420 RENO… How to Choose the Right Backsplash

Do you LOVE your backsplash? I do now! Sometimes, a 4” continuous backsplash in the same material as the countertop is the most appropriate look (or price tag) for the project.

I decided that I would try something a little different with this renovation so I made two walls entirely of subway tile. How did I come to this decision? Here is the process:

  • Inspiration? Make sure you spend plenty of time looking at magazines or online for images that you like. Initially, it is a “feeling,” but before you purchase product, make sure you know why you feel that you like it.
    • Early on in the design process, I found a photo that had subway tile with open dark shelves on the wall. I went back to this photo several times to make sure that I liked the look and feel of it before committing to such a bold statement.
  • Does the space dictate anything specific? Are there windows that you are working with or a cooktop hood that make the space either difficult or easier to define with tile or a solid surface?
    • I had a hard time “stopping” the tile because there is a solid antique cabinet, windows, cooktop/vent, and a door opening along the walls. All of these are at different heights lacking one solid continuous line. In order to marry all of the elements, I decided that one solid wall was the way to go.
  • Input from others? Check with the tile store, the kitchen designer, the granite supplier, installers and your partner to get input. You can weigh the positive and negative as it comes your way and make your own decision, but it’s good to check in with professionals.
    • Okay, I’ll admit- I’m not one for asking people’s advice. I find it blurs my vision. Instead, I internally torture myself. I do not recommend this approach! Anyway, I took my husband to the tile store and showed him 3 very different subway tiles. I knew which one he would choose (the one I wanted of course), but he felt pretty proud of himself for choosing the “right” tile. (Note: my husband never reads this blog – maybe he should.)

One final word of advice: I’ve seen reclaimed wood as a backsplash recently. While it’s cool, it is not functional (how do you clean it??). They do make a tile that looks like reclaimed wood – a much better decision.

The backsplash is typically like “lipstick.” You can decide on it “after the fact.” (But if you are doing an entire wall, it needs to be determined at the beginning of the project.) This decision should be fun and inspiring. Take the time to do your homework and enjoy. Here are some more suggestions from houzz.com.



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