AK's Kitchen Renovation Series - II - Backsplashes

 Technically speaking, the kitchen backsplash is the upright area at the back of the sink and the range/cooktop designed to keep that area safe from water and cooking splashes and heat. These days the backsplashes typically runs the full length of the countertop and occupies the space between the countertop and the cabinets.
   Aesthetically speaking, the kitchen backsplash serves as a decor and design element. The color and texture of the backsplash also helps to bring together the color palette of the various elements in your kitchen. AK's designers recommend to design your backsplash color and texture in contrast to your kitchen countertops. This rule is explained in the very technical term of "no matchy-matchy!" Instead of trying to match your countertop or cabinets your backsplash color and texture should pick up on elements within them both! Consider other pieces around the room as well, like the elements of the floor or kitchen fixtures that will not change over time; as opposed to using appliances and accessories that are more will be changed and replaced over time.

    Let's take a closer look at the materials commonly used for backsplashes and the looks they can help create:
  • Glass - Contemporary / Clean Lines - Clean, sleek lines and smooth surfaces are the keys here. No complex tile designs, rough textures or a busy stone. Polished granite on both the countertop and backsplash is perfect for achieving this look. Glass tiles can create an ultra-urban feel. Glass tiles are unique and beautiful. Better yet, it is possible to get recycled glass tiles, which appeals to those who've adopted a greener way of life. Glass is not porous like ceramic tile, so it resists stains, mold, and mildew and the colors and combinations are as limitless as your imagination! Because the tiles reflect light, the room where they are used will always look bigger and brighter!
  • Stone - Old World / Traditional - This style uses tumbled marble (travertine), chipped or worn kitchen backsplash tile, onyx, slate, limestone, cobblestone or generally any aged material in the subtle earth tones of beige, gold and light brown. Stone has a timeless quality, because of it's appearance. Some stone backsplashes need special attention and maintenance. Tumbled marble, also known as travertine, is very porous and requires a sealant after the grout and thinset, or mastic, has fully dried. (The full cure time for grout is 28 days) Stone is still one of the most popular choices for new homes as many homeowner's feel the universal appeal of stone will help boost the home's resale value in the future.
  • Ceramic - Endless Possibilities - Ceramic tiles, because they are available in a vast array of colors, textures, and finishes can offer endless design possibilities. They give the budget-conscious the opportunity to create a custom look and save on costs. One downside is that the grout needs be cleaned and resealed fairly often. Ceramics can mimic the look of stone or the sleek look of marble. Ceramics can be made in many textures, though, the more work that goes into the tile the higher the cost. Many people like using ceramic tiles as a neutral base to accompany accent tiles, mosaics or murals.
  •   Metals - Urban / Retro - Copper, tin and especially stainless steel backsplashes and countertops are quickly gaining popularity with many new tiles and designs on the market! Solid stainless steel backsplashes, which have been used for years in restaurant kitchens, are starting to gain in popularity for use in the home kitchen. Metal backsplasheshave a definite functional appeal being easy to clean up the grease and grime, spills and splashes of everyday cooking, but they also offer some interesting and appealing design options. They are available in a variety of patterns and finishes, including satin or matte finishes.



  1. Hi,
    You gave us good information about kitchen backslash. Kitchen renovation contractor give the right direction where you can put your kitchen backslash with suitable color and design.

  2. I love those small checkerboard tiles in the mark brownlee kitchen!

  3. Thanks Andrew, we do too! How well the contrasting elements and colors in that kitchen speak to great design!


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