Helaine Mallory. Kitchen Backsplashes. December 11th, 2017.
One of the first decisions related to your kitchen backsplash design will be scope—just how much backsplash do you need? For some kitchens, especially smaller ones, a few tiles extending up from the countertops and ringing the room can be plenty; anything more extensive might run the risk of overwhelming the space. For larger kitchens, countertop-to-ceiling backsplashes aren't entirely uncommon, as grander executions like this can optimize the use of available space and create a dramatic effect or build on an existing theme.
Match colors, mix materials. Having a tough time deciding among tiles? Live with them for a while. Tape color and tile samples to the walls to see what they look like throughout the day as natural light changes, suggests Stephen Kahn, president of Anchor Bay Tile in Phoenix, Ariz. Choose one main color and a couple of accent colors to use throughout the kitchen, including the backsplash.
Once you've settled on the scope of your creative backsplash project, you're free to start brainstorming ideas for the materials and theme of the backsplash. It's definitely possible to install a creative backsplash using common materials like ceramic tile or stone in traditional styles like mosaic or subway, but if you're looking to flex your creative muscles, you'll likely want to explore more non-traditional materials. Reclaimed and repurposed materials—from punched tin ceiling tiles to things like bottle caps, coasters, used gift cards and even pennies—can make for an impressively creative and visually appealing backsplash in your kitchen. Most creative backsplash ideas that incorporate found materials like these will require some DIY investment from you in terms of time (to research and find the right materials) and budget (to purchase the materials, unless they're already in abundant supply). But what you spend in terms of sweat equity and research time, you'll more than make up for in cost savings by not having to hire a contractor or pay high prices for more traditional materials.
If you need to cover lots of area, like an entire wall, you can add interest without emptying your bank account by opting for practical metal panels. Stainless steel sheets come in a variety of finishes, Spang says. "They are very practical durability-wise, but they are a little more challenging to keep clean."
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