A kitchen design is the perfect marriage of stylish and practical elements, and the backsplash is no exception.  Just like jewelry and shoes coordinate with your clothes to complete an outfit, the backsplash accessorizes and complements other elements of your design.  At the same time it performs the very practical function of protecting your kitchen wall from water, grease, and food splashes.

The backsplash refers to that part of a kitchen wall that sits above the sink, range, and countertop.  It may include an area extending only a few inches or all the way to the wall-mounted kitchen cabinets.  In some cases it could even extend up to the ceiling, and vary in height from one part of the kitchen wall to the next.  While a backsplash protects the wall, it also enhances your kitchen style.  There are many materials and colors available for backsplashes, utilizing a very visible area to set the tone for your kitchen renovation.

Some of the main factors to consider when selecting a backsplash include:

Style: the backsplash is an ideal place to bring out your personality and even to get creative with textures, colors, and patterns. Incorporate a design focal point in one section or create a uniform appearance for the entire backsplash.  At the same time, ensure it complements other key elements of the design like the countertop, cabinets, and lighting.  For example, the classic white kitchen below maintains a traditional style while creating an eye catching design with this marble and metal accent backsplash.

Budget: consider your available funds before you start looking at backsplash materials and designs. Some materials are more expensive than others, and trendy designs may be more likely to go out of style.  If you are on a budget consider sticking to a more neutral backsplash, and perhaps use a more expensive material for one high impact focal point.

Durability: backsplashes may be a design feature, but they still have a very important, often messy, job to do. Think about the amount of food, grease, and dirt that will come into contact with your backsplash, not to mention the cleaning required to keep it looking good as new.  Some materials are easier to clean, some must be sealed on a regular basis, and others are more prone to scratches.  Which material is right for you will depend in part on style, but also consider how much wear and tear you expect it to endure and how willing you are to maintain it.

Material: while tile backsplashes are still a popular choice, there are now a wide range of materials and colors available to cover this space. These include glass, metal, natural stone, stainless steel, hand painted or custom designed tile, and more.  You could opt to select a sustainable material such as recycled glass, cork, or bamboo.  Every material offers different pros and cons, and each has a unique appearance that impacts your kitchen style.  For example, the design pictured below left incorporates grey frosted glass and glass mosaic blend accents to beautifully offset the transitional style of this kitchen, while the tile backsplash below right evokes a more traditional look.

kitchen design with tile backsplash
Your choice of backsplash can dramatically alter the look of your kitchen remodeling project, either serving as a neutral backdrop for the cabinets and countertop, or acting as a design statement that stands out on its own. Our kitchen design gallery offers more backsplash ideas, or contact us to find out more about selecting the perfect backdrop for your kitchen.