Kitchen backsplashes are definitely having a moment and are now a key design feature of any modern kitchen. With so many choices out there, how do you choose the best option for your needs, and most importantly – your desires?

Take into consideration the following when making a decision about what kind of backsplash to go with.

  1. Budget

Your budget will very much determine the kind of backsplash you can afford. If you are on a limited budget, you might want to consider simple paint, chalk paint, or even tin old-style panels that are typically used on ceilings.

If you have a little more budget and can afford tiles, the most affordable will be classic ceramic or porcelain tiles. Tiles are great as they transcend trends, and are impervious to stains. Specially shaped tiles and intricate glazes can cost more as the manufacturing process is more intensive. Or why not consider wood? If it’s good enough for the floor, it’s good enough for walls.

Wood cabinetry and backsplash by Mooza Wood Arts Ltd.

Wood cabinetry and backsplash by Mooza Wood Arts Ltd.

Glass tiles are also super easy to clean and have lots of ability to deliver drama. Concrete tiles are having a moment and deliver a big design punch with bold, often geometric designs that are very colourful. Both are delicate however and can chip easily, so handle carefully when shipping or installing.

For those with ample budgets, consider a slab of marble, agate, onyx, mother of pearl or another dramatic option. Natural stone is porous and therefore riskier from a staining and cleaning standpoint. Additionally, it requires sealing once a year, so budget for this if you decide to go for full-scale drama.

Gorgeous onyx backsplash by Paul laFrance Design

Gorgeous backlit onyx backsplash by Paul laFrance Design

2. Colour

The choice of colour – or indeed to go with any colour at all in your backsplash – is very much dictated by the decor of the rest of your kitchen. Make sure your backsplash complements your counter, your floors and your cabinetry. Decide beforehand whether or not you want to make a major statement, or prefer this element to be a calming and grounding factor in your kitchen.

Glass tiles by tilesofstow.co.uk. Photo by Original Style

Glass tiles by tilesofstow.co.uk. Photo by Original Style

Think of your own personal style and how you would like your kitchen to make you feel. If you would like a calm, neutral space it may be best to install a white or off-white tile or stone. If you would like more personality in your backsplash, consider a coloured glass, concrete tile, mirror or another dramatic solution.

3. Shape

Speciality shapes are very alluring and can look fabulous when done right but can also be more difficult to install which can make installing your backsplash a more expensive proposition. Also, if you are thinking of selling your house any time in the near future, a more overtly dramatic backsplash may make selling more challenging if the backsplash is very dramatic or specific to your tastes.

Arabesque Tile by Micom Tileworks

Arabesque Tile by Micom Tileworks

Long and thin tiles (think 1″x4″) arranged vertically are a recent trend in backsplash configuration. Or give some thought to installing tiles in a lantern shape, picket shape, geometric shapes, moroccan fish scale or one of the many other exciting shapes available in backsplash tiles today.

Glass mosaic Backsplash by Bosko Tile

Glass mosaic Backsplash by Bosko Tile

We’re super inspired by this fish scale backsplash wall that also doubles as a living wall. Designed by Maruja Fuentes, this is an innovative way to bring the outdoors inside.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

4. Pattern and texture

The way your tile is laid can also make a major difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. Consider a more unique approach to pattern such a laying your tile in a herringbone, brickwork or diamond shaped pattern.

Herringbone backsplash by Vule Tile

Herringbone backsplash by Vule Tile

The classic shape of a penny tile updated in a metallic look is fresh and modern. Consider texture as well when choosing your backsplash. Do you prefer something smooth, that is simple to clean, or a look at that relief and texture that may not be quite as simple to clean?

Recycled glass Heather Pond modular textured kitchen backsplash

Recycled glass Heather Pond modular textured kitchen backsplash. Photo via elizabethfriedrich.co

Best of luck with your project. Please consider writing a review of the contractor who helped you, it helps the whole community!

Posted by Leslie Andrachuk