• John Mastera, Architect, AIA

How to Choose a Backsplash that Matches Your Kitchen



Considering a kitchen remodel? Get ready to tackle some serious logistical considerations. There are a lot of things to think about when remodeling your kitchen, not the least of which is how to choose a backsplash.

In architecture, we worry about the character of the space you live and work in. This means that every detail matters, because the whole of these decisions working together will create a mood or an excitement to the architecture. Especially something that surrounds you and is so apparent visually, like a backsplash in a Kitchen.

It serves a practical purpose and it can also be the aesthetic anchor that ties your entire kitchen together. Because of this, it’s important that you pick a backsplash that perfectly complements your space.

Here’s a quick guide on how to choose a backsplash that will take your kitchen to the next level.

1. Color & Feel

The first thing you need to decide on is the color of the backsplash. Do you want to go with something bright and full of characters, or would you prefer a neutral tone that lends itself to an understated space? While this decision mostly comes down to personal preference, you need to be sure that your choice accents and adds to the rest of the kitchen. Sometimes, a nice pop of color in an otherwise neutral kitchen can inject some much-needed life into it. But if you’re going for something calming, you might want to stick to earth tones. Whatever you decide, be sure to consider how it works as one piece of the whole.


2. Sizing

Like color, this is mostly a matter of personal preference. There are a lot of options. You can go with something that spans the length of your counter area or you could go for a hint of tile behind the sink. You also need to consider height. If you have an open shelving design, do you want it to extend up through the entirety of the shelf space, or do you want it to stop at the bottom?

At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with it, so go with your gut. Just make sure you’re taking accurate measurements before actually beginning the process.

3. Material

Is your kitchen modern or rustic? Sleek or organic? Ask yourself these questions before deciding on what material to use in your backsplash. Traditional ceramic tile is still the most popular option, but it’s not the only one. For the traditionalists, brick is a great option. On the other hand, someone looking for something cutting edge might try glass. Don’t just think about how this material complements the other elements of your kitchen. Think about its lifespan, cleanability, and other more practical considerations, too.



4. Pattern and Size

Last but not the least, you’ll need to pick a pattern that works. If you’re looking to get creative, you can test the limits of contemporary design by picking unique and non-traditional tile shapes and layouts. That said, a classic tile dimension and layout is the best option. Why? Simply put, it will outlast every design trend and stand the test of time. You don’t want to find yourself remodeling your kitchen again in ten years time. I’m asked often “What’s popular these days?” Ignore that question, and trust your instincts. Every kitchen is unique. Just remember, you’re the one who will be looking at this every day, so when in doubt, go with your gut. And if it is done well, people will be asking about what YOU did on your backsplash and want to emulate that design! (You will be what’s popular!)

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