Last modified: 2020-09-12 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
The kitchen is a space of collaboration and cohabitation, where friends and family gather to cook, clean and hang out. Many important elements and fixtures occupy this room, and often overlooked is the humble backsplash.
Dealing with daily wear and tear, the backsplash is the narrow strip of wall that runs just above kitchen counters, behind the sink and below cabinets. This area is important, as it comes up against water, grease and anything left over from the evening's dinner.
However, that doesn't mean it has to be boring! The backsplash is another opportunity for the homeowner to be creative, adding a personal touch to even the dullest of kitchens. Also, renovating the backsplash is an easy way to offer this space a low-cost update, breathing fresh air into the place. So, if you've been looking for a way to add life into the kitchen without spending a fortune, here are some backsplash ideas!
This is the most traditional option when it comes to the kitchen backsplash. However, it's tried and true for a reason! Tiles are highly customizable and are therefore an excellent option for anyone looking to add visual interest to their kitchen! Introduce another dimension to the space by using textured tiles that pop from the wall behind the sink. If you've got a more minimal vibe in your home, try thin ceramic kitchen tiles.
Another common option among homeowners is a play on a classic subway tile, which is often an entire backsplash of stark white tiles. Regardless of the type you choose, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a tile style that best suits you, your kitchen and home overall.
There are lots of different types of metal that work well as kitchen backsplashes. A common choice for those interested in a metal backsplash is stainless steel, as it is bright and reflective, aiding in opening up even the smallest of kitchens. Stainless steel is extremely easy to clean, making it a choice that is not only efficient but also good looking. Punctured and hammered tin is another option, adding an alternative texture to your kitchen's design.
This material is durable and easy to maintain, so if you choose it, you won't need an update anytime soon. Copper and brass are also frequently featured in backsplashes. These metals evolve, as exposure to air and moisture can cause colour variations or attractive patterns.
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This option is one that will be favoured by any kids in your home. Chalkboard paint is not only water-resistant, but it's also durable and easy to clean! This inexpensive option is anything but boring, and offers a way for you to leave little love notes and drawings for friends and family, livening up the home and making this room fun! Before painting, make sure to remove any switch plates.
Also, clean the walls with a grease-cutting soap to ensure the paint will properly adhere. If you love the paint more than you expected, it can also be used on the back of open shelves or as an entire accent wall! It is important to prepare the wall before use, as this prevents writing from getting stuck on the surface. To prepare, hold a piece of chalk lengthwise and cover the chalkboard surface. Wipe away with a dry paper towel and voila! The wall is ready for you to inscribe sweet nothings or to-do lists!
Who says your backsplash needs to be made from traditional materials? Mixing and matching found materials with those purchased can be a unique option. Although we've already suggested using tiles for your backsplash, mismatched tiles can be a way to integrate a signature mosaic in your kitchen! Try a combination of glossy and matte glass tiles to create some versatility while maintaining function.
Mix medium-toned wood tiles with metallic multi-coloured ones. If your kitchen is donned with stainless steel appliances, consider a patchwork design that is eye-catching and colourful. If you're on a budget, it is worth checking out your local Habitat for Humanity for leftover tiles, mixing these with a few custom-designed ones. This way, you can save some bucks while still creating a singular backsplash.
source: Flickr, huriel becerra
Stone is an alluring option for your home's backsplash. Most types of stone can be cut into various shapes for a beautiful backsplash tile. Honed marble is a popular choice. Consider layering a small piece of marble or creating a marble mosaic with some mixed tiles. This will give your kitchen a designer look that is professional and clean. You can create a more uniform effect with a large section of marble or granite. Stone tiles are very durable and versatile but need to be taken care of correctly.
They can be tumbled, offering a smooth finish or left matte for a more natural look. Different finishes offer a variety of effects, depending on the style of your kitchen. In comparison with ceramic or porcelain, stone creates a high-end ambiance. However, it is important to remember that certain types of stone absorb more moisture than others, making these less than ideal for a backsplash.
For a backsplash that will truly stand out and become a focal point of the room, consider using brickwork in your design. Although a smooth material might be optimal, as backsplashes can get messy, adding a bit of texture to the room is an excellent way to create interest while keeping things contained. Red brick can add a traditional rustic feel and colour to an otherwise minimal space.
A whitewashed brick backsplash is a toned-down version of the aforementioned, for those who don't want to go all the way. If you want to go that extra mile, paint your bricks white before installing them onto the wall. This allows the bricks to adopt a modern and chic look rather than the farmhouse feel a red brick might otherwise create.
We've already considered a few of the removable and temporary backsplash options, but if you're a renter and looking to cover up whatever horrible backsplash your landlord installed, we've got a few more for you! Vinyl decals are a cheap choice that are incredibly easy to install. You can create faux tiles from patterned and removable decals, an extremely accessible and customizable look.
Got an old tablecloth kicking around? You can mimic the look of wallpaper by adhering fabric to the wall with liquid starch or cover it with clear vinyl. Consider applying Velcro and sticking individual pieces of tiles or other unique materials like small pieces of artwork to the backsplash. Think outside the box if you're working with a removable or temporary backsplash situation!
It is important to practice ways to be environmentally friendly. One way to do this is by using recycled materials in our home renovation projects. Give your backsplash an update by using salvaged or sustainable materials to create something beautiful. Reclaimed wood is an excellent option for your kitchen backsplash!
Wood from old barns, wine barrels and farmhouses as well as recycled bamboo are just some of the options. Make sure wood has been finished with a water-soluble varnish or stain, as it will hold up against heat and humidity, helping to avoid mildew growth.
Other recycled materials to consider include reclaimed glass or recycled aluminum. Recycled aluminum is a fairly new addition, however, the post-industrial shavings and scrapings can be used to form beautiful tiles as well as solid surfaces. It is recommended when working with aluminum that a colour-infused silicone grout is used during the installation process. This will accommodate potential expansion or contraction due to changing temperatures in your kitchen.
For those hoping to update their backsplash on the cheap, but who want something slightly more permanent than paper, there are lots of interesting options. Consider using everyday materials that have been collected over time: maybe you have a pile of old CDs that are gathering dust, or some unused coffee beans after you've kicked the habit.
Other options include rocks or beach glass that have been collected over time as well as wine corks or even the bottles themselves! Most of these materials will need to be broken into pieces or manipulated to use them but can be adhered to a plywood sheet. If you've got the creative streak inside you, start collecting for your DIY backsplash project!
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