What to ask when choosing a backsplash

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Though the backsplash may seem like an unimportant part of your kitchen’s design, it can bring life and style into the room. It can also prevent the walls near stovetops and counters from being ruined by food splatter and steam. If you’re considering new backsplash in your kitchen remodel, ask yourself the following questions:

“Some backsplash materials are easier to clean than others.”

How much maintenance do you want to put into your backsplash?
Some materials used for backsplash require a lot of work after you initially have them installed. For example, natural stone backsplashes need to be sealed to help protect them from grease and other discoloring stains, such as tomato sauce. The size of the tile will affect the amount of grout used – small tile = more grout; bigger tile = less grout.  While grout today has resins mixed in to help resist staining, grout can collect dust and splashes. It is a good idea to wipe down the backsplash after cooking with a warm damp cloth that has some dishwashing liquid with degreaser in it.  Even though stainless steel has no grout lines, stainless steel will require a significant amount of polishing to keep its lustrous shine and will show every little spot. You need to decide which material you have the time and patience to keep up.  Glass and smooth porcelain are very easy to maintain.

Will your backsplash be used to provide contrast or color?
Though the backsplash is great for protecting walls, you can get creative with this feature in your kitchen. Do you want your backsplash to match the countertops or provide a flair of style? Some materials even offer a variety of textures to allow you more creative freedom. Knowing what look you are trying to accomplish can help you select the right color, pattern and material. Typically, there is not much backsplash so it’s an ideal place to splurge on something unique or fun.  Mixing different types of materials works well.  The field tile can be porcelain, glass or marble, with a string of glass and metals running through.  A simple backsplash, with a punch of color just over the stove, can provide a focal point as well.  You may also consider whether you want the backsplash to be the focal point, or an exquisite countertop with lots of movement.  If you choose a solid or consistent countertop, you can go a little crazy in the backsplash.  If the countertop is like a piece of art, let it stand alone and use a soft backsplash that complements.  One should take the back seat to the other, as pairing two strong, patterned components next to each other may be too busy.

The backsplash in this remodel complements the room's overall design and will work well with other styles.
The backsplash in this remodel complements the room’s overall design and will work well with other styles.

Which backsplashes fit in your budget? 
Budget is always something to keep in mind no matter what type of remodeling project you are doing. Know exactly where the backsplash will be going and how much you will need before you make a purchase. You’ll also want to consider the different costs of the materials you are considering using. Marble and granite may be more expensive than ceramic, even if you order them in tiles instead of slabs. You should also note that natural colors and basic styles will retain value longer than a trendier look. Examining all aspects of the costs and return value will help you stay in your budget.

The subtle presence of backsplash in a kitchen usually goes unnoticed until it’s done wrong. By asking yourself the questions above, you can make sure that when it comes time to your next kitchen redesign, you will be ready to choose the correct backsplash.

If you’re ready to learn more about a kitchen remodel, click the image below.