Bathroom Backsplashes Make a Style Statement

Article by: Meera Innes

The functional nature of sinks might not always inspire style, but the backsplash can be a bathroom centerpiece. Backsplashes help to protect the wall from water damage, but the myriad materials, colors and finishes also make this a small feature that can transform the feel of a bathroom and add drama, polish or character.

Create a centerpiece. Extending the backsplash over an entire wall — or, as here, a column — creates a feature wall that showcases the sink area. The use of white subway tiles throughout a large bathroom might appear too sterile, so choosing the same tiles in a different color with contrasting grout is a fresh idea that gives a pristine bathroom some much-needed zing.

Go for glamour. If opulence is your style, then it doesn’t get much more gorgeous than this custom inlaid wood backsplash. Polished natural wood inlaid with floral motifs isn’t your everyday sink backdrop and will require maintenance to keep it in perfect condition, but why not choose stunning artwork to gaze at first thing in the morning and last thing at night?

Contrast with polish. Give distressed furniture a twist by combining it with a clean, contemporary backdrop. The backsplash used here is made simply from two large, distinctly modern concrete tiles that quietly showcase the understated sink. 

Leaving the wall behind the sink bare could have rendered this area wanting in the style stakes, but the tiles make it a focal point, tying everything together with their smooth and rough finish that’s midway between the sleek sink and the Shabby Chic–style washstand.

Give it character. The vintage feel of the materials in this bathroom, from the stools to the mirrors, calls for a backsplash in a similarly antique style. The small cut and colorful pattern of the tiles used here make them an appropriate contrast to the stark white subway tiles. 

If you’re feeling bold, choosing slightly mismatched tiles in the same size and shape for each sink could also work in a bathroom aiming for this sort of bohemian charm.

Don’t be scared of brights. A backsplash is an easy way to add punchy color to bathroom decor, which often errs on the neutral side. This backsplash’s smooth, modern finish and long lines are in keeping with the overall style of this contemporary bathroom. Aim for cohesion, not clashing, in a space as streamlined as this.

Define your sink area. Backsplashes aren’t just for the wall — your floor could use the love, too. The way this backsplash rolls down into the floor tiles gives this sink the red-carpet treatment. The Moroccan design is a quirky choice that lends the contemporary feel of this bathroom a pleasing bohemian twist.

Keep it quiet. If your bathroom is a haven where you like to unwind and escape the chaos of life, then a muted palette might just hit the right tone. The gray-blue of this backsplash doesn’t fight with the striking Victorian-style ceramic floor tiles, yet quietly enhances the gray tones of the vanity unit and paneling.

Choose white in a small space. Even the simplest backsplash can make all the difference to a sparsely decorated bathroom. Here, the humble subway tile adds plenty of interest to a run-of-the-mill white suite. All-over white was the best choice for keeping the decor clean and enhancing a sense of space in this mini loft bathroom, while wooden details in the door, window and accessories add a warm edge.

Play with color and texture. It could have been tempting to follow through on the reflective theme here by creating a mirrored backsplash, but these colorful iridescent tiles provide a refreshing contrast with enough shine for consistency. The hint of art deco about the tiles complements the style of the mirror and cabinet while keeping the overall look modern.

Work a neat repeat. If you’ve used tiles elsewhere in the bathroom and you have some left over, it makes perfect sense to use the remainder on the backsplash. It’s a less adventurous choice, but it ensures that your theme is consistent, and you can be certain it’ll match the decor.

Why You Should Embrace a Solid Slab Backsplash

A solid slab backsplash is a custom look that says luxury in a kitchen of any size. But it doesn’t require a luxurious budget. Take inspiration from this trendy yet timeless look, and give your next kitchen remodel a solid head start.

A slab backsplash is simply a backsplash made of a continuous material (or in cases like this one, a few large pieces with the occasional break for an appliance or a cabinet). The solid surface creates a different visual effect than, say, tile. When matched to the countertop, it creates an especially big, bold look.

The minimalist sensibility of unbroken planes makes the slab backsplash a key ingredient in many contemporary or transitional kitchens, balancing a modern form with a timeless traditional material for the best of both worlds.

Plus, a stone treatment on the wall is naturally more eye-catching than one on the counter, as the eye gravitates to vertical surfaces first.

A stone with large-scale veining suits spacious kitchens perfectly, making it a natural match for open-concept kitchens where the backsplash is on full display even from a distance.

However, it can also be an achievable look for a less expansive kitchen (more on that in a moment).

When combined with a wrapped island, the look is ultraluxe. It’s no small investment, but the unique architectural nature of the installation means it will always have classic elegance.

A slab backsplash does not have to be created from high-contrast stone either. An engineered material like Corian or Caesarstone also looks beautiful facing forward, especially in a more modern setting.

Layered with open shelving, it becomes the perfect backdrop for a rich but fuss-free look.

You can match the slab to the counter and island, or let it be a feature on its own paired with simpler materials for the other surfaces, even combining up to three materials for a subtly diverse look. 

To play it safe, I would avoid choosing more than three materials, and for a no-fail option use a solid-colored slab for one area and simple subway tile for another to avoid clashing.

Get the Look for Less

There are several budget-friendly ways to achieve this look. One is to simply clad a smaller feature area, such as the space between the range and hood. This is especially effective in a space where much of the wall is already eaten up by a window. With a pale or plain treatment for the remaining walls, the stone will dominate the statement.

Similarly, you can use two book-matched pieces of stone (two layers sliced from the same source and flipped to make a mirror image) to create an elegant effect from smaller pieces. 

If you shop around, you can likely find a stone supplier that will sell you smaller off-cut pieces at a discount; you’ll need to be flexible about the type of stone you’re seeking. This can be a great way to inspire the rest of the look — starting with a stone and working from there to choose coordinating colors and finishes.

In a kitchen renovation project of my own, I needed only one slab of material to dress this galley kitchen, making the compact size an advantage in creating a big look. Because the backsplash reaches the upper cabinets, it feels like a full-impact effect, even though the actual material square footage is low. I then backed the stove and fridge niche in a subdued material (sheets of smoky gray mirror) to let the stone speak for itself.

Another trend is to use a short backsplash, often just a few inches high, to give the sense that the material is traveling up the wall while protecting the wall from dings and dents where it’s needed most. In fact, you may prefer this look for its more understated nature.

You can then combine this low-lined look with a secondary tile wherever you need a little more coverage, such as behind the stove.

Using an engineered stone on one third to half of the wall above a countertop leaves room for a display of art, decorative plates or a stunning painting to give your kitchen a gallery-like feel that softens the functional feel.

You can also create a similar effect by choosing tiles that have a chunky, high-contrast grain or color variance. When the tiles are put together in a complex pattern (like herringbone), their geometry gives way to a sense of organic rippling that has the energy of a slab with a subtle layer of extra sophistication.

Make sure to take the treatment all the way to the ceiling for that high-impact look.

Last, take inspiration from this idea and get the look not with stone but with paper. A wallpaper backsplash creates that continuous custom look while tying the room to another space in your house (if you repeat the pattern in, say, your living room or dining nook). Just add a layer of glass on top to create that wipe able surface.

Kitchen Ideas: How to Choose the Perfect Backsplash

Article by: Sophie Baylis

The humble backsplash has come a long way. Once upon a time, its purpose was purely functional: a tiled area behind the stove and sink to protect kitchen walls from stains and splashes. Today the availability of all manner of materials in a wide array of finishes means your backsplash can make more of a statement. To help you decide which material would work best for you, we offer expert advice on the 10 most popular backsplash materials.

Stainless Steel

Get an industrial vibe with a stainless steel backsplash. The material comes in sheets of flat steel that can be fixed directly to the wall with either glue or screws.

“You should only ever clean it using warm water and an e-cloth,” advises Conrad Hendrick of LWK Kitchens London. “Over time, the chemicals in common cleaning agents can create a buildup on the steel’s surface. This will make watermarks and fingerprints show much more prominently, leaving your stainless steel not quite so stainless.”

Pros: Stainless steel is not only affordable; it’s known for its heat-resistant and hard-wearing properties. It’s also easy to clean.

Cons: Although easy to clean, stainless steel can be difficult to keep looking pristine. It is not scratch resistant — although minor scratches enhance the look over time — and can dent.

Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles

Tiled backsplashes are a popular choice, as they offer versatility, practicality and style. Thanks to advances in printing technology, ceramic and porcelain tiles can be produced to resemble natural wood and stone, but with none of the associated performance challenges. The tiles are resistant to scratches, heat and water, and should be reasonably cheap and easy to install. And while they are durable, should a tile become chipped or damaged, you simply need to remove it and lay another.

Pros: While tiles are easier to clean than most other materials, and therefore lend themselves perfectly to a backsplash, this is not the only reason they are ideal for the job. “With such a range of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns now available, tiles give you the freedom to put your own creative stamp on your room without compromising on practicality,” says Robin Auld of Topps Tiles.

Cons: The sheer volume of styles and finishes can be overwhelming. “Consider exactly how the space will be used to ensure your choice works with your lifestyle,” Auld says. “While pristine white tiles and matching grout may look perfect in a modern, low-use kitchen, they are not the most practical choice for a busy family space.” Darker-colored grouts are definitely worth investigating.

Glass

For those wanting a sleek, streamlined kitchen look, glass is a popular choice, because it can be fitted in large, seamless panels. You should always ask for tempered glass, which is harder than ordinary glass and will be far less likely to scratch, advises Siobhan Casey of Casey & Fox. Also ask for polished edges, so there’s less chance of scratching the surrounding furniture on installation.

The beauty of a glass backsplash is that you can choose anything from a custom piece of artwork screen-printed and mounted on the back of the glass, to a digital image or a painted finish. “I would always recommend that a professional takes care of the painting,” Casey says. “It could be a costly mistake to attempt this yourself without the experience and knowledge of a professional.”

Pros: Strong and durable, glass is also easy to clean and install, being either screwed or glued to the wall. While glass backsplashes used to be expensive, the good news is that prices have decreased dramatically in recent years.

Cons: Make sure you choose a color you and your family are happy with. “While changing this after installation is not impossible,” Casey says, “it’s not an easy job.”

Engineered Stone

Also referred to as quartz composite, engineered stone is made of crushed quartz mixed with resin. Look out for leading brands, such as Silestone and Caesarstone, that make their engineered stone using the lowest percentage of resin, advises Andrew Macintosh of Andrew Macintosh Kitchens. High-performing engineered stones are heat and scratch resistant as well as extremely tough.

To keep costs under control, Macintosh suggests teaming an engineered stone backsplash with matching countertops. “If you do this, the templating and fitting charges are much lower than using a different material and supplier,” he says.

Pros: Engineered stone is durable, scratch resistant and nonporous, meaning it won’t stain. It’s easily cleaned with warm, soapy water and comes in a wide range of different colors to suit all tastes. It’s supplied in large panels, resulting in fewer or no seams on a larger wall run.

Cons: Installation of an engineered stone backsplash must be done by a specialist. It is certainly not a DIY job, Macintosh says. 

Granite

Granite is still a favorite for backsplashes, working equally well in traditional and contemporary settings. What’s more, no two slabs of natural stone will ever look exactly the same, so you are guaranteed a unique look. 

One of the main factors that will determine the appearance of your granite backsplash is whether you opt for a honed or polished granite, says Hendrick. Shiny polished granite is popular for traditional and country-style kitchens. Alternatively, honed granite has a matte finish that’s much more textured yet understated, so it’s the ideal choice for a contemporary kitchen.

If you choose honed granite, test some samples with water and oil, as certain variations of the stone can show wet marks longer.

Pros: Granite is easy to clean, very hard wearing and available in a range of different colors. 

Cons: Among the costlier backsplash options, granite is porous, so it needs sealing to prevent staining.

Polished Plaster

There are many reasons to choose a polished plaster backsplash, not least because it can be specified in almost any color. Texturally, it can range from highly polished and smooth to rough and weathered,” says Charlie Borthwick of Cue & Co of London. It also doesn’t have to be one flat color; veining can be introduced to add depth and interest. 

Pros: It’s easy to maintain and needs minimal care once installed — simply wipe it down.

Cons: Although polished plaster is fairly hard wearing, accidental chips cannot be repaired. If this is a concern, use your worktop material to create an upstand — a small skirting around the edge of the worktop — to help protect the plaster, Borthwick says. 

Composite

Composite (or solid-surface) materials, such as Corian and Hi-Macs, are usually made from a blend of one-third resin and two-thirds natural mineral. Available in a diverse color range, they also offer extraordinary design flexibility and can be seamlessly molded into angles and curves, so there’s no seam between the countertop and backsplash. This makes them easy to keep clean and hygienic, because there are no seams where dirt can gather.

Pros: Composites are nonporous, easy to care for, hygienic and durable. Joints are inconspicuous, providing a seamless surface.

Cons: Composite materials such as Corian can be scratched, but very often scratches can be sanded out. Also, Corian is not heat resistant, so you can’t install it behind a gas [cooktop], Hendrick says.

Laminate

If your budget won’t stretch to a natural stone backsplash, consider laminate. It is not only affordable, but it comes in numerous colors and finishes designed to look like real wood or stone. Although laminates don’t offer the same sense of luxury, high-definition printing and textural innovation mean they can look and feel increasingly realistic. 

Pros: Easy to keep clean and water resistant, laminate is a hard-wearing and affordable choice for a kitchen backsplash. “Match it to other finishes in your kitchen so it becomes part of the whole color scheme rather than just a statement feature, says Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens. 

Cons: Laminate is not suitable for use behind a gas range because of the open flames, and Berry alsorecommends a gap of at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) between a laminate backsplash and any other kind of stove. You also need to make sure it’s installed well, particularly around wet areas, to stop water soaking into any joints, just as you would a laminate worktop, she says.

Mirrored Glass

A mirrored glass backsplash suits all styles of kitchen, often adding a contemporary twist to a more traditional look. Its reflective surface bounces light around, making the space feel bright and often larger than it really is. “If you want mirrored backsplash in your kitchen, then general safety regulations dictate that you must have toughened or tempered glass,” Hendrick says.

Pros: Toughened so it’s strong and durable, mirrored glass is also easy to clean. And because panels are available in lengths up to around 10 feet (3 meters), it’s possible to create a seamless look. 

Cons: Mirror can’t be used behind a gas range, because continuous expansion and contraction of tempered glass created by an open flame can, over time, cause visible cracks to form behind the glass, Hendrick says. “Although easy to clean, mirrored glass needs a regular polish, because marks show up easily,” he adds. 

Marble

Nothing beats the natural beauty of a marble backsplash, which never fails to bring a luxurious look to a kitchen. It’s important to be aware, however, that marble is porous, so it needs sealing and periodic resealing to prevent staining. It also gets scratched more easily than other materials. 

Pros: Graham Barnard of Matrix Kitchens describes marble slabs as “naturally occurring pieces of art,” because no two slabs look exactly the same. “Choosing which marble to use is immense fun,” he adds. “A trip to the stone yard is always an adventure for the designer and the client.”

Cons: Cost can be an issue, depending on the marble you source. What’s more, marble can get stained easily. “You have to accept marble for what it is,” Barnard says. “It’s beautiful, but not maintenance free. However, lots of marbles have wonderful streaks and patterns that tend to help hide any areas of staining.”

How to Add a Kitchen Backsplash

Article by: Mitchell Parker

The options for kitchen backsplashes are pretty much limitless in terms of material, color, size and cost. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you and your lifestyle. Knowing how to navigate the process of installing a new backsplash can help ease some of the stress. Here’s what to expect. 

Project: Adding a new backsplash.

Why: A backsplash can act as a focal point in the kitchen, creating interest and balance between the other materials and elements. 

Details: The difficulty and expense of the project will depend on the complexity of the design. First you’ll want to decide what kind of backsplash you’d like to have. As mentioned, the options are endless, from smooth, backpainted glass to complex ceramic tile patterns and custom murals. Look at photos, research materials, meet with a designer and visit showrooms to decide what’s best for you. 

 

 

 

 

 

Measure, remeasure and remeasure, says designer Mariette Barsoum. This will help determine what size of tile or material will work best. Then think about how everything will fit together. This is where an experienced designer can come in handy. A designer will be able to quickly come up with ideas for how the tile layout will end and begin, how it will wrap around your cabinets or range hood, and so on. 

The type of countertop you have will be a very important determining factor. For example, a busy backsplash would clash with a busy granite countertop that has a lot of variation. Make sure to consider how the material will enhance the other elements in the room, and vice versa. 

 

You’ll then want to figure out how much tile or other material you’ll need. Barsoum says a good rule of thumb is to add 10 percent to the amount of square feet of space. If you have 50 square feet for a backsplash, for example, order 55 square feet of tile. This will account for breakage and mistakes on the job. 

Barsoum also recommends working with the materials company or store to make sure what you’re ordering — tile, trim pieces etc. — will arrive at the same time. “Once the job starts, you want to finish it,” she says. “You don’t want to be going along and then have to wait because you’re missing three pieces of tile or bullnose.”
 

Cost: Because the options for materials are so vast, it’s difficult to give a ballpark estimate, but Barsoum says a typical backsplash including labor and materials should run around $1,500 on the low end and $6,000 and up on the high end. She says you can get 3-by-6 ceramic tile for $3 per square foot and 3-by-6 blue marble for $70 per square foot. 

In the example shown here, a kitchen backsplash Barsoum installed, she used marble that comes in 12-by-12 sheets at about $15 per square foot. Because there’s no pattern and the sheets are easy to work with, Barsoum says almost anyone can install these themselves.

 

Who to hire: If you’re confident in tiling techniques — leveling a wall and adding grout — this could be a DIY project. But Barsoum says the more expensive the material, the more you should consider hiring a professional. For most jobs a tiler is your best bet. 


Best time to do this project: Either during a kitchen remodel or after. You don’t want to add a backsplash if you plan to remodel your kitchen anytime soon, because you’d have to replace the backsplash anyway once you start ripping out cabinets or adding countertops.
 

How long it will take: Planning and getting the materials can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks. Again, it depends on the materials. If your tile choice is in stock, you can have it in a matter of days. If you’re ordering handmade tiles, it can take six to eight weeks. 

Once the job begins, it typically takes two or three days for tile to set. The good thing is, you can still use your kitchen throughout the job.

Kitchen Color: 15 Fabulous Green Backsplashes

Article by:

Sure, your kitchen backsplash serves a very practical function: protecting the wall area above your countertop from splashes and spatters. But it’s also the perfect place to add a dash of fun color. The weather where I live in Central Texas has turned rather frightful, so I’m starting this new series on colorful kitchen backsplashes with happy, fresh, spring-inspired green hues. Here I’ve gathered some of my favorite examples with tips for working ones like them into your own kitchen. 

Create an eye-catching feature wall in your kitchen by extending a bold-colored textured backsplash tile all the way to the ceiling. This larger-format tile works best on a wall where you are forgoing upper cabinets, so the pattern can be fully appreciated.  

This backsplash has vibrant green hues, but the intensity is broken up due to the subtle shade variations of the handmade tile. I like the mix of greens and wood tones, as it has a very natural, organic feel. 

 

This gorgeous green onyx linear tile backsplash also has a nice mix of colors. (Always see a sample of your chosen backsplash material in person before you make a selection.) 

I love this kitchen for its openness to the outdoors as well as for its gorgeous splash of leafy green. The darker tile accent strip is a nice detail that helps break up the expanse of bold color and ties in well with the wood tones of the floor and table set. 

If you’re on the hunt for a kitchen backsplash material, you have no doubt noticed that tiles now come in every color, shape, size and texture imaginable, so I say why not go for something unusual? I’m a huge fan of these triangular tiles, which have a wonderful vintage-modern vibe. 

Large-format tiles are becoming increasingly popular, as are tiles in zingy colors. But the best thing about the tile here is that it was selected by the homeowner’s 2-year-old son. Very nicely done! 

What a fantastic grassy green color. It really brightens up and enlivens this kitchen, even on a cold winter day. This line of tile is available in a wide range of rich colors as well as interesting shapes and sizes, and it’s also manufactured in part from recycled materials. It works well with a variety of design styles, from traditional to contemporary, and has thus become one of my go-to tiles. 

If you go with a bold green backsplash tile, try picking up the hue in small bits around the room for color balance and cohesiveness. You can take your chosen backsplash tile to your paint retailer and have the color matched, or you can even have a paint color formulated for you that’s a few notches lighter or darker than the tile, should you want to break things up a bit. 

For those looking for a softer, mellower green backsplash, there are plenty of options. If you do go with a lighter and more subdued hue, try selecting one in a glossy finish, because it will add interesting sparkle and texture to the kitchen. These pretty glass tiles pair nicely with the rich dark brown cabinets and light and neutral countertop.  

Here’s another glassy, soft green backsplash. This particular shade of green reads as a neutral, so accents of other, bolder colors can be added, such as the red-orange on the base of that fantastic kitchen island.  

These hand-crafted tiles have subtle variations in color, which adds much charm and warmth to this gorgeous kitchen. 

This backsplash has a wonderful sheen and texture in addition to a slight hint of green. This is how to do a light and airy kitchen right.  

My favorite interior design style is contemporary with bits of industrial and rustic thrown in for warmth and charm. This kitchen captures that style perfectly with its clean, horizontal lines and minimal ornamentation. The exposed ceiling beams, colorful salvaged-wood-clad island and vintage metal stools are perfect decorative elements. As is the light spring-green glass backsplash, which adds a nice hit of color but keeps to the clean, minimalist and contemporary vibe of the kitchen.  

Not a fan of grout lines? Looking for a clean and modern alternative to tile? Consider a back-painted glass backsplash. It’s an easy-to-clean surface that has a cool and contemporary vibe.  

Or you could skip the tile and glass entirely and paint the wall a fun hue. If you go this route, I’d recommend installing at least a short splash to give you a finished edge where the countertop meets the wall, and to protect the area from splashes. Then use a paint in a semigloss finish to give the wall extra protection and allow for easier cleaning. 

Kitchen Color: 15 Ravishing Red Backsplashes

Article by:

Last week we looked at some gorgeous green backsplashes. This week we’re swinging over to the other side of the color wheel to focus on rousing reds. Red can be a tricky color to work with, especially in superbright and bold shades. If it’s combined with too many other loud colors or elements, the effect can be overwhelming and at times garish. 

The key is to use just a little bit, because red really will go a long way toward adding vibrancy to your kitchen. That’s why a backsplash is a terrific place to add a dash of red. (Backsplashes typically encompass a relatively small section of a wall or walls, so this element is usually the perfect size for embracing reds.) Check out these 15 fetching examples of how to rock a red backsplash, along with the pertinent information for each in case you see something you like for your own kitchen. 

This beautiful glass mosaic tile adds some nice shimmer to a contemporary light-filled kitchen. Red partners well with warm wood tones, and the white countertop and ceiling add crispness. 

 

Here’s another gorgeous glass mosaic tile, this one in linear bricks instead of squares. The swath of red, which gets picked up by the pendants over the peninsula, adds a nice punch of bold color. Using a blend of colors for the backsplash tile (rather than one single color) makes the backsplash appear less monolithic, and therefore more modern or transitional in style than slick and contemporary.  

I love a kitchen with a garage door! It allows in so much natural light during the day, and gives the kitchen a cool industrial vibe. With so much light filtering in, you can really go big and bold with the backsplash. These tiles are dual glazed — each 2-inch by 4-inch tile is finished in multiple colors with glossy and matte glazes, which gives a slight mosaic look but in a subway-tile format. 

I’m a huge fan of three-dimensional tiles, and these ovals are among my favorites. Admittedly, the nooks and crannies might require a bit more elbow grease to keep clean but, to me anyway, the wow factor they add to the kitchen is worth the extra upkeep. 

For those who prefer a low-maintenance backsplash, look into back-painted glass. This can be a well-priced option for savvy DIYers, or check with your local glass supplier to find someone with the experience and know-how to help you create your own custom back-painted-glass backsplash. Here one works strikingly for a red-hot ubermodern theme. 

Here’s another unique glass backsplash option: Aura glass from Ann Sacks. This material is available in a range of sizes, from 4- by 8-inch bricks to various-size hexagons and sheets up to 24 by 40 inches.  

Get the look of a solid glass backsplash but with all the shimmering texture of a glass mosaic by selecting a small-format glass mosaic in a single hue. This gorgeous backsplash sparkles and adds a touch of glam to this elegant kitchen. 

Here’s another version of the Gloss Mosaic tiles from Artistic Tile. I like how the kitchen palette was kept very light, cool and neutral, which allows the hot, shimmery backsplash to take center stage. 

I recommend playing with scale, because there are now so many options available in backsplash tile beyond the once-standard 3- by 6-inch subways or 4-inch squares. These skinny sticks look clean, neat and modern. 

Or go big with a superwide-format subway tile. These 3- by 16-inch glass tiles look sharp in this cool kitchen.

 

Who says backsplash tile has to be rectangular? This tile has a softer, more organic geometric shape, which adds oodles of charm and a vintage feel. 

This is another favorite backsplash tile of mine. I love the irregular and random triangular and wedge shapes as well as the subtle color variation among the pieces. This particular tile requires fairly thick grout lines, so be sure to seal the grout according to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

This gorgeous iridescent glass mosaic tile would work with a variety of design styles, from traditional to contemporary. And it has a good amount of orangish-red coloration, so it harmonizes well with the orange tones expressed by the wood flooring and cabinets. 

These cool glass stick mosaic tiles are reminiscent of stained glass panels, but with a modern twist. You can run this tile vertically or horizontally. Installing it vertically, as shown here, draws your eye up the wall and makes the ceiling feel higher.  

Here’s another nice linear stick glass mosaic tile with beautiful coloration. The white grout helps showcase the individual tiles and ties in well with the crisp, white countertop.

How to Pick a Kitchen Backsplash That Wows

Article By: Vanessa Brunner

A kitchen’s backsplash works much like jewelry. Simple or snazzy, it can bring a whole look together; the right backsplash helps your kitchen reach its potential. Our in-depth guides, rounded up here, can help you find the backsplash material and color that fit with your kitchen’s look, your cleaning style and budget.

 

 

Find Your Inspiration

The Kitchen of the Week series is great fodder for remodeling and renovation inspiration. Learn about the back-painted glass shown here and nine more favorite backsplashes from beautiful kitchens on Houzz. 

 

 

Choose Your Material

Tile. The good news: You’ve finally settled on a tile backsplash. The bad news: The selection process has just begun. Cement, subway, mosaic, patterned or laser cut? This guide will give you the pros and cons for each one, along with styling tips. 

 

 

Mirror. Additional visual space, a variety of styles and a relatively affordable cost make mirror a great backsplash choice. See how this flashy backsplash material can work in almost any kitchen design. 

Recycled tile. Whether salvaged or containing recycled material, recycled tile can add a unique element to your kitchen that’s easy on your conscience. 

Window. Planning on making some structural changes to your kitchen? Consider a different kind of backsplash: a new window. A beautiful view, more light and fresh air could improve your kitchen’s style and functionality. 

 

 

Tin. Take an old-fashioned approach to your backsplash and use simple tin tiles. This time-tested material is durable, beautiful and affordable. 

 

 

Unique materials. Maybe you feel like your classic kitchen needs a different touch. Or maybe you’re just ready to embrace the unusual. Either way, one of these unique backsplash materials can help you get the statement-making look you want. 

Installation Considerations

Half backsplash. If you have your heart set on a marble backsplash but can’t afford the counter-to-ceiling application you envisioned, don’t give up your dream just yet. Cut your backsplash in half — or more! — to reduce cost without sacrificing efficiency. 

 

 

DIY. Think you’re ready to put in your own backsplash? If you have experience setting tile and want something simple in your kitchen, take a look at this guide. A DIY backsplash installation could help you save some serious money. 

 

Architecture, interior design, and more ∨

From Shabby Chic home decor to contemporary furniture and mirrors, browse thousands of decorating ideas to inspire your next home project.
Hire a residential builder in your area to renovate or install a new fireplace.

 

Adding Storage Solutions to Kitchen Backsplashes

A beautiful backsplash can be a stunning focal point in a kitchen – but did you know this prime piece of kitchen real estate can work harder for you if you add a bit of dimension? We’re not just talking textured tiles, laminates or other decorative surfacing materials… think storage rail systems, open and recessed shelving and ledges. Here are a few examples:

Although certainly not new to kitchen design, rail systems, such as the ones below, provide flexible storage options for commonly used cooking utensils, dish towels and even plants. 


Backsplash_rail_system kuchimelle-resized-600.jpg

Photo: 2012 Küchenmeile in Germany via Formica®

Open shelving can easily be mounted to a variety of backsplash materials, as seen below…

Photo: Formica® Laminate 180fx® in Calacatta Marble

Photo: Formica® Laminate 180fx® in Travertine Gold

… or integrated into the backsplash design.


integrated_shelving_backsplash-resized-600.jpg

Photo: 2013 imm cologne’s LivingKitchen® via Formica®

Recessed shelving provides niche storage for commonly used cooking supplies. According to Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, in her recent article “Ideas for Smashing Splashes & Counter Designs” for Kitchen and Bath Design News, kitchen planning standards allow any surface 16″ or deeper to be considered a functional work area, so keep these measurements in mind as you develop plans.


traditional-kitchen.jpg

Photo: via Formica®

Ledges also provide convenient resting places for spices, sauces and timers. As you can see, these are perfect for traditional kitchens…


traditional-.jpg

Photo: via Formica

… as well as more contemporart ones.


contemporary-kitchen.jpg

Photo: via Formica®

(You are reading an article originally posted on Formica® Share the Love Blog)

The Latest Looks You’ll Love for 2013

Which design trends are interior decorators seeing as the “next big thing” for 2013? Chevron patterns, glass backsplashes and retractable towel rings are just a few making their way into the latest remodels. Keep in mind that as much as you may want to incorporate the latest design trends in your home, it’s important to choose ideas that are practical and will stand the test of time. Here are some suggestions on the freshest finds out there.


chevron pattern.jpg

Photo: Chevron Pattern | MoenThe time for bold, yet neutral Chevron has come! This pattern is showing up everywhere: on kitchen walls, backsplashes, floors, throw rugs, pillows and shower curtains. Most Chevron patterns alternate black then white then black, but by playing around with alternative colors, you can lessen the impact of the design and achieve a more serene look. 

Another surprising look involved the resurgence of wallpaper and the introduction of wall decals. Since the 60s, people have been using wallpaper to add an accent and some personality to a room. Both wallpaper and wall decals are now removable and a popular option to spice up your home. 

When it comes to spicing up your kitchen, you’ll find that creative and beautiful backsplashes are a great way to go. Large, back-painted glass panels require no grout and are one of the hottest looks right now. In the past, backsplashes were a purely functional surface that protected a kitchen or bathroom’s walls from sprays and splatters: but today, they’re an easy and attractive upgrade.

Photo: American Cabinet & Flooring | Designer Clay Bernard

Photo: Moen MotionSense FaucetIf you’re looking for a convenient and eco-friendly upgrade, consider Moen’s MotionSense faucet. With just a wave of your hand, you’ll trigger the flow of water. Wave your hand again, and you’ll turn it off. Its state-of-the-art technology helps to maximize performance, minimize waste and make everyday routines faster and easier.

For another green option in the kitchen, check out the many advantages of bamboo flooring. It’s easy to clean, ideal for allergy sufferers and long-lasting. Environmentally friendly (a quick renewable crop). It has extremely low formaldehyde emissions and makes an excellent floor for a healthy home.


retracttowelring.jpg

Photo: Moen Retractable Towel RingHead to the bathroom for a smart innovation that’s quickly growing in popularity: Moen’s Retractable Towel Ring. If you’re tired of hand towels cluttering countertops, doorknobs and floors, this is your solution. The ring secures your hand towels in place, expands out to 11″ and effortlessly retracts back to its original position. It works well in every room with a faucet, including bathroom, kitchen, utility room and garage.

Rounding out our list of updates is the new nature-inspired bathroom. Think rustic tiles. A rock wall in the shower. Wicker baskets. A range of earthy patterns and colors. They’re all designed to achieve the feeling of a relaxing, private spa. It’s easy to create a beautiful room that feels like you’re entering an enchanted grotto or canyon.

These ideas represent just a few of the trends tat are destined to become traditions. You can feel confident knowing that as current as they are, these improvements will easily stay in vogue for years to come. 

Surface Value

Consumers play it safe and practical when choosing kitchen countertops

If you had to sum up current kitchen countertop trends in a few phrases, you might use the following: durability, generational preferences, clean and simple and ice cream sundaes. When taken together, they reflect prevailing consumer attitudes about kitchen remodels (and perhaps home improvement projects in general). Sure, they’re renovating for themselves but hey, let’s not get too crazy.

Practical Matters

This sentiment may explain why many of the trends may seem familiar and why performance remains a key concern in purchasing decisions, even as aesthetics have assumed more of a leadership role. “The recession had changed people’s attitudes about experimentation,” said Kelly Morisseau, a Walnut Creek, CA-based designer and author of popular industry blog Kitchen Sync. “I see quartz countertops going as strong as ever but less demand for materials like concrete and stainless steel.” In Ambler, PA – David Stimmel – of Stimmel Design Group, still uses concrete countertops in much of his work but agrees engineered stone is king, its popularity no doubt buoyed by its ease of maintenance and durability.

But all is not engineered stone. White marbles, such as Carrara and Calcutta Gold, continue to have their admirers, and thanks to a flood of lower-cost varieties from overseas, granite has not completely gone away, noted Chad Seiders, executive director of Artisan Group. A softer, warmer alternative, solid surfacing has also regained its footing, especially among those with a taste for the sleek, contemporary and even monolithic. “It’s a better-performing material in that you can do more with it,” said Thomas Perich, North American marketing manager for surfaces at DuPont, citing advantages such as a lack of seams and ability to create coved backsplashes, integral sinks and thick edges. “You just have a lot of flexibility.”

Safety in Colors

As to color, the selections are vast and many, yet consumer preferences still tend toward the conservative. “A lot of clients want to go for the bold colors, but in the end, they never really do,” Stimmel said. Most play it safe with earth tones, such as creams and caramels, or what Morisseau calls “ice cream sundae colors.” Summer Kath, senior director of business development and strategic partnership at Cambria USA, also sees interest in grays, browns, black and, of course, white. Not surprisingly, a recent best seller for Cosentino North America, noted Lorenzo Marquez, the company’s VP of marketing, resembles white marble. 

In fact, Martinez said, “We’re finding that homeowners and designers are seeking options that offer the aesthetic of, say, a marble or granite,” a trend borne out by the latest quartz offerings from Consentino and Cambria. Nature-inspired, the designs are rich in veining and dramatic in movement – a look favored by the older Boomer set whose kitchens are more traditional, said Morisseau. The younger, contemporary inclined are apt to choose calmer options with smaller particulate or, if they live in cosmopolitan areas, solids, which are emerging in Europe, said Perich. 

Mixing and Edging

Where self-expression lets loose is in the mixing of materials and colors – although that, too, can depend on geography – and the varying of countertop thickness, which can range from ½ inch to 1½ inch to 3 inches. Most industry experts agree simple edges and mitered corners are in, but some still field requests for ornate, classic treatments. Also being specified are chiseled edges on engineered and natural stone, as well as wood tops with “a naked or bark edge” that appears as if just sliced from a tree, Stimmel said. Perich has also noticed that in Europe and, to a lesser degree, on these shores, contemporary kitchens are moving toward ultra-thin countertops with virtually no edge.

Developments to watch for? Maybe. Much depends on factors beyond the realm of kitchens and baths – politics, economics, culture – and their impact on consumers’ mood. There will always be curiosity and demand for the next big thing, but if the present is any indication, form and function still go hand in hand.