A backsplash on your kitchen counters not only add a decorative touch to your cooking and food preparation area, it also makes cleaning easier and protects your drywall.
A backsplash will keep water from your sink from damaging the wall when it splashes up and will catch grease splatters behind your cooking surface. Although you can hire a professional to install one for you, a DIY backsplash it a fine project for the homeowner to tackle.
Kinds of Backspashes
Prefab cabinets are often manufactured with a laminate, or Formica, backsplash. Adding this kind of backsplash to an existing cabinet is generally not a good option for a DIY project if the design is to curve where the counter meets the wall.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with cutting the laminate to fit and applying it to the wall with contact cement. Just apply caulk at the intersection of the countertop and the wall to seal it.
Stainless steel has long been used for commercial backsplashes and over the past few years has gained popularity in the residential market. On a retrofit it might look out of place if it doesn’t fit the theme of the kitchen.
One of the hottest materials out is granite. It’s durable and elegant and it will definitely raise the value of your home. The downside? It is expensive and although the DIY can install it, any cutting will have to be outsourced
Tile – A Better Backsplash
A more attractive and popular choice of backsplash is glazed tile or glass tile. Reasonably priced and easy to work with, it makes a great two day project.
The slick, sealed surface of tile makes it easy to clean and disinfect which is very important in any food preparation area. Tile installation is not difficult at all. The tile itself can be installed in one day and the second day is devoted to grouting.
One good thing about tile is that there is a huge assortment of colors and shapes. One possibility is a solid color, another is mosaic, and still another is color combinations.
To be sure the colors you choose look right in your kitchen, consider buying a few single pieces to take home and try them out. Feel free to create a pattern by interspersing “theme” tiles, such as tiles that feature pictures of fruit.
Tile Backsplash Installation
If you install glass tile, use thinset to adhere to the wall. For glazed use a tile mastic. Be sure to use plastic spacers between tiles when setting them. You can pull them out when the mastic has dried.
When cutting tile always use a diamond wet saw. If you don’t have one, rent one from your home improvement center. Avoid the score and snap type tools; you will just end up ruining material and getting frustrated.
Grouting the backslash is an easy job. Basically all you need is a float and a sponge. There are many colors of grout to choose from to complement the tile colors that you choose. Keep in mind that lighter colors will show grime more readily can buy the grout either in power form and mix it yourself or buy it pre-mixed.
After the grout had dried it is very important to use a grout sealer on it. The kitchen is going to be wet and greasy at times and unsealed grout can harbor bacteria.
Whatever type of backsplash you choose, it will surely add a nice touch to your kitchen. Not to mention raising the value of your property.