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Kitchen Backsplashes: Express Yourself!

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

If you are bored with your kitchen it may be time to consider some backsplash ideas. Today, more than ever, there is a huge variety of materials, designs and styles to choose from. Taking the time to do your research, looking at many different designs, and knowing your wants and needs will help with the final decision.

After all, the backsplash doesn't just protect the walls it makes a statement about you to everyone who walks into your home. Be as creative as you want to be. The difference between a mediocre kitchen and a great kitchen is often times the design of the backsplash.

Express Yourself with Your Kitchen Backsplash

You can bring new life to your kitchen with the right kitchen backsplash. Don't be afraid to try something new, to use an unusual material or put things together in a unique way. Your backsplash design can pull all of the other elements of your kitchen together and create a harmony within the workspace.

The function of the backsplash is to protect the walls and make the area easier to clean. Always choose material that is easy to clean and will hold up well year after year. Think about how you use the kitchen, the amount and type of cooking you do, and the time you spend there. What is going to be most pleasing to you? What colors and textures do you love?

It is good to make an idea file. Just tear out and file pictures you see in magazines or print pictures that you see on the Internet. What type of look are you consistently drawn to?

Custom Backsplash

Backsplash Materials:Pros and Cons

Choosing the material for your new kitchen backsplash can be daunting. There are may types and each one has positive and negative qualities. When considering backsplashes always consider your needs as well as the look you want.

Some of the materials you may want to consider are:

  • Tile- There are many types of tiles which can be used for kitchen backsplashes. Glass tiles, metal, natural stone, ceramic, recycled glass, the list goes on and on. Tiles are very easy to install during a weekend do it yourself project. They are easy to clean, and to keep looking good. Most tiles are both heat and stain resistant. A tile to consider that will open up your kitchen is mirror tiles. You will have to guard against the grout becoming discolored and staining. The best way to do this is to seal the grout after installation.
  • Tongue and groove wainscoting-This is a fantastic look for country kitchens. Tongue and groove paneling can be stained or painted with scrubbable paint. It is easy to clean but if it gets gouged or burned there is no real fix for it.
  • Stainless steel-Stainless steel brings a sleek, modern look to nearly any kitchen. The stainless steel backsplash is versatile, complimenting virtually any countertop. These are some of the most durable and easy to clean countertop choices. The negative is that they are expensive and they can be scratched and stained.
  • Cork- This backsplash is certainly not for everyone. It is not completely durable and takes more care than most people want to give. It is perfect for the busy work at home mom, though. Use the cork to pin up a recipe, leave a note, or keep your to do list handy.
  • Magnetic whiteboard- Magnetic whiteboard gives a cool, contemporary look to the backsplash. It is hardworking, allowing you to make notes right on the wall!backsplash idea.
  • Antique ceiling tiles- these old tiles ar emaking a comeback as backsplshes. The heavily embossed designs are a great way to protect those walls. These are best in a kitchen that does not see heavy use because of the age.
  • Chalkboard paint is easy to clean. It makes a great kitchen backsplash because you can write notes right on the wall.

Glass Backsplash

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    • profile image

      Kitchen freak 6 years ago

      Great post, very good instructions, makes me wanna redesign my whole kitchen.. :)

    • whitton profile image

      whitton 6 years ago

      Great Hub. Adding backsplash to a kitchen can really spruce it up. They come in so many different styles and textures. Thank you for this...

    • profile image

      kitchen island designs 6 years ago

      The function of the backsplash is to protect the walls and make the area easier to clean. Always choose material that is easy to clean and will hold up well year after year.

    • profile image

      improvinghomeshub 6 years ago from Right Here

      Well, you just reminded me that I need to redo our backs plash. It is starting to crack and is just plain boring. I have to tile the floor and just may hit that at the same time. Thanks for the reading and reminder!

    • profile image

      self storage brunswick 6 years ago

      I've been considering a tile backsplash but your hub gave me so many other ideas. Hmmmm, how to choose, how to choose!

    • ashleyyoung profile image

      ashleyyoung 6 years ago from United States

      Me and my mom are considering remodeling our kitchen, this would really come in handy Marye, thanks for sharing!

      Hugs,

      Ash

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      All the great comments have been taken - but I did really enjoy reading this and on one of the ads came up the most wonderful mosaic tile I'd ever seen. Great topic. Thanks.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Love the videos - very motivating! Great Hub!

    • Pro Design Source profile image

      Pro Design Source 7 years ago

      I would love to see that penny backsplash! Very unique ideas.

    • bd160900 profile image

      bd160900 7 years ago from San Diego

      Very informative hub. I greatly enjoyed this!

    • jules47 profile image

      jules47 7 years ago

      It's amazing what can be achieved with regards to the look and feel of your kitchen when you tile the walls instead of leaving it dull.

    • profile image

      Kitchens 7 years ago

      Great hub. Thanks for the info. Julian

    • abinavis profile image

      abinavis 7 years ago from Bat Island

      That's really great. I love this backsplash idea. Now I am considering to makeover my kitchen but still thinking about the budget and cost.

    • profile image

      tilemuralguy 7 years ago

      great page on kitchen backsplashes! Also keep in mind, you can incorporate artwork into your backsplash by installing a tile mural. Will add a nice focal point to any kitchen backsplash!

    • knife sharpener profile image

      knife sharpener 7 years ago from Sunny Country

      Hahaha...I have learned some ideas on how to improve my kitchen. Make this my 2010 top priority. I thought mosaic is out of fashion. But, after reading your hub, I change my mind. Definitely, will reconsider this in my little project.

    • relica profile image

      relica 7 years ago from California

      The glass mosaic tile backsplash looks like it adds a lot of life to the wall. I love it.

    • greg austin profile image

      greg austin 7 years ago from Canada

      Excellent hub on a topic close to my heart. I made a backsplash out of tumbled marble about 5 years ago. I cut the marble myself (instead of buying the patterned mats) and saved a ton of money. I had some granite left over from a counter I had done in my cottage and include some granite details in the back splash. It turned out really well.

    • shanel profile image

      shanel 7 years ago from Seattle

      Nice touch adding a metalic white board as a backsplash. I love that you can hang your recipes with a magnet while you are cooking. Nice job on the hub!

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 7 years ago from UK

      The idea file tip is perfect, the sooner you amass a collectin of designs you like the closer you are to assessing whether a design will fit your kitchen and your budget. Good stuff. I'm into home improvement myself.

    • profile image

      Kitchen designs 7 years ago

      Great hub Marey. I can see you put allot of time into it. Easy reading content. I've also built a kitchen website with useful content.

    • donotfear profile image

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      I like this article! I was in the tile business for 9 years and I helped a lot of people come up with some neat ideas.

    • Cdejarnatt profile image

      Cdejarnatt 8 years ago from NE Florida

      Mine needs to be redone. Great ideas and resources. Thanks!

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Great ideas here. Thank you, Marye.

    • xcubist profile image

      xcubist 8 years ago

      Nice one, and so correct. The difference between mediocre and great is in the details. Have a great backsplash and you'll love your kitchen.

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      wow, now I need to redo my kitchen! great hub!!

      dori

    • profile image

      nj countertops 8 years ago

      great article on backsplashes

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I'm thinking of faux painting mine.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Love all of the ideas! You are a wealth of information.

    • TotalReviewGuy profile image

      TotalReviewGuy 8 years ago from Your Computer

      I just put plain white tile as a backsplash in my kitchen and It provides a very clean aesthetic look. Gosh, what a pain it was to put the tile in, though. Thanks for the ideas on alternative materials for my next kitchen backsplash! -TRiG

    • profile image

      truckinkat 8 years ago

      Rochelle: I was just thinking the same thing about the pennies. I may mix them with some tin ceiling tiles. I had a bar years ago and we put pennies on top of the bar and sealed them in with some sort of clear sealer. Was fun to see the drinkers try to pick them up!

    • profile image

      hel 8 years ago

      Love that chalkboard idea - not least because we haven't tiled or anything yet, and it can be done behind the cooker right now, on the bare wall, before we buy any tiles or whatever. If we don't like it, we can just tile or sheet over it! brilliant. I'm gonna do it next week whilst I'm on leave. I may even put magnetic paint behind the chalkboard paint! thanks Mary

    • profile image

      Erick Smart 8 years ago

      I owned a granite countertop business for years and I saw many different backsplash designs and ideas. My favorite was always a good tile mosaic that complimented the granite which was installed.

    • profile image

      Rochelle 8 years ago

      like your ideas, wondering if anybody has approached using pennies on the backsplash?

    • profile image

      ts1969 8 years ago from Spokane, WA

      Some good ideas. I'll have to come back to this hub when we remodel our kitchen.

    • Painting Pro Tim profile image

      Painting Pro Tim 8 years ago from N. California

      I'm a painting contractor, and thought your page was well done and informative. Gives people lot's of good ideas.

    • starrwriter profile image

      starrwriter 8 years ago from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

      We are looking to make some changes in our kitchen. Thank you for the ideas. Very helpful!

    • eugie17 profile image

      eugie17 8 years ago from online (everywhere)

      I was just passing buy when I seen your hub, really good ideas

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Daf- several years ago I stenciled some ugly tiles with great results!

    • profile image

      dafla 8 years ago

      Great hub, as usual, Marye. I am looking at painting over some rather boring 80's backsplash tiles. Haven't really decided what to do yet, but I'm looking at options, and you know it will have to be frugal if I do it! I'll probably write a hub on it when I do.

    • market solution profile image

      market solution 8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Great ideas for my kitchen! Glad I found your information BEFORE I did my kitchen over.

    • Patnet profile image

      Patnet 8 years ago from San Diego Area

      Good resources. Choosing a complimentary backsplash can really bring your kitchen colors into focus. I remember when I was a kid we moved into a home that has an aquarium design for a backsplash and it was a lot of fun.

      Good idea to save the extra material that you used to make the "splash" because if a plumber needs to break into a wall to do the pipes you'll need backup materials to redo the backsplash.

    • Jeniferr profile image

      Jeniferr 8 years ago from United States

      Snazzy. I especially like the tilework that was done in the second video. Maybe I'll have the money to do this some day!

    • Janet21 profile image

      Janet21 8 years ago from New York

      My husband owns a tile installation business. Over the last few years homeowners have really started to jazz up their backsplashes with elaborate custom designs.

    • scooterguy profile image

      scooterguy 8 years ago from Texas

      Marye Nice hub ya :) I too need work on my Kitchen Backsplash

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