How To Pick The Right Backsplash For Your Kitchen

The kitchen backsplash serves both a practical function and acts as a stylish component of your kitchen design.  It is the jewelry of the kitchen, a prime opportunity to accessorize and complement the other elements of your design.  While it can serve as a focal point and an opportunity to be creative, just like jewelry complements your clothes, the backsplash must be well coordinated with the other design features. 

The backsplash comprises the part of the wall that sits above the sink, range, and countertop.  It can cover an area of only a few inches or extend up to the wall-mounted kitchen cabinets or even all the way to the ceiling.  It performs the important role of protecting your kitchen wall from water, grease, and food splashes, while also providing an avenue to enhance your kitchen style.  With so many materials, colors, and styles to choose from, the backsplash is an opportunity to bring out your personality and set the tone for your kitchen renovation in an area that is very visible.

The range of choices available can make selecting the right backsplash to enhance your kitchen a difficult task.  Here are some of the key factors to consider when selecting your new backsplash:

  1. Find your style: your home style should reflect your personality, and the backsplash can complement and enhance this style through use of color schemes, patterns, materials, and textures. The backsplash is an opportunity to get creative, but make sure it complements the other key elements of your kitchen design rather than competing for attention. In particular, it must go with the countertop, but also suit the cabinets, lighting, faucets, and more.

  2. Consider your available budget: determine how much room you have in your kitchen remodeling budget before setting your sights on a particular backsplash. If you are on a tighter budget then steer clear of a trendy design or the most expensive tile material. Perhaps consider a more neutral backsplash with one high impact area done in a higher end material with a different color or pattern. No matter your budget it is important to spend on the right grout to ensure that your backsplash will stand the test of time.

  3. Do not forget durability: as important as the backsplash is to your design, it is also a practical component of the kitchen. Consider how easy it is to clean, how scratch resistant it is, whether the material needs to be sealed, and how much cleaning and maintenance is required before you set your sights on a particular material or design.

  4. Materials matter: backsplashes are no longer limited to just standard tiles, but can be found in a wide range of materials to suit any home style. These include glass, metal, limestone, marble, stone, handpainted or custom designed tiles, stainless steel, wood, graphite, or sustainable resources such as recycled glass, cork, or bamboo. Find the material that works best with your style and make sure it meets the other requirements highlighted above before making a final decision.

Whether you are embarking on a full kitchen renovation or just want to give your space a new look, the right kitchen backsplash can raise the wow factor in your kitchen by changing this relatively small area.  Here are a few examples:

The quilted stainless steel backsplash above the range gives this kitchen a distinctly modern appeal.

A mosaic detail combined with stone tile and a stone surround around the recessed range provides this kitchen design in Leonard, MI a dramatic effect.

These glass front white backsplash cabinets offset the dark cabinetry and create an eye-catching contemporary design.

Tile inset details provide a pleasing contrast to the standard backsplash tiles while maintaining a more traditional look and a neutral color scheme in the examples shown below.