for as a rustic tin backsplash for a farmhouse rustic kitchen look.

 

 

Wallpaper

 

This material seems to have a regular cycle of being in and out of style. Even if you don’t want an entire room of wallpaper you might want to add some character or color to the kitchen backsplash using a roll of wallpaper. There are new products out there that are easy to install and remove and also wallpaper squares that make application less of a problem.

Add instant decor to your kitchen with wallpaper that is easy to clean and maintain. Then after you get tired of it, just remove it and replace it with something else. There are so many kitchen backsplash ideas with wallpaper since the number of patterns are almost infinite.

 

 

Are you ready for commitment?

A kitchen is interesting and fun to look at in a picture but for the homeowner it represents a huge commitment in color. If you are not certain you are staying in your home for many years, or if you might get tired of the colors you love right now, go for a more neutral approach.

It would be better to paint the walls a bright color and have the counter and backsplash neutral. You can easily change the paint when your favorite color changes. The inside of the cabinets can be also painted in color as they can be repainted if you change your preferences in the future.