4 Steps to Choosing Your Backsplash

Though your countertops are going to be seeing most of the action in your kitchen, your backsplash is also important for not only protecting your walls, but also for achieving the perfect kitchen aesthetic. The backsplash can make or break the room—here are a few things to consider when choosing yours!

1.) Determine the Height

Some kitchens look best with a backsplash that only comes up a few inches behind the countertops; others go for a dramatic backsplash that extends for the entire height of the wall behind the counters or sink.

Determining how high you want your backsplash to reach will help you determine what material you want to use in terms of cost, difficulty of installation, and appearance, and also whether you’ll be able to install it yourself.

2. Choose your Material

There are literally dozens of different back splash materials homeowners can choose from. The most common selection is porcelain tile, but you can also use granite, quartz, or marble (either to match your countertops or contrast), glass, stainless steel, copper, vinyl, stone veneer, bamboo, or even recycled materials like bottle caps set in clay.

We recommend choosing a material that suits the atmosphere of the rest of your kitchen or home—if you want something cute and cozy, choose ceramic tile; steel or glass might are great for an edgy, contemporary look; natural stone is best for an austere, timeless kitchen; a mosaic is fun for a quirky cottage. Consider if you want natural materials or something man-made, the time period you want to evoke, and how far your budget can reach.

Porcelain is popular because it offers many economic options, whereas something like a natural stone slab will be more expensive. Of course, when weighing costs, bear in mind the effect of a beautiful backsplash on the home’s resale value—nothing moves a house off the market more quickly than a stunning kitchen!

3.) Pick a Color and Pattern

Here’s the real backsplash quandary—do you go big, bright, and bold, or choose something subtle with a wide appeal? Many homeowners use the backsplash as their kitchen’s primary canvas. Unlike other kitchen surfaces, your backsplash won’t be coming into contact with spills, moisture, impact blows, or staining substances on a daily basis, allowing for the installation of something a little more delicate or ornate than your floors or countertops.

Using bright colors or interesting patterns on your backsplash offers an opportunity for a little pizzazz and personality without overpowering the entire room the way a loud paint job might. Of course, you want to choose something that doesn’t defy the rest of the room, but compliments and balances it. If your countertops are a subdued, speckled-gray granite or white quartz, you might want to introduce an accent color in your backsplash.

If your granite countertops are already full of natural variation, color change, and texture, however, be careful of using tiled patterns in your backsplash—not only will it distract from the naturally beauty of your granite, but it might clash and look too “busy.”

4.) DIY or Professional?

Backsplashes are one of the easier kitchen modifications, and many people choose to install them themselves. If you’re a seasoned home improvement veteran, you can probably manage a ceramic tile backsplash, though any materials that require professional cutting and fitting should always be left in professional hands, such as natural stone or many metals.

If you’re a novice, we don’t recommend making your backsplash your maiden DIY voyage—it’s one of the most conspicuous parts of your kitchen. The high visibility of your backsplash means it’s an opportunity to make a big impression, but if it’s poorly done, it’ll be glaringly obvious and that strength becomes a major weakness. Cut your DIY teeth on something a little more disguised. Generally, the smaller and more intricate the tiles or material, the more difficult the installation—if they choose large subway-style tiles of the same color and have only a small area to cover, a homeowner with a only a little DIY experience will be able to successfully do the work on their own. If you want a swirling pattern of octagonal glass, however, you’re definitely going to need some professional help.

If you want to talk to someone about your backsplash ideas, questions, or concerns, call us at Granite & Marble Specialties! We’ll help you figure out exactly how to best compliment your beautiful stone countertops and make the most of your kitchen design!