You’ve selected a new stove, beautiful cabinetry and countertops that are just waiting for you to prep food on them. You’ve chosen flooring and paint swatches and faucets. Your new kitchen design is coming together, but something is missing – your backsplash! Learn how to choose a kitchen backsplash to match your countertop.
Often overlooked during the initial design process, a well-designed backsplash is the pièce de résistance of any kitchen. No longer just there to protect your walls from spatters of bacon grease, this practical kitchen staple has turned into a homeowner’s chance to add a splash of color and creativity to their culinary haven.
The cool thing about selecting a beautiful backsplash is you don’t have to be an interior designer to pick one that adds style and flair to your space. All you need is a basic understanding of the materials and options out there to make an informed choice you can enjoy for years to come.
Importance of Installing a Kitchen Backsplash
The kitchen backsplash was originally designed to protect the kitchen’s vertical surfaces from water or grease splashing onto them. In more recent years, however, the backsplash has transformed from a purely functional element to the focal point of a well-designed kitchen. Whether for function or flair, there are five reasons every kitchen should incorporate a backsplash into its design:
Protection Against Wall Damage
From a practical standpoint, a backsplash is designed to protect your walls from spills and spatters that could otherwise damage them. They also prevent the buildup of mildew and mold which, if left unchecked, can cause severe problems in your kitchen.
Food and water can also stain your walls. Over time, small spatters can build up to big stains and, eventually, walls will look dingy and dirty. Even faithful cleaning can only do so much to prolong the inevitable.
Simplifying Kitchen Cleanup
A backsplash prevents stains and makes cleanup easier. Today’s backsplash materials are easy to clean, meaning you won’t spend hours scouring and scrubbing to keep them looking fabulous. You can clean most backsplash materials with a quick wipe of a damp cloth or sponge.
Keeping Unwanted Guests Away
A good backsplash won’t keep away boring clients or nosy family members, but it can reduce your chances of a visit from unwanted rodents and insects. A backsplash forms a protective barrier between the counter and wall that keeps these annoying pests from helping themselves to the leftovers in your kitchen.
Personalizing Your Kitchen Space
On average, Americans spend more than 400 hours in their kitchens each year preparing meals and cleaning up after them. That’s roughly over seven and a half hours a week. If you’re going to spend that much time in your kitchen, you might as well make the space pleasing to the eye.
Comprehensive Tips for Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash
Once you decide to install a backsplash in your kitchen, it’s time to wade through the vast selection of colors, designs and materials. The options can seem overwhelming, but these practical tips can help you narrow them down.
Setting Your Budget
Are you on a strict budget or are you willing to pay whatever it takes to get what you want? By deciding up front what you’re ready to spend on your backsplash, you can narrow down your options.
Trendier tiles with colors or elaborate designs will typically cost more than basic white tiles. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific color, consider whether you can opt for tiles made from a less expensive material. Tiles come in a variety of materials, sizes and patterns, so shopping around to figure out what works with your design and budget is the best way to get what you want at a price you can afford.
However, don’t go cheap on the grout you’ll use to seal your tiles into place. Grout is what’s going to keep your tiles on the wall, so you want to make sure that it’s going to hold up well over time. Grout also comes in a variety of colors, which can be a great way to spruce up your space if you opt for a plain white tile.
Assessing the Size of Your Kitchen Space
Size and budget go hand-in-hand since a large kitchen will naturally require more materials than a small one. As you’re contemplating your design and budget, take a good look at the size of your kitchen.
Typically, the spaces above your oven range and your sink are the places in the kitchen that need the most coverage, so these are the areas that get a lot of attention. They are also the places that offer the most space to play with design. Consider a more detailed tile for these areas and opt for a more neutral tile in the smaller areas that won’t get noticed as much.
Evaluating Your Backsplash Options
Take some time to think about your options. After all, this backsplash is one you’ll be living with for a long time. Tape samples of tiles to your kitchen walls and observe them for a couple of days. Watch for changes in how they look as the lighting changes throughout the day.
Consider how they coordinate with your cabinetry and light fixtures. Get a second option. And a third if you need it. Your backsplash is going to be with you for a long time, so you want to make sure it’s something you can live with.
Considering Your Countertops
While it’s important for your backsplash to coordinate nicely with your lighting and cabinets, the most critical kitchen element to consider is your countertops. Your backsplash is, in many ways, an extension of your countertops. These two elements will be right next to each other and, if you do a good job choosing them, they will ultimately showcase each other.
Applying Backsplash Design Tips and Kitchen Remodeling Ideas
When incorporating design tips and ideas, you must ensure that all the elements work well together to create a cohesive aesthetic. Opt for kitchen remodeling ideas with materials, colors and textures that align with your design goals while giving you the functionality you need.
Inspiring Kitchen Countertop and Backsplash Ideas
Picking a kitchen backsplash to match your countertops is important for all the reasons we mentioned above. It can be tempting to choose the same materials and colors for your countertop and backsplash, but this option can look uninspired. Ultimately, selecting a well-coordinated backsplash and countertop is essential to the design of your kitchen.
It’s usually best to select your countertops first. Countertops must be installed before the backsplash – therefore needing to be chosen first – and options for countertops are more limited than backsplash choices. With fewer choices for countertops, it can be easier to pick your countertop and then search for a backsplash that goes with it.
Once you’ve selected the countertop, you’ve got a few things to consider:
Mastering the Art of Matching vs. Contrasting
One of the biggest questions homeowners have when selecting a backsplash is whether it should match their countertops. There are two schools of thought when it comes to this question.
Some people prefer to match, sticking to a color palette that provides a peaceful, uniform look throughout their kitchen. This is typically accomplished if you choose simple, neutral colors for both your countertops and backsplash. This design choice is often seen in the current trend of all-white kitchens, which showcase a white countertop, backsplash and cabinets.
Other people prefer to contrast, using a backsplash to highlight their countertops or as its own visual showpiece in the kitchen. If you’ve selected a countertop with a unique hue or several different colors and designs, consider choosing a neutral tile for the backsplash. Contrasting with a neutral tone allows you to showcase your gorgeous countertops. If your countertop is more neutral or flat in appearance, then you can get more creative with your backsplash.
Experimenting With Material Mixing
If you absolutely love your countertop, there’s always the option to continue it up your walls as a backsplash. This can be especially cost-effective if you had to purchase a slab to cut your countertops and have a lot of material left over.
However, if you don’t want the same material in your backsplash or it’s not in your budget to do that, you can select tiles in similar patterns or shades to your countertop. This allows you to continue with the colors and designs on your countertop without spending the extra money on another slab.
The other option is to choose a different material for the backsplash. For a more rustic look, consider natural stone backsplash tiles.
Exploring Tile Shape and Pattern
Along those same lines, having fun with the shapes and patterns of tiles can also bring beauty to your space. Particularly popular right now are mosaic backsplash tiles. Mosaic tiles allow you to use several different colors and shades in your design, coordinating with your countertops, as well as appliances and other elements of color in the kitchen.
Incorporating various shapes and patterns into tile backsplashes also adds a beautiful, custom look to your kitchen that makes it feel more personal.
Discovering Countertop and Backsplash Color Combinations
Color offers an excellent opportunity for creating visual interest. You can use a color wheel to determine suitable countertop and backsplash color combinations. For instance, coordinating a muted green backsplash with lighter gray or white countertops is a current trend. Bringing together light and dark tones can enhance the overall kitchen design.
Creative Backsplash Ideas for Granite Countertops
Known for both its durability and beauty, granite countertops are one of the more popular choices on the market today. But, when it comes to selecting the best backsplash to coordinate with your granite countertops, it can be a little bit tricky. Each piece of granite has its own subtle variations in color and design, which can make choosing a backsplash difficult. However, there are several design approaches you can take to selecting your backsplash:
Consider continuing the same slab of granite you selected for your countertops up the wall. This highlights the beautiful granite you picked and saves you the time of finding tiles to coordinate with the countertop. You can either do a simple four-inch high backsplash, or you can opt to carry it all the way up the wall for a modern and dramatic effect.
One word of caution on this route – depending on the color you selected and the size of your kitchen, taking your backsplash all the way up the wall may overwhelm your space.
If you don’t want to use granite in your backsplash but still want a uniform look, you can continue the color you selected by pulling out a color or hue in the granite and matching it to the tile you like. For example, you may choose a simple blue-gray tile as a backsplash for busy granite with white, blue and gray veining.
Exploring Glass Backsplash Options
Glass tiles can be an excellent complement to granite countertops because they are glossy like granite. There are a wide variety of color and style options available in glass as well. If you opt for glass tiles, look for ones that coordinate well with the granite’s main color field.
If you don’t want to match your granite, consider using a traditional white or neutral-colored subway tile pattern. You can leave it plain, or you can incorporate a mosaic pattern into the white tiles over the range or sink. By designing the mosaic in the same color family – for example, if your granite is warmer in tone, use warmer tiles in the mosaic – it will bring the shades in the kitchen together without having to be completely coordinated.
Innovative Backsplash Ideas for Quartz Countertops
Quartz is an excellent alternative to granite because it has a similar look to granite, but it is man-made. This means it requires less maintenance to keep it in good condition. It also means that quartz countertops are usually more uniform in coloring and pattern. This makes it easier to choose a backsplash that coordinates with a quartz countertop because there is less variation in color and pattern to work with. To select a fabulous backsplash for your quartz countertops, consider these suggestions:
The All-White Aesthetic
You can’t go wrong with an all-white kitchen. If you’ve chosen white cabinets and countertops, adding a white backsplash, particularly the ever-popular subway tile, is a great way to guarantee that all your kitchen elements will complement each other. Alternatively, if everything else is white, you can add a pop of color with your backsplash tile.
Playing With Variations of Color
Another option when you’re working with a quartz countertop is to use variations of the same colors throughout your kitchen. For example, if you select a dark gray quartz countertop, select lighter gray tiles for your backsplash. If you choose a quartz countertop with a lot of veining, consider selecting backsplash tiles that complement the veining in the countertops.
Creating a Modern Marvel
A backsplash can be an excellent focal point, but it can also be used to feature other parts of the kitchen, such as the countertops. If you’re looking for a sleek, modern look, opt for a dark gray or black quartz countertop to set off a white backsplash and white cabinets.
Practical Backsplash Ideas for Laminate Countertops
Laminate countertops are an inexpensive alternative to granite and quartz. Laminate countertops such as DuPontâ¢ CorianÂ® are a durable, non-porous option that stands up well to stains and daily wear-and-tear. Besides their lower cost, they are appealing because they come in a huge variety of patterns and colors. The wide variety makes matching laminate countertops with a backsplash relatively easy.
Understanding Post-Formed Backsplashes
TopIn general, to select a backsplash that goes with a laminate countertop, you’ll follow the same rule of thumb that you would for a quartz or granite countertop. Typically, laminate countertops come with a traditional “Post-Formed Top.” This is the vertical edge that extends up from the countertop along the wall for several inches with a rounded edge. This is attached to the countertop, which makes it an easy and affordable solution for a backsplash.
Customizing Your Backsplash
While a Post-Formed Top is certainly ideal when it comes to cost and convenience, it doesn’t add that special designer touch that many people want to incorporate into their kitchens these days. So, if you opt to be more economical when you choose your countertop, it’s a great idea to add a more luxurious touch with a tile or glass backsplash.
As with the other countertop material options we’ve discussed, you can opt to select a tile color that ties in with the colors in your countertop itself, or you can stick with a simple white backsplash that will set off your beautiful cabinets and countertops. You can also play around with different materials, determining which will best complement your laminate.
Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash: A Review of Backsplash Materials
When it comes to selecting the perfect backsplash, the decision will come down to your style preferences, maintenance and practicality of the material.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Common Backsplash Materials
Let’s look at a few common backsplash to help you choose the right backsplash material for your home:
- Ceramic: A versatile, lightweight option, ceramic tiles are easy to clean and durable. However, they require regular maintenance and can develop cracks over time.
- Glass: Glass does not absorb stains and dirt, but it can crack when constantly exposed to heat.
- Porcelain: This stunning material is durable and long-lasting with excellent heat resistance. It is difficult to cut and tends to be more on the expensive side.
- Marble: Marble has a luxurious, classic appeal that can elevate any kitchen, but it is high-maintenance and prone to various kinds of damage.
FAQs for Kitchen Countertops and Backsplashes
Learn more to prepare for your kitchen remodel or home upgrades with these common questions and answers:
How Do I Find the Perfect Backsplash for My Kitchen?
The material you choose for your kitchen backsplash depends on your preferences for style and durability. Many interior designers consider ceramic the best option for creating different patterns with varying colors, shapes and sizes. Similar to ceramic, porcelain tile offers a stylish look with the appearance of glass, stone or wood and provides the most strength for long-lasting durability.
Should the Backsplash Be Lighter or Darker Than Countertops?
Your overall design should offer a balance of elements. So, if you have lighter cabinets and countertops, you should incorporate a darker backsplash to provide more visual interest and depth to your space. When you have darker cabinets and countertops, you should bring in a lighter backsplash to make your kitchen feel fresh and inviting.
Should Your Kitchen Backsplash Match Your Countertop?
Your backsplash can match your countertop when you want to create a uniform look. However, it is not a necessity. You can explore different countertop and backsplash color combinations to add more depth and dimension.
What Is the Rule of Thumb for a Kitchen Backsplash?
Always consider the other design elements in the kitchen to enhance cohesiveness or create a focal point. If you’re remodeling the kitchen, choose the backsplash last to ensure it coordinates with the rest of the space.
How Do You Match Cabinets and Countertops?
Several tricks allow you to visualize how options look paired together when trying to match colors between cabinets and countertops. A color chart helps to keep dominant colors simple yet complimentary to ensure your accent hues look excellent in your space.
Bring your favorite backsplash samples to your home to see how they look when paired with your countertops, cabinets, wall colors, lighting and appliances to find suitable options for a unified look.
What Kind of Backsplash Goes With Quartz Countertops?
Porcelain, marble and ceramic pair well with quartz countertops. Complimenting a neutral backsplash with the veining in your quartz countertops offers a cohesive appearance. A marble backsplash with white countertops provides a chic and luxurious look to enhance your kitchen.
What Is the Most Popular Backsplash for Kitchens?
With a glossy and glazed style as a common choice, the versatility of ceramic tile makes it the most popular option for a kitchen backsplash with other styles of its material, including matte glazed, metallic, hand-painted, crackle-glazed, large format and mosaic.
Ceramic tiles come in many colors, shapes and sizes and can be installed in many patterns to bring your design visions to life. Homeowners benefit from its simple cleaning needs and cost-effective prices.
Why Trust Henry H. Ross & Son, Inc. as Your Reputable Installer?
When you want to upgrade or enhance your kitchen, trust H.H. Ross to provide these benefits:
- High-quality materials: Our skilled craftsmen prepare countertop, vanity top, sink and edge solutions in our state-of-the-art fabrication shop. We use high-quality materials in each kitchen transformation. Versatile options provide strength and durability to last for years in your home.
- Custom installations: Your inspiration comes to life with the possibilities we offer. Different materials, styles, colors and shapes offer ways to personalize a look you love for your kitchen’s exact specifications. Unique characteristics of our pieces include natural veins and coloring to enjoy in your space.
- Fair pricing and competitive deliveries: We prioritize giving our customers the best overall value of products and services in the countertop industry. Our certified craftsmen complete advanced training for fabrication and installation to offer the highest standards. We complete each project with a quick turnaround delivery to fulfill your expectations.
Contact Us for a Free Quote Today
Regardless of what backsplash you choose, it’s important to choose an experienced, trustworthy professional to install it. With more than 60 years of experience installing kitchen cabinets, countertops, backsplashes and more, Henry H. Ross & Son, Inc., has repeatedly proven itself to be the right choice for both residential and commercial renovations in Lancaster, York, Harrisburg and Reading, Pa.