Ideas for Backsplash Patterns
By Keith Portugal
, last updated September 28, 2011
A backsplash may be the last thing on your mind when remodeling, but the simple act of choosing a pattern could dictate which part of your kitchen treats your guests’ eyes first. If you have lighter colored kitchen walls, darker backsplashes can help accentuate the color. If you want your backsplashes to “pop,” then simply choose brighter, more vibrant colors that will draw the eye. Apart from adding style, a backsplash can also add a little efficiency to the rest of your kitchen, not just to the area behind the stove and sink. When choosing your backsplash colors and pattern, consider using different textures, sizes, and varied materials. Because a backsplash traditionally covers a small area of the kitchen, adding and replacing designs can be easy.
Classic Backsplashes and Tile
The original purpose of a backsplash is to protect the wall from a stove’s heat, a sink’s moisture and the overall mess of a kitchen. But as mentioned, backsplashes will add style. The type of materials used will also contribute to how efficiently you can clean your kitchen. Some backsplashes will require more upkeep than others, but the tradeoff in your “kitchen art” may be worth it. Tile is the traditional backsplash material, and is easily one of the most versatile. But, the grout holding it together will have to be cleaned every so often. But, the stylistic advantages to tile outweigh any of its inherent problems. Tiles are cheaper, and come in a near infinite number of colors. You can have a plain backsplash, or perhaps an alternating two-color design. More colors can be used in patterns, and even different sizes. Larger tiles make cleaning easier and change the dynamic of the overall visual.
Glass is making a comeback in many kitchens around the country and is just as useful as tile. Glass will help brighten the kitchen, and has an easy surface to clean. Many people prefer recycled glass because it is better on the environment, and it gives off more unique hues than tile. Glass, however, is much more expensive than tile, and scratches are more common. Also, be careful when installing with grout; a bad grout job is harder to cover up with glass.
Stone and Steel
Worn stones will give your kitchen a more “Old World” look, provided that your kitchen already has warm colors and stones or wood are used in the flooring, the range, and the countertops. Because of their inherent surface irregularities, stones can be a little tougher to clean than tile or glass, even if they are polished. But when compared to tiles and glass, stones can be shaped much more easily and at lower cost, and thus is a very versatile material. Stainless steel is expensive, but is the clear favorite for a very modern, streamlined looking kitchen. Easy to clean and very easy to install, stainless steel will not disappoint anyone that can afford its installation. If you are worried about how impersonal stainless steel looks, then simply add colored inserts between your steel plates.