Picking a Kitchen Backsplash

In many ways, backsplashes are the showpieces of our kitchens. With so many opportunities for customization, they’re the perfect space to display your own unique personality. Will you go for a backsplash that’s fun and funky, or something more elegant? Loud or quiet? Contemporary or traditional?

Whatever your style, it’s never too early to start planning. Here are a few things you need to consider when choosing a kitchen backsplash.


Some backsplashes run the entire length of your kitchen counter, and stretch from countertop to the upper cabinets – or even all the way to the ceiling. This can be quite transformative, and breathe new life into your current space. But going big won’t be the right choice for everyone. There are two places in particular where you can maximize impact: above the range, and behind the sink.

Both areas are natural centerpieces that draw in the eye and give you plenty of room to flex your creative muscles.

“Wear and Tear”

Kitchen backsplashes aren’t just for looks, although they can be quite stunning. They also protect your delicate walls from steam, food/oil splatter, and abrasion. It’s far less painful to wipe down stone, glass, or ceramic tile than to have to repaint your kitchen! It does mean, though, that you ought to think about maintenance when planning out your kitchen remodel.

This will probably affect your choice of materials, and perhaps even the location you choose.Tiled backsplashes have a layer of grout separating each individual tile, and this can collect both dust and grime. Periodic scrubbing will be needed in order to keep the kitchen looking immaculate.

If you opt instead for a solid slab backsplash, cleaning may be a simpler matter. The trade-off, however, is that certain porous stones (like marble) can be susceptible to grease stains if not properly sealed. Quartz, however is recommended, since it is nonporous.

“When In Doubt, Get a Sample”

There are many options to consider when designing a kitchen backsplash. Color, material, and even texture will all play big roles. Ideally, your backsplash should complement the counters, so think about what materials and tones would go well with yours. Some people may even prefer to pick the backsplash design first, and only afterwards choose a countertop.

Just as color swatches are helpful for choosing a paint hue, most people can benefit from picking out a few tile samples to bring home. Tape these to the walls for a while, and see how they feel in your kitchen. Remember that the aesthetic may change throughout the day, as the amount and direction of natural light in the room fluctuates.

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