Choosing the Most Important Elements of Your Kitchen - All About Backsplashes

Kitchen Remodeling
Decoration and Design
Walls
By Contractors.com Team July 16, 2021

The backsplash is the wall above your kitchen countertops and it is becoming an increasingly important part of your interior. If you’re in the planning phase of your kitchen remodeling project, your backsplash might just be the main focal point of your kitchen’s new aesthetic. Sure, you could just go for some retro white subway tiles, or even just paint the wall with some ambitious color. But if you’re looking for something that’s a complete departure from your staid kitchen’s antiquated aesthetic, it’s time to think outside the box. 

A striking backsplash design can add a dash of personality and uniqueness to your remodeled kitchen and will really help to tie the entire aesthetic together. 2021 has been a big year for backsplash trends and there are a lot of outspoken new kitchen backsplash ideas to choose from which are sure to make your kitchen effuse with elegance, style, and sophistication. 

Subway Tile 

This one is a classic choice for kitchens throughout the country. Your only reservation may be that the look of white symmetric tiles has become somewhat overplayed in recent years, so if you do choose to go with a subway tile backsplash, do some experimenting. This can be as simple as going for a different color like emerald blue or even getting different size tiles. You’ll be amazed how big a difference something as simple as using bigger or smaller subway tiles can make to the general appearance of the kitchen.

Bright Kitchen Ideas That'll Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Bright Kitchen Ideas That'll Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Pros

There’s a reason that subway tile backsplashes are so popular, and their out-of-era charm is definitely part of that reason. Subway tiles were also born out of a Victorian-era obsession with hygiene, so along with their glossy finish, they’re also stain-resistant and easy to clean.

Cons

Even if you shake things up you may still find subway tiles in many homes and this may take away from originality. Although there’s nothing wrong with classic if you want something really unique for your kitchen you may want to continue browsing options.

Average Cost

Subway tiles cost $17 per square foot on average, while you can find basic, hardware store options for around $8 per square foot as well. 

Glass Backsplash 

This is a good option for someone who wants their kitchen backsplash to stand out from the crowd. A glass backsplash is just the thing to make your kitchen sparkle and pop with modern minimalist flair. The beauty of a glass backsplash is that it is infinitely customizable. You can have your glass backsplash be a mirror and replicate the stately “hall of mirrors'' effect to make your kitchen seem bigger and airier. Alternatively, you can opt for tinted glass of any color for a happy and bright aesthetic. For something truly out of this world, you can even opt for a metallic look with metallic painted glass. A glass backsplash can be made either with large glass panes or smaller glass tiles.  

Kitchen Counters That Blend Sleek and Traditional Designs

Kitchen Counters That Blend Sleek and Traditional Designs

Pros

The benefits of a glass backsplash outshine the competition. It brightens up a room, makes it feel bigger, and can awe guests with sheer wow factor.  

Cons

This backsplash needs someone with professional experience and equipment to install properly because it is easy to make errors when installing a backsplash. If the tiles or panes are not installed properly they could be chipped or bent, and might be installed unevenly, causing strange reflections. Glass backsplashes, therefore, tend to be more expensive to buy and install. 

Average Cost

Glass backsplashes cost just under $15 per square foot on average. 

Moroccan Tile

Moroccan tile backsplashes have been gaining popularity internationally and are being applied in bathrooms, kitchens, and trendy Middle Eastern themes the world over. And it’s no wonder really when you see the amazing range of patterns and colors these tiles offer. Moroccan-style tiles are similar to Mediterranean-style tiles but more flair and beautifully intricate patterns. Put Moroccan tiles in a backsplash, and your kitchen will gain some much-needed color and vibrancy. 

Tile Patterns With Just the Right Amount of Rustic Charm

Tile Patterns With Just the Right Amount of Rustic Charm

Pros

The pros here are considerable. Tile is famously durable, so you don’t have to worry too much about those colorful tiles chipping or fading anytime soon. This is one of those nifty projects that can be both affordable but can also increase your home’s value which is always a plus.   

Cons

The flipside of durability is permanence, meaning that once those tiles are on, it’s not easy to undo your decision once if you change your mind. As with any tiles, Moroccan-style tiles are difficult to install without professional help, and that always adds to the cost. Depending on where you get them from, Moroccan tiles can be quite pricey. 

Average Cost

Prices vary widely depending on where you buy your tiles from. On average, expect to pay $7 per square. 

Marble Backsplashes

Marble has long been a super popular choice for countertop materials, so you can’t go wrong with using it as a backsplash either. Marble backsplashes have a knack for giving a kitchen a timeless and classy look. It comes in a satisfying array of neutral colors such as black, white, and grey — but not only. You can even find unique green-tinted marble as well. Marble is one of those materials that can do it all. It fits right in a Scandi setting, modernist one, or even a traditional design style. Because marble is a natural material, with marble backsplash you get a beautiful tapestry of veining and color variations. 

Reasons Why to Use Marble Surfaces In Your Kitchen

Reasons Why to Use Marble Surfaces In Your Kitchen

Pros

Once marble has been sealed, it is relatively low-maintenance and not as prone to staining. Thanks to marble’s widespread appeal, using it as a backsplash is bound to increase your home’s value. Much like with glass backsplashes, marble can open up a room thanks to the way they play with interior lighting. 

Cons

As marble is a soft and porous stone, it is more prone to scratching and chipping than other natural stones, and it is also vulnerable to staining. Sealing mitigates this problem, but a marble backsplash needs to be regularly resealed throughout its lifetime to maximize durability. 

Average Cost

Marble backsplashes typically cost somewhere around $45 per square foot on average. 

Wood Paneling As Backsplash

Wood is one of those materials that is naturally warm and inviting, so it makes sense to use it in the heart of the home. Get it right and your kitchen will have a beautiful backdrop that makes the whole space a lot warmer, especially if your kitchen is dominated by stainless steel machines and synthetic materials. Plus, wood is quite good at blending with other materials, especially with natural stone countertops. 

Wood kitchen backsplashes are also quite easy to install. In fact, you can use the same tongue and groove wooden plans designed to function as flooring, meaning you could use this as an opportunity to get rid of some leftover wooden flooring materials if you have any. For a more seamless look, it is recommended that you use your wood planks to cover the entire wall from the countertop to your wall-mounted cabinets. 

Wood Accent Ideas In the Kitchen

Wood Accent Ideas In the Kitchen

Pros

Because this backsplash can be achieved with tongue and groove flooring planks, this is one of the few backsplashes that you can actually install yourself. Assuming you seal the backsplash regularly, it’s also pretty easy to keep clean and can be sanitized with simple household products like vinegar. 

Cons

There are two main drawbacks to using wood as a backsplash, and they are that wood is flammable and porous. This means that you can’t use this backsplash over a stove and that it is susceptible to water stains and grease stains. You can mitigate this problem by having the backsplash regularly sealed. If, however, you don’t want to deal with the upkeep you can still have a wood backsplash by using wood-style ceramic tiles. 

Average Cost

Wood planks cost $38 per panel and the average range for total costs of wood kitchen backsplashes is between $900 and $2,500.  

Handmade Tiles for Your Kitchen Backsplash

Moroccan-style tiles aren’t the only handcrafted backsplash option on the market. In the past few years, there has been a real increase in the availability of various handmade tile backsplash options. Unlike standard subway tiles, handmade tiles allow you to have a more organic look for your backsplash. This is because each handmade tile tends to be unique in its own way, whether in shape, texture, or form. That means that you can have a kitchen backsplash that is literally one of a kind. 

Tile Color Combinations for a Vibrant Kitchen

Tile Color Combinations for a Vibrant Kitchen

Pros

You can’t underestimate the coolness of having tiles that are bespoke for your kitchen. If your handmade tiles are made by a skilled artisan, they will be of unparalleled quality and be made with a precision that most subway tiles lack. They’ll both look good, and feel good to the touch. 

Cons

Handmade tiles tend to be quite a bit more expensive than your standard ceramic tiles, and the price will vary widely depending on where you buy the tiles from. 

Average Cost

The cost per square foot for artisan handmade tiles ranges from $5 to $50 per square foot. 

Glass Tile

Few things can catch the light as well as glass tiles. From a distance, these tiles will look somewhat like ceramic tiles, but once you get closer to them you’ll see that they’re a whole different creation. Glass tiles have a distinctive premium sheen to them that is bound to light up a kitchen with color. As such, they’re a perfect choice for someone that wants a modernist design style but wants to offset the sterile grays that predominate in many contemporary kitchen designs.  

Glass Kitchen Backsplashes That Brings More Color Into Your Life

Glass Kitchen Backsplashes That Brings More Color Into Your Life

Pros

Glass tiles come in all colors and sizes, so the backsplash options are truly limitless. Since glass is not porous, it is naturally resistant to staining, mildew, and mold. You can also take this as an opportunity to up your sustainable living since recycled glass can also be used for your backsplash.  

Cons

Aside from being more expensive than ceramic tiles, glass tiles are tricky to cut to size and install. For this reason, you’ll need the services of a tiler for this job. 

Average Cost

Glass tiles range from $7 to $30 per square foot. 

Things To Consider When Installing Kitchen Backsplash

Install a Backer Board 
This will help to increase the longevity of your backsplash by preventing moisture from seeping behind the backsplash. It also adds some structural strength to your backsplash assembly. 

Think About Lighting
Does your kitchen get a lot of natural or artificial lighting, or does it have subdued lighting? These are things you’ll need to consider because they can affect the appearance of your backsplash. If you want to emphasize the backsplash with some wall wash lighting, be aware that this will highlight any imperfections in the layout of your tiling, which can either be a benefit or a drawback depending on which aesthetic you’re going for. 

Consider Larger Tiles 
Larger tiles are an increasingly popular choice because they reduce the amount of grout and therefore the amount of maintenance required. It can also make things look more seamless, especially if you’re trying to match your backsplash material to your countertops.  

Beware of Grout
Specifically, beware of tile backsplash designs that have lots of gaps that need to be filled with grout. Grout is porous and therefore difficult to keep clean and maintained. Because of this, grout tends to discolor, especially near stoves and other grease-producing appliances. A darker-colored grout can help to mitigate this. 

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team