The word “backsplash” is almost always associated with kitchens. I like to think of them not only for kitchens but for pantries, bars, laundry rooms, garden rooms, and bathrooms behind sinks and bathtubs.
The kitchen backsplash material is often one of the last decisions to be made at the end of a long and often tedious design and construction process. Often the cabinets are selected and sometimes delivered, the counter top defined – maybe installed – and finally you get around to shopping for just the right material. It is not necessarily a bad idea to wait and see the whole installation before making this all important decision. Sometimes the backsplash can make or break even the most well thought out design. But remember, there are no rules in decorating or choosing backsplashes!
The first questions should be color or no color, large scale or small. This decision goes back to the fundamentals of your own personal style and taste and the underlying architecture of the house. Are you looking for something that is understated or bold, informal or classic? Preferences for certain materials factor in to the decision: stone, ceramic, glass or even paint, though it is not a great idea to use paint in a place that can be messy and needs constant scrubbing.
Here are some things to think about when shopping: Are you looking for a smooth expanse of a bright ceramic or the texture of a bush hammered stone? Perhaps a mosaic will be just the right instrument for pulling the kitchen together; maybe the reflectivity of glass tiles will give the space the freshness that is needed. Is your preference for linear designs or will the kitchen benefit from squares? Perhaps you want the material selected for the countertop to be used for the backsplash.
The key to a successful backsplash requires several ingredients. The first is your choice of materials; handmade or dust pressed tile, stone either polished or honed, glass either sanded or glossy or perhaps a patterned mosaic. The second key to success is the layout; standard brick bond, or stacked tile, or random elongated strips of glass or stone all perfectly laid out. And the third ingredient is perhaps the most important; the impeccable installation with small grout joints, the right color grout and no unsightly cuts!
Take your time making the decision. The backsplash will be there a very long time and you want to be sure that you will not tire of it.