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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Backsplash

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Design & Trends, How to, Interior Design


By Matilda Davies

The right backsplash should not only be functional, protecting your walls from grease and kitchen splatters, it should also be beautiful, a design statement that adds beauty and character to your space. 

The options for style, materials, pattern, and color are endless, so the task of choosing one can be overwhelming. In order to help you choose the right one for your kitchen, here are six questions to ask yourself. 

1. What’s your budget?

The first question you should ask is how much money you have to spend on your backsplash. Most backsplash projects will cost between $300 and $1,000, plus the cost of labor, if you choose to hire a pro.

The size of your budget will affect the quality and brand of material you are able to buy and how much space you can cover (some backsplashes are shallow, while others stretch for many feet). Your budget will also affect whether you can hire a professional to do the installation or whether you will need to DIY the job. Pro tip: colder months are often slower months for contractors, so you may be able to save money if you take on the task in winter.

Before you start shopping, identify your budget and stick to it. You’ll be able to enjoy the result more if you don’t stretch your funds too thin.


2. How often do you use your kitchen?

If you cook regularly, you’ll want to make sure you choose a backsplash material that is durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean. Classic subway tile is stylish and versatile and is very easy to clean. Brick is classic and durable, but it’s tough to keep clean and will eventually show grease stains. Stone is one of the most durable materials you can use for your kitchen surfaces, but it is also one of the most costly.

Ultimately, the rule of thumb is that the more often you cook, the tougher, more heat-resistant, and long-lasting your backsplash should be.

5. How much space do you have?

The amount of space you have will help determine whether you should go simple or busy with your backsplash design. This will also impact your budget—larger spaces will obviously cost more money. You can make a bold statement with a unique material, pattern, or color across a small area. 

Note that busy tile patterns, when applied across a large area, can overwhelm a room and grow tiresome over time. The larger the space, the simpler your pattern should be.

3. Do you want to DIY or hire? 
If you choose a backsplash material or tile that requires intricate designs or professional cutting materials, you may want to consider hiring a pro, especially if you’re not particularly handy.

Most DIYers can work with simple tile patterns, but complicated patterns like herringboneand parquet-inspired styles may be more of a headache than they’re worth, so calling in the installation professionals can save you a great deal of time and frustration. 

4. What’s your style?

Do you like sleek and modern or traditional and timeless? Is your home rustic or minimalist? Trendy or classic? The style of your kitchen will affect the type and style of backsplash you choose. Fish scale tiles say trendy and playful, marble says luxurious and tasteful, subway tile says classic and functional. 

You’ll also want to make sure that your backsplash coordinates with your countertops, cabinets, and flooring. If you need help picturing the finished product, try a design app that lets you take photos of your space and try on new styles. 

6. How do you want your kitchen to feel?

Once you’ve decided on the style you’re going for, you should then decide the way you want your kitchen to feel. Do you want to inspire simplicity and function or are you looking for luxury and indulgence? Do you want to reflect light into the room or create a sense of cozy warmth?

If you want to create a light and airy feel in your home, then choosing a light-colored or transparent material is the way to go. Avoid dark soapstone and marble and heavy materials like brick. 

If you want to create a feel of luxury and indulgence, then white veined marble or sturdy granite might be the right choice for you (granite is not only affordable, it’s also very durable and heat-resistant).    

Author bio:

Matilda lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she writes about great homes, health, and wellness. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and walking her dogs.

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