Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kitchen Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash at one time was standard; four inches of laminate counter material and a painted wall, sometimes with a small area of tile behind the range or sink to protect the wall from water and stains.  These days, kitchen backsplashes have gone upscale and are often an important kitchen design element.  Using some new materials and inventive design, your backsplash can be the decorative focal point of the kitchen.  The following list is a review of some kitchen backsplash options from simple to complex, inexpensive to more expensive, along with some pros and cons.

Laminate:  As mentioned above this is the simplest and one of the least expensive options.  Typically the laminate counter material continues 4” up the wall and above this is a painted surface, ideally with an easier to clean and maintain paint finish such as eggshell or semi-gloss.

Granite, Marble, or Synthetic Materials:  This is a similar approach to the laminate backsplash with the counter material extending 4” up the wall.  Another approach is to run the counter material the full height, normally 18” between the counter and wall cabinets, and a larger area behind the range or cook-top.  Using a single slab eliminates grout joints and painted finishes.  Granite and synthetic materials are more durable and less porous.  {Synthetic materials include Corian, Silestone, Ceasarstone, etc.}  Marble is porous and can absorb moisture and stains.

Ceramic Tile:  Ceramic tile is the most popular backsplash option and is used extensively.  It offers a wide range of design choices including patterns, color variations, painted designs, and varying shapes and sizes.  Ceramic tile is a mid-range cost choice and low maintenance, although the grout does need to be cleaned and sealed on occasion.

Glass Tile:  Glass tile is made from recycled glass and offers a wide variety of colors and shapes.  It can be used for the entire backsplash or combined with ceramic tile.

Mirrored Glass:  A mirrored backsplash is easy to clean and maintain and creates a feeling of depth and space.  Combined with a unique stone counter, colorful counter accessories, and under-cabinet lighting a mirrored backsplash can give a modern, unique, upscale appearance.

Stainless Steel:  Stainless steel is another low maintenance option.  Combined with stainless steel counters and/or appliances it can give a kitchen a professional, commercial, serious chef appearance.


  1. It’s really a nice and useful piece of information. Thanks for the share.
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