Kitchen backsplashes no longer simply protect walls from spills and splatters. Today a wide array of eye-catching materials like glass, wood, metals, and stone make the backsplash the focal point of any kitchen. Although traditional tile remains a solid selection, the popularity of alternative backsplashes has risen as homeowners begin to realize the decorative potential of different backsplash materials. The backsplash can be an opportunity for homeowners to express themselves through a variety of textures, colors, and materials.
What is a Backsplash?
A backsplash refers to the vertically-arranged material used to cover the wall space between a kitchen countertop and the upper cabinets. The most important feature of a backsplash is that it be resistant to substances splashed or splattered on it, but today’s backsplashes are usually visually appealing in addition to being effective. The backsplash is an area of the kitchen where functionality and visual appeal come together. A kitchen remodeling professional in Livonia is the best choice for backsplash installation, as only a professional installer has the expertise and knowledge to install a backsplash right the first time.
The visual appeal of a backsplash comes from the wide variety of materials now available.
The original backsplash material, ceramic tile retains its popularity today as an easy-to-maintain, durable, versatile, and often inexpensive choice. Ceramic tiles come in a large array of shapes, colors, and sizes, and they’re lightweight, durable, and easy for a kitchen remodeling professional in Clarkston to install. Tile is simple to maintain; it’s not only durable and easy to clean but also fireproof. Ceramic tile is a beautiful material with fantastic color permanence, meaning that it won’t fade over time, even in direct sunlight.
Glass tiles offer similar benefits to ceramic tiles; they’re versatile and easy to maintain. They have the added effect of reflecting light, making a kitchen appear larger and brighter. Glass tiles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from classic square tiles to thin bars. Their opacity varies as well, with some tiles offering a crystal-clear translucence and others presenting a less see-through effect.
Using natural stone to create a backsplash can give a kitchen a more textured and organic look, and different stones will evoke different styles. Marble tile used in backsplashes emphasizes the natural sheen and color available in a marble slab but combines elements for a unique design.
Stone does have a few drawbacks; it is a more expensive material to work with than ceramic or glass, and since it’s more porous, it requires regular maintenance with a PH-balanced cleaner. Periodic resealing by a kitchen remodeling professional in Livonia is also recommended.
Metal tiles and panels are becoming increasingly popular backsplashes, and reflective materials like stainless steel, copper, and brass can brighten up the kitchen, going a long way to elevate kitchen style. Metal backsplashes come in a variety of sheens and textures, from smooth, brushed metal to shiny, bold patterns. They are easy to keep clean and relatively difficult to damage. The biggest challenge with choosing a metal backsplash may be the possibility of introducing too many shiny surfaces to the kitchen, as appliances can be made of reflective metal, as well.
A wood backsplash can effectively complement a minimalist or cabin style, providing warm tones to counter cool stone countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Wood backsplashes are very popular and look wonderfully distinctive, but most must be properly sealed prior to installation and carefully maintained afterward to protect against stains and water damage. Fire codes also typically require clearance between gas burners and flammable wood backsplashes.
Choosing a Backsplash
With the many backsplash materials now available, choosing between them can seem a little overwhelming. Narrowing down backsplash options by considering both countertops and kitchen style can simplify the process and make it easier to choose the perfect backsplash for a remodeled kitchen.
- Consider the countertops
The countertops and backsplash meet at the wall line, which means that the first element to consider when choosing a backsplash is the countertop. Patterned or visually detailed countertops, like those made of swirled granite, don’t match well with busy backsplash materials, because the two patterns end up clashing with each other. Plain or solid-color countertops can handle backsplashes with lots of pattern and visual movement, which can help to liven up a plain or monochrome kitchen.
The countertop should include the color palette for the backsplash as well. One strategy is to choose a fleck of color found in the countertop and use it as the primary or accent color for the backsplash to get a unified look.
- Consider the kitchen style
Ideally, the backsplash should match the rest of the kitchen design. This might mean using rustic or textured tiles in more traditional or farmhouse kitchen design, and using metals, stone, wood, or sleek ceramic tiles in contemporary kitchens. If a home belongs to a particular architectural period, has a recurrent theme, or maintains an overarching style, that can be reflected in the backsplash as well. Cues from other home and kitchen design elements help pull the look together.
A kitchen can be tiled with a backsplash that runs along all the counters and wraps the entire kitchen. Alternatively, backsplash material can be installed in specific areas, such as behind the oven, sink, bar, or built-in desk. It is also possible to tile all these areas but to use different tiles in some areas to create focal points within the kitchen. If the kitchen design is already busy, using the same tile everywhere can unify the design. If the kitchen design is more simplified, decorative tiles in large areas, such as behind an oven or cooktop, create a dramatic effect in the kitchen.
A kitchen remodeling professional in Clarkston can provide expert advice on the right kind of backsplash for every kitchen remodeling project and can ensure that the selected backsplash is correctly installed and finished to achieve a polished style that makes a statement.