Backsplashes were born of necessity: to protect the walls behind the sink and stove against water damage and splatters, block spills and crumbs from falling behind cabinets, and to disguise uneven walls. Today, they’re seen as a design element that can bring sparkle, color, and texture to your home’s kitchen.
We think backsplashes are the perfect way to tie countertops and cabinets together to give your kitchen a pulled-together look. And with so many options to choose from, it’s a great way to add visual interest to any kitchen remodeling project.
Kitchen Countertop and Backsplash Ideas
From traditional tile to contemporary glass, there’s no end of choices for your new kitchen backsplash. While tile is still the most popular, those made of natural stone or even glass are becoming more common. Here are some of our favorite ways to ensure the backsplash and countertops you choose beautifully complement each other.
If your remodel includes white or painted gray cabinets and a wood or wood look floor, think about using a white/grey marbled look for the countertops. Then use the backsplash to bring it all in sync. Painted cabinets mean there is no wood grain to add depth, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for some warmth. A solid white backsplash with a glass tile accent strip in one of your favorite colors can keep the room from feeling too cold.
Tradition with a Twist
If you like the look of traditional wood cabinets with bronze hardware and leaded glass doors, try adding a contemporary touch with hand glazed tiles like those from Walker Zanger. The company offers all sorts of cool textured tiles in every color, shape, and style imaginable. When the rest of the room is classic, it can be fun to inject a little personality into the room with a bit of crazy in the backsplash.
Welcoming and Warm
A stone backsplash treatment gives your kitchen a natural warmth. There are cement tiles that look Spanish or Mediterranean, or choose black and white natural stone tiles. Terra cotta tiles that come in gorgeous red and brown tones can be inset with smaller black tiles for a beautiful and rich look.
Tips When Picking Out a Backsplash
What you choose for your backsplash depends on your kitchen. Do you want it to be the focal point? Stunning doesn’t have to be complicated – even a solid backsplash with no contrast can add wow-factor to the room. We are currently completing a Scandinavian kitchen right now that has a glass backsplash with a solid color behind the glass.
- Grout color truly matters, so think about it early on. It can blend in, stand out, or be a part of the overall pattern. A plain color tile with a contrasting grout becomes a “picture.” Do your countertops have a busy pattern? Then you might want to keep the grout neutral. In this picture, notice how a simple subway tile with a darker color grout really pops.
- If you use an accent tile, it should not be used right near the top of the counter. Instead, separate it a bit and install it further up in the backsplash. This also prevents having a break in the pattern from outlets or appliances placed in front of it.
- If light switches and outlets will be placed near the backsplash and/or counter, think about how the pattern will affect them and vice versa. Notice how the countertop electrical outlets in this kitchen beautifully blend into the modern version of the classic subway tile.
- Countertops and backsplashes should complement each other. If your countertops have a big pattern, the backsplash should be more scaled. If the backsplash is busy, keep the countertops simple with little or subdued veining.
- Keep ease of maintenance in mind. Travertine was once the go-to choice for backsplashes, but it requires regular sealing.
- Some people who choose quartz or granite countertops decide to do a full-height backsplash of the same material. This can be a great look when used with rich wood cabinets that are the focal point of the room.
Want to learn about other kitchen countertop and backsplash ideas? Talk to one of our designers – we love helping you decide which materials look great together and will reflect your personal style.