How to Choose a Tile Backsplash for Kitchens & More

Choosing and installing a tile backsplash might seem like a small project for the home, but it is one that can have a big impact.

At one time, the backsplash was used primarily for function, it was to protect kitchen walls from everyday splashes and splatters from cooking, but the backsplash has become not only a prominent focal piece of the kitchen design, but is working its way into the design and function of rooms such as the bathrooms, laundry rooms, and mudrooms.

 

Before you choose your backsplash, let’s explore the different types of backsplashes, popular trends, and things to consider before making your final choices.

 

Types of Backsplashes

When it comes to backsplashes, there are several types to choose from depending on your needs, budget, and design goals. There are different properties and benefits or disadvantages to each. Let’s take a deeper look.

 

Ceramic

The most popular option for backsplashes, ceramic tiles are incredibly versatile and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns offering an almost endless design options. From traditional, contemporary, to unique and creative, whatever you can envision can become reality.

 

Ceramic is also very affordable, easy to clean, and long lasting but easily replaceable in the event of damage. Some of the disadvantages to ceramic tile backsplashes are that cracks may form, and the tiles and grout can stain or become discolored over time.

 

Porcelain

Porcelain, like ceramic tile, is a popular choice for backsplashes, however it is not available in as many varieties and patterns as ceramic. Porcelain is a long-lasting material though. While it is not available in the large range of colors and designs as ceramic and is more expensive than ceramic tile, it can give the look of natural stone, glass, or wood at a lower price point than those materials.

 

Some clear advantages of porcelain tile are it is long-lasting, can give the appearance of more expensive materials, doesn’t require sealing, and it doesn’t crack. The disadvantages of porcelain may include cost and less variety of style options.

 

Mosaic

Mosaic tiles are small tiles attached to single 12-by-12 sheets. Materials can vary, as can the cost. Using mosaic tile sheets is an affordable way to create specific patterns for a unique and classic looking backsplash. This classic tile style is popular in all types of kitchen designs, as it can lend a significant amount of visual diversity, color, and appeal to any space.

 

The disadvantages of mosaic tile is that it is harder to clean, can be expensive, doesn’t offer as many variations as other materials, and it is not water or stain resistant.

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless offers a sleek, modern look and is a great option for kitchen backsplashes due to its durability and being very easy to clean. Stainless steel is naturally stain resistant, however it can be one of the more costly styles of backsplashes to install.

 

Aesthetically, stainless steel reflects light, which can be considered a warm effect creating an inviting space. Stainless material won’t crack or stain, however it can scratch or dent and will show fingerprints or grease marks. Installation can be difficult and costly in some cases.

 

Natural Stone

This material provides warmth to a kitchen and bathroom. It also gives an earthy feel for mudrooms and laundry spaces. The most popular and most durable option for natural stone tile is granite, which comes in a wide range of colors. Slate, which can also be used outside, comes in a handful of natural colors.

 

The type of stone will affect the cost, but stone can be affordable and adds resale value to your home. Soapstone and engineered stone are also good natural options, although they may not be as durable as other options.

 

Some disadvantages of stone are that it can be difficult to repair if damage occurs.  Some stone options can be more susceptible to scratching, heat damage, and are not as stain resistant as other materials. Stone requires annual sealing to avoid stains and discoloration, making upkeep more of a time investment.

 

Glass Tile

These tiles can come in various shapes and sizes offering a unique backsplash and looks great in kitchens, bathrooms, or entryways. One popular trend right now is glass subway tile.

 

A benefit of glass is that it is very low maintenance and easy to clean. This helps tremendously in an area of the home that sees lots of spills and splashes. Glass adds a lighter look to a room and can complement any style. Glass can give the appearance of a larger and brighter space and can add resale value to your home.

 

On the other hand, glass tiles can be difficult to replace and repair in the event of damage and finding replacement tiles can be challenging. These tiles are heavy and can require reinforcement to the walls prior to installation.

 

Wood

Wood backsplashes are not the obvious choice, but design trends are all about bringing the elements of nature inside, and what better way than an earth wood backsplash. Wood is typically less expensive than most other options, however wood is not naturally waterproof, so if it is not laminated or sealed this would not make a viable backsplash option where spills and splashes are prone to occur.

 

With paint and staining wood can be a very appealing look for a kitchen, laundry room, or mudroom backsplash. However, wood unfortunately requires ongoing maintenance that can be an investment of both time and money.

 

Honorable mentions include chalkboard paint, thermoplastic, or even wallpaper.

 

Backsplash Design

The backsplash connects the entire room design to complete the look. Some trends for backsplashes range from the classic subway tile with a twist, abstract motifs, geometric patterns, and in 2022 we will see a surge of imagery and marine themes.

When choosing colors for the backsplash, take into consideration the color of the surrounding elements such as walls, cabinets, countertops, flooring, theme, furniture, and textiles.

 

For smaller spaces, light colored, glossy backsplashes are ideal because they give the appearance of space. However, darker colors can add a cozy feeling to your space, but you must have a high amount of natural light and adequate space so that it won’t feel claustrophobic. Bold colors are in style, but neutrals are also driving the design world in 2002.

 

Things to Consider

The major considerations you’ll need to keep in mind before deciding on your backsplash–whether it is for your kitchen, bathroom, or beyond comes down to:

 

  • Budget
  • Material
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Height
  • Installation

 

Of course, taking your design into account is imperative before choosing your backsplash material and your budget and installation needs will also play a major factor in your final choice.

 

Depending on your budget and overall vision, backsplash height is something you’ll want to think about, traditionally only a few inches in height, the trend now can be an entire wall, or to run from the top of the countertop to the base of the cabinets or shelves, or even up to the ceiling.

 

About Flowers Flooring

Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialists with two locations – Cornelius, NC and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.

 

 

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