Published at Wednesday, December 11th 2019. by John 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.
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.
With all of the wallpaper options these days (regular, temporary, handpainted, vinyl), you really can get creative if you want to go for this look. For a more bold look, have fun and choose a bright, patterned wallpaper. Or if you want to go with a more subdued approach, try a simple striped or polka dot paper.
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.
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.
Match colors, mix materials. Having a tough time deciding among tiles? Live with them for a while. Tape color and tile samples to the walls to see what they look like throughout the day as natural light changes, suggests Stephen Kahn, president of Anchor Bay Tile in Phoenix, Ariz. Choose one main color and a couple of accent colors to use throughout the kitchen, including the backsplash.
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.
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