Published at Thursday, December 12th 2019. by Michael in Kitchen Backsplashes.
Your first decision when thinking about a kitchen backsplash will be related to scope: How much surface area do you need to cover with a backsplash? For smaller kitchens, a minimalist backsplash just a few tiles high can be enough, whereas a more extensive design might overwhelm the space. In larger kitchens that feature a grander design, countertop-to-ceiling backsplashes can add drama and elegance, as well as optimize the use of available space or build on a design theme.
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 got the scope figured out, it's time to source materials for your small kitchen backsplash. Your local home improvement or tile specialty store is your friend here, and you can also browse countless backsplash material options online. You'll need to decide on the right style for the material as well—most backsplash materials are available in a wide range of colors, textures and patterns. For a small kitchen design, consider a backsplash that adds personality, color and visual interest without overwhelming the small space or making it feel exceedingly cramped.
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.
When you've decided on the scope and materials for your backsplash, it's time to think about the style. If your kitchen is a hyper-modern affair boasting stainless steel appliances and angular, monochrome cabinets, you'll have an opportunity to add some color, patterning and visual excitement to what might otherwise be a minimalist design via your backsplash. Alternatively, you may choose to stick with the sleek, modern feel with simple white subway tile or large, slate-like granite pieces. On the other hand, if your kitchen has more of a traditional or country feel, with lots of detailed wood cabinetry and a cozy design, you may want to consider tile that reflects the overall aesthetic and incorporates whimsical designs or traditional colors and patterns.
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.
When you've chosen the materials for your kitchen backsplash, you'll want to consider the style that's best for your kitchen. You can almost always use the backsplash as an opportunity to add color and visual diversity to your kitchen—although particularly expressive designs tend to be best in a kitchen that otherwise features an understated, minimalist look. Conversely, if your kitchen design features intricate cabinets or elaborate countertops, you may want a more relaxed feel for your backsplash, so as not to create visual overload.
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