By Erik J. Martin
Many things capture our attention when we walk into a kitchen: the cabinetry, appliances, countertops, and flooring, certainly. But one particular amenity is designed to draw the eye often more than others – the backsplash, a component that should be prioritized and carefully planned.
The backsplash is a huge visual element in your kitchen. It’s one of the main features that affect the mood, theme, and color of the room.
Installing a new backsplash or replacing an existing one is something you can do relatively quickly and inexpensively. It can be easily removed as design trends change, allowing you to upgrade your kitchen every few years as needed. It can also be an area to show off a new trend.
The backsplash can either be a focal point, a bridge between surfaces and finishes, or a way to neutralize other dated elements of your kitchen’s design.
Material and color trends change over time, so the change from a busy glass mosaic to a simple chevron backsplash can breathe new life into your kitchen, for example.
We’re seeing a lot more creativity and color in backsplashes in 2022.
Bright-colored ceramic tile and colored glass have been popular. Also, there is ample interest in bringing a natural stone slab up onto the backsplash, particularly with lots of interesting veining and patterns. “Of course, subway tile continues to be a well-liked choice. Today, we are seeing subway tile versions that have a little bit of texture or are long and thin to add a new twist.
3-D Backsplashes have an actual texture that you can feel, and visually it gives an interesting effect. Patterned tile has been around for a while but remains quite popular, too. These tiles have designs like floral patterns or fleur-de-lis and add impact to a small area.
Laying backsplash tile in unexpected ways, such as stacking 3 x 12 tiles, is another growing trend.
Grout can be as important as the tile choice; it can make a basic tile more dynamic. Think a medium-gray with a white tile in a herringbone pattern.
When tile shopping, try to choose a product that has the same or similar colors to your countertop, which can make your kitchen feel bigger.
Also, consider a matching grout color for your tile. If you have a white tile, you should find a grout that’s similar to help blanket the space and make it feel larger. The only time you will want to choose a different grout color is if you are looking to create a design with it, but that’s rarely the case. Additionally, avoid bright, loud color combinations in your backsplash, because that’s the one thing homeowners regret sooner than later. Sometimes they fall in love with the tile, then see it on the wall and realize that it takes over the room. Instead, look for something more subtle, and don’t get too crazy with the color palette.
Furthermore, don’t force a style onto your kitchen.
Trying to do a mid-century modern-inspired tile in a French country kitchen will only look out of place. Match the style of your existing space, and then you can have fun with the color.
Pay close attention to scale, as well. Intricate mosaics can be beautiful but should be complemented by cleaner lines and finishes elsewhere to avoid an overly busy feel.
Above all, carefully consider how long you plan to remain in your home before committing to a backsplash design.
While a backsplash isn’t a permanent change, it can make a personal statement that isn’t ideal for resale. Opt for something more classic if you plan to sell in less than five years.
For best results, consider hiring an interior designer, who can act as an extra pair of eyes to help you make the right backsplash choices.