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  • Lorey Cavanaugh

5 Considerations for a Stunning Backsplash



A surefire way to add interest and visual impact to a kitchen is through the backsplash. Installed around the perimeter of the room behind the sink, range or cooktop and under cabinetry, the backsplash can become the focal point of a kitchen, or provide quiet counterpoint to other features of the space. It’s an important design decision and there are many options to consider. Discussed briefly below are a few. Material choice, color, pattern, texture and tile size are all elements that can be used to create a variety of looks to compliment or accent other features in the kitchen. With some creativity, the options are endless!

1. Material -

There are numerous material options to choose from, below are just a few:

  • Tile

  • Stone slabs/panels

  • Metal (copper or stainless steel)

  • Wood

For most, tile is a popular and classic choice with some additional things to consider:


2. Color-

Color is probably one of the first decisions to tackle- should it remain neutral or provide a pop of color? The decision will come down to the other elements and materials used in the kitchen and how the tile will pair with these. Perhaps an all-white kitchen would benefit from a colorful backsplash, whereas stained wood cabinetry and dark countertops may require a lighter, more neutral tile.

3. Tile Size/Shape-

Another important aspect for consideration is the shape and size of the tiles. Backsplash tile is available in a vast assortment: rectangles, squares, hexagons, arabesque, scalloped...there are simple options as well as more elaborate and unique ones. Tile size should be carefully considered. As an example, the classic subway tile comes in 3 x 6, but there are also variations to this with tiles available in 2 x 4 or 4 x 8. If you like the look of grout, a smaller mosaic tile may be an interesting option for this, while using penny rounds can provide a different look and feel from the typical square or rectangular tile. Taste and budget may ultimately dictate your choice.


4. Texture/Finish-

Another feature to consider is the texture and finish. Will your backsplash be smooth or have a rougher feel to it? Tile manufacturers today offer a wide range of options, from glossy, to honed, to linen textured or sandblasted finishes. Mixed finishes can successfully add interest to your kitchen.

5. Tile Layout-

Following a decision on color and finish, (what might be a time consuming process), tile layout will be another deliberative choice, which may be determined by the tile selected. The classic subway tile is highly versatile and can be installed in a wide range of patterns from stacked, traditional subway pattern, running bond, basket weave, herringbone, or even vertically for a contemporary look. The typical spacers between tiles are 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch, with some preferring the look of grout which can also be used as an additional decorative accent.

See our slideshow below to explore a few of the countless backsplash ideas ranging from traditional to millennial.

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