Top Trends in Backsplash Materials
Which one will make your kitchen uniquely yours?
You may not think much about it, but the backsplash is truly the design workhorse of your kitchen. It can be all business, or dedicated to detail. An understated unifier that ties the room together, or a unique work of art that proclaims your personal style. So if you are thinking of making a move in your kitchen--whether taking on a whole-room makeover or considering a quick way to perk things up with a change or two, your kitchen backsplash can play a key role.
The kitchen backsplash material and design is an important consideration, not just from an aesthetic standpoint, but from a functional one, as well. It is important to consider a material that meets YOUR particular requirements. Criteria to think about:
Design—what’s your style? Rustic? Elegant? Trendy? Timeless? Do you want it to be a statement piece on its own, or to blend in as part of the surroundings?
Durability—how well does it hold up? Do you do a lot of cooking or is it near a hot surface? Is it in a high traffic area where it would get a lot of additional wear and tear? What sort of maintenance is required? How often do you need to wash/wax/polish/refinish it? How easy is it to clean? Can you repair it when damaged?
Dollars—do you want to go all-out with the budget, or keep costs under control?
The wide number of materials and finishes available today, coupled with all of the pattern and design varieties mean your options are myriad—which can be a bit overwhelming. So, before you wander into a tile shop or home improvement store and randomly pull samples, take a few minutes to read through this primer on backsplash material basics and learn some of the pros and cons of some of your options.
Glass tiles can come in a variety of shapes and patterns. They can also come in a variety of colors and finishes, from opaque to clear; patterned to colored transluscent.
Cons: Cost is the big one here—quality glass tile is not inexpensive; many varieties are substantially more than stone. Also, transparent tiles mean you can see the adhesive and whatever is on your wall. It also means cutting and routing need to be precise, or every imperfection will announce itself in glaring form. Not sure of your skills with a saw or with installation? Not a neatnik? Consider the cost of hiring a professional for a clean, polished look.
Considerations: Love the look of glass but on a limited budget? Consider interspersing it with ceramic tile or stone, either as part of a mosaic pattern or as a border. One final consideration is aesthetic—make sure you like what you choose and are aware it could impact resale (or be prepared to replace if you’re planning to sell). Glass is trendy—and hasn’t yet shown itself to be timeless. Colors and patterns that are en vogue now might not be in a decade.
Many materials allow you to customize your look…but stone is the original, original. Because it is a natural material no two pieces are ever identical. Some materials (marble, soapstone, I’m looking at you) can be a bit of the drama queen—high maintenance and requiring regular attention—but what you can rest assured that that bit of drama is yours, and yours alone in the looks department.
Stone is the original "original" look because every piece is natural and completely unique.
Manufactured Stone Veneer
The rustic look of a brick warehouse wall--but with the low weight and easy installation of manufactured stone.
Here's a new take on the classic subway tile: textured and laid in a pattern that gives depth.
The durable nature of quartz makes it a great choice for the kitchen.