A backsplash is a practical and aesthetic element of every modern kitchen. It protects your kitchen walls from cooking stains and unifies your kitchen decor. But with so many backsplash designs available today, how do you choose the perfect match for your kitchen? Use the tips in this guide to choose the right backsplash installation for your space.
Kitchen Backsplash Types
When you think of backsplash tile, what comes to mind is subway tile that looks like staggered brick. It’s a timeless look for a kitchen renovation, but there are plenty more options to add style to your backsplash. Consider these creative alternatives:
1. Mosaic Backsplash Tile
Mosaic tiles come in small sizes, typically between 1-inch and 2-inch pieces available in 12×12-inch sheets. These tiles can be ceramic, clay, porcelain, marble, or glazed glass. You can create a mosaic backsplash installation in any pattern to match your personality. Mosaic tiles can be understated or vibrant, rough or polished, low maintenance, and versatile.
Consider fully customizing your backsplash with border tiles, offsetting, mixing sizes and shapes, or using different colors of the same tile. Vary the textures, colors, shapes, and scale as you visualize your kitchen renovation.
2. Natural Stone
Backsplash stone installations are usually marble, quartz, or granite. You can buy natural stone slabs to cover all your kitchen walls for a seamless look or just enough for the sink and range. Stone slabs are an excellent choice for a kitchen renovation to complement a rustic or modern design.
3. Metal Backsplash
If you want to add a restaurant feel to your kitchen, choose a stainless steel backsplash. It adds more light to your kitchen, lasts for decades, and is easy to clean. It also matches most appliances for a sleek kitchen design. The only limitation to a stainless steel backsplash installation is color. Still, you can use artwork, utensils, and other elements to complement the cool, clean metal.
That said, a recycled aluminum backsplash is an eco-friendly option in a wide range of colors. Opt for a grout-free installation where the pieces snap together instead of using mortar or sand.
4. Self-Adhesive Backsplash
Peel-and-stick tiles come in various colors and prices depending on the material. Vinyl is the cheapest, but you can choose metal, stone, glass, or 3D gel material. You can install them easily in your kitchen for an instant makeover without breaking the bank. However, be ready to replace them if they peel off, fade, or wear down.
5. Glass Tile
A glass backsplash costs more than porcelain or ceramic, but it’s the easiest to clean. It won’t fade, stain, or discolor over time, and there are lots of color options available. Installing a glass backsplash requires an expert, so include the cost of professional installation in your kitchen renovation budget.
Five Things to Consider for Your Backsplash Installation
As with any home remodeling project, your budget determines your choices. But for kitchen backsplash installation, here are some other factors to consider:
1) Your Countertops
Decide whether you want to match your backsplash tile with your countertops or if contrast works better. Take backsplash tile samples from your home improvement store to compare them with your countertops. The general rule is to match a plain backsplash with a busy countertop and vice versa.
2) Your Cooking Style
If you cook frequently, you want the most durable backsplash material for your kitchen remodeling. Stone and metal are ideal if you love to deep-fry food, while glass is ideal if you prefer stir-fried Asian meals that give off lots of steam from wide pans. If you barely use your countertops or range, make a bold statement with your backsplash as the focal point.
3) The Grout
Always use high-quality grout for your backsplash installation because this fixes the tile or stone onto the walls. White grout creates a seamless look but is also hard to clean. Colored grout can make your backsplash pop and disguise food stains, too.
4) The Corners and Edges
Cover every part of your backsplash wall, paying attention to the corners and edges between countertops, appliances, cabinets, and windows. Your whole kitchen aesthetic falls apart if these areas remain uncovered or mismatched. Gaps also allow grime, mold, and leaks to reach the wall behind the backsplash tile. If your kitchen has tricky corners, go for staggered tile shapes or diagonal designs that quickly adapt to your space.
Backsplash tile typically lasts for ages without visible wear and tear. A metal backsplash may scratch easily; a self-adhesive backsplash may peel off if you cook frequently due to moisture and heat. Choose a backsplash installation that you can maintain easily without needing repair or replacement for at least five years.
Bonus tips for kitchen backsplash installation
- If there’s little space behind your sink or stove, use a small-format backsplash tile that adds texture, like mosaic or subway tiles, instead of a plain or solid design.
- Always accommodate broken tiles and odd cuts when estimating your backsplash tile. Consider adding a 10% allowance to your square-foot calculations.
- A mirrored backsplash can make a small kitchen feel bigger and add a dramatic touch to the space. A plain mirror will do, but consider colored mirrors or polished bronze or steel finishes.
- Avoid brick and plaster backsplash materials that absorb moisture and need regular sealing and maintenance.
- An acrylic backsplash can be an excellent alternative to glass, but avoid areas near heat sources like your stove. You can combine glass over the hob and acrylic over the counters and sinks for a polished look at a fraction of your budget.
Professional Backsplash Installation With NYKB
If you need help choosing your backsplash tile, NYKB is happy to help. We offer a free design consultation where our kitchen renovation expert comes to your location for an initial assessment. We measure your backsplash space, help you choose the best materials, and determine a budget-friendly design. We can also recommend the perfect countertops, sinks, faucets, appliances, and cabinets that work with your backsplash to upgrade your entire kitchen.
Start your kitchen renovation project with NYKB today. Visit our Flatiron showroom at 8 West 25th Street, or book a free consultation and bring your dream kitchen to life.