Published at Wednesday, December 11th 2019. by Andrew in Kitchen Backsplashes.
Before deciding on a style or materials for a creative kitchen backsplash, you'll want to define the size—both physical and economic—of your project. Measuring the surface area of the walls above your kitchen countertops to determine the square footage you want to cover is a good place to start, but keep in mind that you don't always have to cover the entire kitchen wall with the backsplash (in fact, that design might be too overwhelming, especially if your intent is only to get creative and feature an eye-catching backsplash). When it comes to surface area, many homeowners choose to cover only the portion that will actually get "splashed" during cooking or daily kitchen activities—depending on your kitchen's layout, that may be the whole wall, half of it or only a small portion.
Try mixing metallic tiles in different shades with various finishes, such as brushed stainless steel, oil-rubbed bronze or even an antique brass. By including small tiles of marble or granite, you can pull in the countertop color without being boring with a panel of granite that extends up from the countertop, says Barrie Spang, interior designer at Lee Meier Interiors in Westlake, Ohio. As for glass tiles, check out some of the newer tiles with a bit of crackle or frosted finish, Spang says.
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.
Copper backsplashes have become more common in recent years, offering a long-lasting, visually appealing choice for anyone looking to install or update a kitchen backsplash. These have the added benefit of evolving over time—as the copper is exposed to air and moisture, its color will deepen and change, often lending a beautiful, worn and weathered look to the backsplash.
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.
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.
Once you've decided on the material you'll use for your small kitchen backsplash, it's time to determine how much of it you'll need. To do so, simply measure the surface area you're looking to cover. This can be anything from the entire wall space between the countertops and cabinets, a smaller portion thereof, or, for a truly grand design, the entire wall space between your countertops and ceiling.
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