The purpose of a backsplash is to protect the wall behind the kitchen sink and counters, but it can also be used as a creative design element in a kitchen. From traditional and understated to contemporary and whimsical, there are many different options to choose from. Backsplashes can be made of tile, paint, mirrors, or even stainless steel.
Tile is the most common choice for a kitchen backsplash. Depending upon the type of tile chosen, a designer can create a number of different looks. Tiles can be made from glass, metal, stone, or natural ceramic featuring everything from simple geometric patterns to designs like apples or flowers. They are relatively easy to clean and can be installed by a do-it-yourselfer in one weekend. The cost depends on the manufacturer of the tile that is chosen.
People who are looking for a practical and low-cost idea might want to consider painting the area with chalkboard paint. This type of paint is very easy to clean and provides a handy space for writing notes, to-do lists, recipes, and menu ideas. The only downside is that the dark colors used can sometimes make a small kitchen feel a bit claustrophobic.
Antique ceiling tiles are a beautiful backsplash idea for a country kitchen. They add a dose of color and texture to the room, although the age of the material does make them harder to keep clean than some of the other options that are available.
Using a series of mirrors behind the sink can give a kitchen an eye-catching and dramatic appearance. The light reflected from the backsplash can also help to visually open up a small space. This isn't the best choice for families with small children though, since they can be easily broken and will show smudges or fingerprints more than other options.
Wallpaper might seem like a good idea, but most experts recommend that homeowners avoid this choice. If the kitchen is very humid, people risk having problems with the paper starting to peel. Additionally, spills and stains can be very difficult to clean on many types of wallpaper.
A stainless steel backsplash gives a kitchen a very modern look. Heat-resistant, durable, and easy to clean, this material goes especially well with stainless steel appliances. It can be much more expensive than other options for the kitchen, however. Homeowners will also need to keep in mind that acidic foods can ruin the finish if spots are not quickly removed.