Selecting the Right Tile for Your Kitchen Backsplash (part 1 of 2)

The kitchen backsplash is a focal point of your kitchen and one you should love to look at!  Yet with so many options to express your style, it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are a few steps to consider as you make your selection:

1. Know Your Options
Your materials may include brick, granite, stacked stone, sheet glass, bead board, copper panels, mirror tile, ceramic tile, marble, glass mosaic, and embossed tin amongst other things.  If you want your backsplash to be something special, be sure to look beyond the basic home improvement stores and to specialty shops and online tile sources (or ask your designer or remodeler for sources).  You might be surprised that you are drawn to something you never expected or knew existed.  Collect photos or samples of everything you can.

2. Consider Your Needs

  • Is décor your primary concern?
  • Do you need your backsplash to be easy to clean?
  • Is budget a priority?
  • Should it be easy to replace if you get bored or decide to move?

Then weigh how important these needs are and make a priority list.  If you fall in love with a decorative tile, are you willing to pay a little bit more for instance?  If you find an eco-friendly or highly textured option, are you willing to jump on it for the natural ambiance it provides verses how quickly it wipes clean?  Decide what materials or designs can be eliminated or moved to the top of the list based on these factors.

3. Decide What Overall Look and Feel You Want
What do you want the backsplash to bring to the kitchen?  Rustic ambiance?  A vintage feel?  Write down a few words that describe the feel of the kitchen you envision.  Which ones still on your list capture this mood or era?  Some materials lend themselves naturally to certain feels, by their texture or by their artistic detailing:

  • Stone gives off a natural, rustic feel (but isn’t always as easy to clean).
  • Bronzed paneling lends historic ambiance.
  • Bead board is more traditional (and easier to change out).
  • Ceramic tile is more common, but can effect the feel of the kitchen based on its size (smaller tiles are more vintage looking, larger ones more contemporary).
  • Glass tiles are trendy and brightening.
  • Painted tiles bring out certain cultures or artistic tastes.
  • Brick provides a gourmet, urban feel.

Look for our follow-up post (part 2) next week as we talk about creating a pattern for your backsplash and avoiding common tile mistakes!

In the meantime, enjoy the inspiration of 20 different kitchen backsplashes here!


Need help installing a kitchen backsplash?  Want to plan a complete kitchen remodel?  Contact us at Sass Construction today!

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