Install a Kitchen Backsplash for Beauty and Utility

by J on August 6, 2009

If you’re looking to start a kitchen remodeling project that won’t take weeks to finish but will still add some pizazz to your kitchen, then consider installing a backsplash. A backsplash is simply material installed above and behind your kitchen countertops.

Backsplashes have two functions—to protect and to decorate. First of all, backsplashes help protect the area in your kitchen that is most prone to food and water damage, the areas behind the sink and the stove. Installing a backsplash will make for a quicker clean up. Generally, you just wipe them off; they are much more resistant to staining than painted or wallpapered walls.

Next, a backsplash adds an artistic element to your kitchen. You are only limited by your creativity and your budget as to the design that you choose. If you are lacking in ideas, a visit to a kitchen design expert should spark some possibilities for energizing the space.

For starters, let’s consider some of the materials you can use to make a backsplash. Tin, slate, stainless steel, stone, tile and countertop material are all common choices. If you are using tile, be sure to choose tile that is glazed so that it will repel any stains.

Next, consider how you want the space to look. Often a backsplash is a focal point of the cooking area. You can choose colors that complement your current color palette in the kitchen, or you can use the backsplash to break up a monochromatic color scheme in your kitchen, creating a splash of color. Mosaic designs are popular. You could also choose to construct a mural by piecing together different tiles.

One point to keep in mind when using tiles is that some of them can be expensive. Here again, you have a few options. If you have your heart set on a pricey tile, purchase a few of them and use them as an accent surrounded by more inexpensive tiles.

To create visual interest, try laying out the tiles at an angle. Perhaps you will stumble upon a striking design that is beautiful as well as functional.

Whether you or a design expert is installing the backsplash for your kitchen remodeling project, make sure you prep your wall. Purchase the correct adhesive for the project (mastic and thinset are two of the more common ones, depending on the material you’re working with). If using tile, once the tile is set, you must also grout the joints between each tile.

Ultimately, this project can often be completed in a weekend, depending upon the size of your space and the complexity of your design. You may find that your backsplash becomes the focal point of your kitchen!

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