Published at Tuesday, December 10th 2019. by John in Kitchen Backsplashes.
Your first step toward installing an inexpensive backsplash is to define exactly how much backsplash your kitchen needs. First, you'll need to decide if you want the backsplash to cover the entire wall area above your countertops, or simply a portion thereof. Obviously, the more extensive your backsplash design, the more expensive it will be. So, if it's your intent to create an inexpensive backsplash, you may want to consider covering only a portion of the walls above your countertops. Many homeowners implement a design that covers 25% to 75% of the wall above the countertops. If you're trying to minimize the effect on your budget, you should choose the minimal level of coverage that will still provide adequate protection for the walls based on how much cooking you do and how close the wall is to the most active cooking area.
When you've decided on the style for your cool kitchen backsplash, it's time to figure out how much material you'll need. You can do this by measuring the surface area you want to cover—likely anywhere from a small portion to the entirety of the walls between your kitchen's countertops and cabinets—and then sourcing the square footage of material needed to cover that surface area. For almost any type of tile, wood or metal backsplash, your local home improvement store or tile specialty store should offer a wide range of options.
Once you've settled on the scope of your creative backsplash project, you're free to start brainstorming ideas for the materials and theme of the backsplash. It's definitely possible to install a creative backsplash using common materials like ceramic tile or stone in traditional styles like mosaic or subway, but if you're looking to flex your creative muscles, you'll likely want to explore more non-traditional materials. Reclaimed and repurposed materials—from punched tin ceiling tiles to things like bottle caps, coasters, used gift cards and even pennies—can make for an impressively creative and visually appealing backsplash in your kitchen. Most creative backsplash ideas that incorporate found materials like these will require some DIY investment from you in terms of time (to research and find the right materials) and budget (to purchase the materials, unless they're already in abundant supply). But what you spend in terms of sweat equity and research time, you'll more than make up for in cost savings by not having to hire a contractor or pay high prices for more traditional materials.
If you've decided a new or updated backsplash is just what your small kitchen needs, your first step will be to identify the materials you'll use for your backsplash. You'll have myriad choices, from traditional backsplash materials like ceramic tile and glass to more high-end materials like stainless steel and granite. Your material choice will likely have everything to do with two factors: the style you're shooting for via your kitchen design, and your budget. For anyone attempting to install even a small kitchen backsplash while maintaining a budget, high-end materials may be cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, if the design style you're trying to implement absolutely needs a granite backsplash despite a limited budget, there are plenty of synthetic materials you can consider that will approximate the look of just about any natural stone or other material.
When you've decided on the material for your stove backsplash, it's time to determine the style, color, texture and amount of material you'll need. To figure out the latter, simply measure the square footage of the area you wish to cover. Determining the look and feel of the material you'll use will be more art than science, and you'll need to rely on your style instincts—as well as your desire to match or divert from the overall style of the kitchen—to determine the color, texture and patterns you'll use.
When you've determined the style you want and purchased the material, it's time to install your new kitchen backsplash. One of the benefits of a small kitchen is that the surface area you'll need to cover with your backsplash is likely not that large—so a self-install may be possible, particularly if you're handy and/or working with self-adhesive backsplash materials that don't require extensive cutting and configuring. If you're not thrilled by the idea of installing your own backsplash or if you lack home improvement chops, a professional installation may be in order. It'll be more expensive than a self-install by a large margin, but you'll be freeing up your time and giving yourself the knowledge that an expert is in charge of the installation.
One of the first decisions related to your kitchen backsplash design will be scope—just how much backsplash do you need? For some kitchens, especially smaller ones, a few tiles extending up from the countertops and ringing the room can be plenty; anything more extensive might run the risk of overwhelming the space. For larger kitchens, countertop-to-ceiling backsplashes aren't entirely uncommon, as grander executions like this can optimize the use of available space and create a dramatic effect or build on an existing theme.
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