How to Choose a Kitchen Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash is a beautiful and functional part of your kitchen design. It protects the wall, helps eliminate kitchen pests, and is one of the first visible things when you walk into the kitchen. Choosing the perfect backsplash can be a stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the latest trends in kitchen backsplash design, installation, and materials so that you can choose with confidence.

Kitchen Backsplash Placement

The goal of having a kitchen backsplash is twofold. First, it’s practical, protecting your walls from grease, food splatter, and water. Second, it enhances the overall aesthetic of your home.

But where should your backsplash start and stop? 

Usually, backsplashes go between upper and lower cabinets. By connecting the two sets of cabinets, the room takes on a larger and more cohesive look.

But there are some less obvious situations where a backsplash does and doesn’t make sense. 

  • Backsplashes are great for any kitchen area where you will be preparing food. Again, they make cleanup so much easier. 
  • Backsplashes are great behind your cooktop stove and hood vent.
  • You don’t need a backsplash behind your refrigerator if the area isn’t visible. If no one can see the wall behind your fridge, it’s not worth the effort to use a backsplash in that area.

When it comes to backsplash placement, look for a natural stopping point. For some homes, that means running tile all the way to the ceiling. This is ideal for open concept kitchens, as it helps distinguish the kitchen space. For other kitchens, it may mean stopping where the cabinets end.

Luckily, a general contractor can help you decide on placement based on your aesthetic and vision.

Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash Material

The material that you choose during your kitchen remodel can change the tone and style of the kitchen, so choose wisely. 

Many homeowners prefer a backsplash made from materials that match the kitchen countertop while others choose complementary materials and colors instead. Some common backsplash materials include:

  • Glass mosaic tiles are trendy because they come in a wide array of colors, sizes, and patterns. Small glass mosaic tiles have a mesh back. They are prone to scratching and chipping, but they create a highly dimensional style.
  • Ceramic tiles are a perennial favorite because they are affordable and durable. Unless it is in a mosaic pattern, these will not come with a pre-installed mesh for installation.
  • Ceramic field tiles are larger and printed with a repeating pattern. These are increasing in popularity due to the bold yet graceful patterned look they achieve.
  • Porcelain tiles look like ceramic tiles, but they are much more durable. They will last longer and protect the wall better.
  • Shiplap and wainscot have been installed in many farmhouse kitchens as a backsplash.
  • Stone backsplashes are timeless. They appeal to home buyers today and will continue to appeal to home buyers 10 to 15 years in the future.  
  • Magnetic metal backsplashes are becoming more popular. These are easy to clean, easy to install, and have the bonus of taking magnets. Many of these types of products have a peel-and-stick installation.
  • Vinyl tiles can be very durable, are lightweight, and come in a variety of styles. Newer vinyl tiles may have a thick backing, making the installation look more like a patterned ceramic field tile.

Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash Color

When choosing a backsplash, first look at the countertops. Choose a neutral backsplash tile with a complementary color or light pattern if the countertops should be showcased.

If color and style are desired, choose a larger printed field tile in a color that blends with the counters. If the countertops are plain, go bold with the backsplash to give the kitchen a stylistic lift and update.

For a large kitchen with a large amount of backsplash, a great design choice is to use a neutral color for most of the kitchen and switch to a bolder complementary color and design behind the sink and range. Large kitchens tend to lack a focal point, so this helps to root a large space.

Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash Pattern

When a white or very light backsplash is desired, an intricately cut neutral tile delivers a substantial visual impact with maximum finesse. Choose based on the needs of the room. If the room is short, choose a horizontal tile to add the illusion of length. If the ceiling is low, then choose a tile that lays vertically to add height.

Some popular patterns include: 

  • Honeycomb and interlaced narrow horizontal tiles are easy to find at local tile stores and home improvement warehouses. They come in a wide variety of colors. They need a little more care during installation to keep the patterned sections spaced correctly.
  • Herringbone tiles provide a visual lift to a room without using color. The lines point upward in escalating Vs, bringing the eyes upward.
  • Fish scale tiles add whimsy and help to gently elongate the room as the eyes pass horizontally over the tiles. These are fantastic for a mid-century modern remodel.
  • Arabesque tiles also help to draw the eyes upward, heightening the room. The curved tile shapes feel graceful yet very stylized. The overall effect can help to enlarge a room.
  • Picket tiles are increasing in popularity because they bring height, have a graceful uniformity, fit together easily, yet they are not widely seen in mass production. They give a distinctly high-class vintage feel to a room.

Why Hire Professional Kitchen Backsplash Installation Contractors

Installing your own kitchen backsplash is possible, but there are a few strings attached.

First, even if you want to use a peel-and-stick material, you risk having a messy and unpolished end product. Plus, without a contractor’s help, you’re on your own to:

  • Measure the space (and trust us, miscalculations lead to unsightly finishes and costly fixes)
  • Find and source your own materials, including tile and grout
  • Choose an installation method and complete the labor yourself

Professional installation is almost sure to please. A reputable professional tile installer can create an intricate design pattern with minimal grout. The difference is noticeable and worth the investment.

Choose Portico for Kitchen Backsplash Installation in Charlotte

Choosing a kitchen backsplash is a fun project that will change your kitchen’s look for the better. If you are in need of professional design and installation help or expert advice on selecting a kitchen backsplash, look to the contractors at Portico.

Contact our Charlotte home remodeling company by calling 704-742-2720 today! We will be glad to help you design the kitchen of your dreams.

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