Published at Tuesday, December 10th 2019. by Lilly in Kitchen Backsplashes.
When you've decided on the scope of your unique backsplash project, it's time to get creative and start thinking about materials. While it's certainly possible to create a unique and eye-catching backsplash design with traditional materials like ceramic tile or stone in styles like mosaic or subway, you may want to explore more out-of-the-box styles for your kitchen. For example, many homeowners have begun repurposing common materials for their backsplashes—things like bottle caps, coasters, used gift cards and even pennies can be used to create a truly unique and visually stunning backsplash in your kitchen. Obviously, any backsplash that you assemble on your own from these types of found materials will require a significant investment of DIY time, as well as some know-how when it comes to the required materials. But if you're contemplating an eye-catching design that incorporates an array of items like these, you can also find great resources online with step-by-step instructions on how to create the unique backsplash in your imagination.
Once you've settled on the scope of your backsplash project, it's time to think about materials. Budget will definitely be a consideration if you're looking to keep this project fairly economical—and luckily, there are many options for backsplash materials that are priced to move. Ceramic tile, one of the most popular options, is also one of the cheapest. It's so widely available and comes in so many different styles, colors and textures that you'll likely have no trouble finding the option that's right for your kitchen design and budget. Additionally, ceramic tile is available in several pricing tiers, each of which corresponds to an ascending level of quality. Glass tile can also be an option for an inexpensive backsplash. Similarly to ceramic tile, it's available in a vast array of colors, styles and textures, and it can also be found in various pricing tiers. At the higher end of the backsplash tile pricing spectrum are natural materials like granite or travertine. These are significantly more expensive than ceramic or glass, in general, so if you're attempting to stay on budget, it may be challenging to find these within your price range.
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.
This is another fun option that I just tried in my own kitchen: a basket backsplash. My love of baskets meant that I had quite a few extra ones lying around from all my flea market/thrift store shopping. So I decided to choose a fun mix of sizes and styles and simply nail them to the backsplash area of my kitchen wall. (I made sure to leave easy access to outlets/light switches.) If I ever want to switch things up or take it down altogether, these are also easy to remove.
There are almost infinite options when it comes to creating a cool kitchen backsplash (and of course, every homeowner's definition of "cool" will be different). Many homeowners seeking a creative design will focus on the backsplash as an opportunity for artistic expression. If this approach appeals to you, there are several ways to approach the design, from a collection of found objects (examples include everything from bottle caps to old gift cards—basically anything durable that can stick to the wall and wipe clean easily) to a mural of tiles depicting anything from a street scene to a classic video game level to a renaissance-style painting.
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.
Granite, stone and other natural or composite materials are also commonly used in backsplashes, whether in tile form or as larger pieces. These higher-end materials will mean an increase in budget, but also a stunning and long-lasting stove backsplash.
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