Kitchen Backsplashes Add Big Style

Cost-effective upgrade to update your kitchen

Backsplash Installation

As the focal point of many homes, even the most cost-conscious homeowner may decide to remodel or add a few stylish touches to their kitchen. One way to spruce it up is by installing a new backsplash.

Backsplashes serve not only utilitarian purposes, but can add a lot of extra style. Though they are great at catching inadvertently airborne foodstuffs so they won't stain the paint on your walls, they can also be a relatively inexpensive way to update a kitchen. These days, there are so many different types of materials and styles of backsplashes available that the 18–20 inch space between the countertop and wall cabinets can be transformed into nothing short of a work of art.

Tile is the most popular choice

The most popular, budget-conscious material for a kitchen backsplash is 2-4 inch ceramic or porcelain tile, which can be purchased online or at any home improvement store if you stick with something relatively simple. Ceramic tile is extremely versatile and the most economical choice. Prices can vary dramatically from style to style, though, so before you get your heart set on one particular type, make sure you shop around and check out the price tag. Kitchen tiles can range from a buck a tile to more than $20, depending on whether they are hand made or machine-pressed. The clay, firing, and glaze all factor into the cost too.

One way to get extra bang for the buck is to select a simple, inexpensive tile for the field and trim, then use a distinctive mosaic or glass tile for a liner. Setting tile diagonally also adds an extra coolness factor, but is a more challenging cut which can be problematic if you are doing it yourself.

Applying the tile to just the counter area where you are likely to splash can also save a bundle instead of installing the backsplash throughout the kitchen.

More than ordinary tile

Aside from ceramic tile, here are a few typical materials and styles used in modern kitchen backsplashes:

More backsplashes

If you're going for a more creative or unusual touch, there are several different routes you could take. Although these are all interesting ways to liven up a kitchen, you have to be careful because while you may love that cartoon tile backsplash of the Beatles, if you're planning on selling your home soon somebody else might not be so enthused about it. Also keep the overall layout of your kitchen in mind when installing any kind of backsplash. If you're not planning on changing the rest of the kitchen, remember to pick colors and textures that work with your current appliances and color scheme.

These are some of the more creative and non-traditional backsplash ideas:

Tackling it yourself

If you have a free weekend, most of these backsplashes can be your next do-it-yourself project. The mosaic, mural, and tile backsplashes are all medium-skill projects, given at least some experience with home improvement. If not, it's a good idea to comparison shop for installation prices.

The key to keeping it simple is your plan. Measure your backsplash area carefully to calculate the number and type of tile for your design. One approach is to plan your design using grid paper by carefully laying out your design considering the tile size, width of grout lines, and edge pieces. Use colored pencils to represent color changes.

Plan your cuts. Tile projects explode exponentially from something you thought would be simple Friday evening to something that is a major project Sunday afternoon when you don't plan your tile cuts. Electrical outlets are a particular nuisance and prove conclusively that the devil really is in the details.

Whichever medium you choose to install, whether it's a bold glass tile mosaic or a trendy 3-D collage, these small changes will give your kitchen a real kick in the pantry.


If you don't have the time to tackle a backsplash installation, one of the professional contractors available through ContractorNexus can help.

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