Published at Thursday, December 12th 2019. by Ethan in Kitchen Backsplashes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 settled on the scope, materials and style for your inexpensive backsplash design, it's time to get to work. The only question remaining is who's actually going to do the work in question. A DIY backsplash installation will save you a significant amount of money versus hiring a contractor to install your backsplash design. Depending on the complexity of the design, the surface area that needs to be covered and your general handiness, you may be able to install the backsplash yourself without too much trouble. Conversely, if you don't have the requisite time or expertise to install the backsplash, you may need to hire a contractor, which will likely impact your bottom line and other considerations like scope and materials.
If you need to cover lots of area, like an entire wall, you can add interest without emptying your bank account by opting for practical metal panels. Stainless steel sheets come in a variety of finishes, Spang says. "They are very practical durability-wise, but they are a little more challenging to keep clean."
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