Published at Wednesday, December 04th 2019. by Ruby in Kitchen Backsplashes.
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.
Before you decide on a theme or materials for your unique kitchen backsplash, you'll want to define the scope of your project. Measuring the surface area of the walls above your kitchen countertops to determine the square footage is a good place to start, but keep in mind that you don't always have to cover the entire wall with the backsplash. Many homeowners choose to cover only the portion that will actually get "splashed" during cooking or cleaning, covering anywhere from 25% to 75% of the wall's surface area.
Whether you're installing a new kitchen backsplash or updating an old one, you'll want to explore the options for backsplashes for kitchens with an eye on durability, attractiveness and compatibility with your kitchen design.
For a very simple, super economical backsplash option, try using a contrasting paint color. For the most impact, choose a color that will really pop against the palette of the rest of the kitchen. To add an extra element of interest, consider a different paint finish (if you used an eggshell paint on the walls of your kitchen, consider a glossy finish for the backsplash). This will also really help your backsplash pop.
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.
Ask about wear and tear. How easily can you clean the tile, and what is the best way to seal it? Ceramic tile doesn't need this extra step, but natural tile does if you want to maintain its appearance. "If the tile is stainless steel, find out if abrasives will scratch it, and I would suggest getting a grout additive and sealing the grout itself so it stays fresh and clean for longer," Van Deusen says.
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.
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