Kitchen Backsplash: Design Like the Pros

Food and water splatters from the sink and sprays and spills from the stove and counter always end up on the backsplash; constantly takes abuse in the kitchen. So what’s the secret to having an amazing, strong backsplash? Find a designer who knows how to handle it!

The first things to consider when considering a backsplash are materials and color. These are important for creating a design that sets the tone and expresses the personality of your kitchen. Once you’ve figured out the hard part, gather your plans, elevations, countertops, and cabinet finishes and visit your local tile store.

Your designer will worry about the placement of switches, plugs, and pot fillers. These items can really detract from the overall design. For example, if your border goes through an outlet cover, it can alter the overall look. So let’s avoid that problem and make sure your electrician places outlets close to the countertop and in a horizontal versus vertical position.

Switches can always be installed in areas that avoid tile, and by using socket trim, mounting under cabinets, and concealing with track lighting, egress issues are avoided. And if disposal is necessary, install the switch on the countertop!

Now, selecting mosaic. It is best to choose your material after thinking through all the dimensions so that there are as few small tile cuts as possible. The goal is to have tiles that work with height dimensions between the countertop and lower wall cabinets. It is important to help the client find which colors and textures reflect their style and personality.

Patterned tiles work well to create an overall repeat similar to wallpaper. The quilted tile seen here was hand-painted to match the colors of the patrons’ fabrics in the adjacent living room. The tiles are 6 x 6, making the 18″ high backsplash area even and uncut. In this kitchen, plug molding was used so there were no outlets on the backsplash and the switches were placed on the return walls.

Mosaic tiles are another great option for a backsplash. Mosaic creates texture and can offer a myriad of color and material options. There is stone, glass, metal, slate, and combinations of these as well. They come in various patterns and shapes to create beautiful mixes. Tile blends are perfect when there are backsplash areas of varying heights, such as under the windowsill, behind the hood area, along a peninsula, and within an open shelf. (Milwit Dashboard)

Another great tile choice is hand-painted tiles. They are beautiful and unique and offer a custom backsplash that is completely yours. Many mosaic art companies offer murals, borders and decorative pieces, all handmade, which can be ordered using their color palette. The possibilities and ideas are endless and all can be easily painted over ceramic tile and stone.

Last but not least, decorative tiles can work in a backsplash in many ways. Many Art tile lines offer crown molding, borders, decorative field tiles, and dots to make beautiful backsplashes. The enamel offers are usually extensive and can be customized if the client wishes. Many professional kitchen backsplash areas are a wonderful place to create a focal point. If you are interested in a particular topic, there are bees, butterflies, acorns, animals, and flowers.

Finally, glass tiles, an extremely popular choice for contemporary kitchens, eclectic kitchens, and transitional kitchens. The ease of maintenance provided by glass is a great motivator for choosing it. The reflective qualities are a great source of light and color and also offer a variety of textures and patterns. There are large contemporary glass tiles as well as glass mosaics; almost anything a customer could want.

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