Choosing a backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom can be a daunting task. There are several options for designing your backsplash. We will cover several here. You will have to decide if you want a geometric pattern, a straight one color and texture backsplash or more of a mosaic pattern.
There are so many material choices available for making backsplashes that it may be overwhelming for some. Of course, where you are putting the backsplash may slightly limit your material options. For example, you do not want to choose a porous material for behind the sink or stove. You will want something with a water and grease repellant surface that is easy to clean. Here is a list of materials that are common:
• Durable and washable wallpaper
• Ceramic and porcelain tile of all sizes
• Broken china plates for mosaic patterns
• Natural stone tiles such as marble and granite
• Metallic tiles
• Stainless steel plate
• Glass tile
• Back painted glass panes
• Pressed tin panels
• Brick and stone veneer
Wallpaper is one of the easier and sometimes overlooked options. Certain wallpaper can make good backsplashes, Be sure to choose a wallpaper that wipes clean and is of durable construction. The easiest to use wallpaper is the pre-pasted kind.
Ceramic and porcelain tile is a more traditional option. When using tile, you can create very simple one tone designs or extremely complicated patterns that use many different colors, types and sizes of tile. Ceramic tile is very easily cleaned and upkeep is minimal. Often designers simply use the same color tile on the backsplash that was used on the floor.
If you really want to be creative, you can gather old china plates and use them to create a nice mosaic backsplash. You can use many colors and varieties of china plates and you may use chipped and cracked plates, making this an economical choice as well.
All you need to do is break the china up into pieces of whatever size you desire and use a tile mastic to paste them to your backboard. One way to break up the plates is to wrap the plate in a towel and gently strike it with a hammer as many times as needed.
Natural stone makes a wonderfully elegant looking backsplash. The two most common stones are marble and granite. Marble being the easier to work with and clean. Granite can be difficult to work with and is not easily gathered. Granite is vulnerable to damage upon transport and is often damaged during mining.
Metallic tiles are perfect for some situations. They are commonly used to break up the monotony of ceramic or porcelain tiles. You can randomly place a few metallic tiles among the other tiles to create an interesting look. Also, beautiful patterns can be made with metallic tiles when you mix them with other types of tiles. Brushed steel, bronze, copper and stainless are some metallic tile options.
Stainless steel makes a very durable and easy to clean backsplash. Solid stainless steel backsplashes are coming in style. They give your kitchen a more modern look and match well with the ever-popular stainless steel appliances.
Glass tile is another up and coming style that is increasing in popularity lately. The advantages of glass tile are that they do not scratch and are very easily cleaned. You can choose either a textured glass or a smooth glass.
Back painted glass panes are an innovative alternative to use for your kitchen or bathroom sink backsplash. You may simply paint the back of a piece of glass that has been cut to the proper size and install it as a backsplash. This is a very simple and versatile way of making a unique backsplash. You may even wish to get creative and paint a design or mural on the back of the glass. This too is one of the easiest to clean and is fairly maintenance free.
Pressed tin panels come in very nice designs and make beautiful backsplashes, but perhaps are not the easiest to clean.
Formica is a more traditional material for backsplashes. Made popular because of the use of Formica on counter tops, Formica is said to be a bit outdated. It is still a great choice because it looks great, comes in any color or pattern you can think of and wipes clean very easily.
Brick and stone veneer is a classic. They are formed from thinly sliced bricks or stones and give your room a lovely authentic look and feel. Although they are usually porous materials and not the easiest to clean. They are however fairly easy to work with and clean up after install is simple enough.
Photo by David Hunter, Creative Commons Attribution License