Monthly Archives: June 2017

Considerations When Picking Backsplashes

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. Choose one main color and a couple of accent colors to use throughout the kitchen, including the backsplash.

Countertops often dictate the backsplash color and style. Also consider fixtures like your lighting and hardware.

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, check out some of the newer tiles with a bit of crackle or frosted finish.

Invest in the high-impact zone. There is more square footage of wall space above the range and sink, so you can play with tile design. That area gets a lot of visual attention. Consider a neutral field tile for the rest of the kitchen, then bring in a funky glass tile to create a showy centerpiece above the stove.

This is the place to play up pattern. Some options include installing tile on the diagonal, or applying a staggering brick pattern with slim subway tiles (now they come in sizes like 1-by-2 inches or elongated 4-by-12 inches). Often, we will use different tiles in this space, or we’ll take the same tile and turn it differently or create a border with a contrast tile.

Don’t be afraid to spice it up in this typically 2-by-3 foot area. Even as one of the larger swaths of tile space, it’s still small. So if you choose a bold color or trendy tile pattern for this zone, you can always change it down the road without tearing out your entire kitchen backsplash.

Avoid common mistakes. If you plan to order your own tile from a supplier, be sure to ask about these important components:

  • Primary (field) tile should be thicker than decorative tile.
  • Remember trim pieces.
  • Ask if the tile you want is in stock.

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.

Be budget savvy. When on a budget, avoid trendy tile and revisit classic white ceramic. Flexibility is important if you’re working on a budget— Where are you willing to compromise? Choose based on priority.