Published at Wednesday, December 04th 2019. by Andy 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.
Wood is another fairly inexpensive option for your backsplash. This really brings in a warm, rustic feel to your kitchen. This option would work best in a space that doesn’t already have wood or laminate floors, but you could really get creative with the type of wood as well as the placement of the wood (vertical, horizontal or even a zigzag placement).
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.
A small kitchen can provide a number of unique design challenges in terms of decorating and optimizing spaces, but there are also several benefits of a smaller space, including efficiency of design and the lower cost involved in refurbishing less square footage.
Creative backsplashes don't have to be made from found items, though—they can be much simpler, but just as colorful and visually appealing. Many homeowners looking to add a uniquely creative design to their kitchen have begun to feature "paper" backsplashes. Featuring interesting designs and bold colors on materials like heavy duty scrapbook paper, old newspaper pages, or even magazine image collages, these backsplashes provide plenty of visual punch at a fraction of the cost of ones constructed from tile, metal or stone. If you find this approach appealing, all you'll need to do is procure the paper, glue or paste it to the wall, then coat it with a finish that will protect the paper and allow you to easily wipe it clean.
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.
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