Initially developed to be a simple barrier against splashes and stains, the modest backsplash has come a long way in regards to its impact on kitchen design and style. Today, backsplashes are like accent pieces in the kitchen and come in a wide assortment of colors, finishes, and sizes to help homeowners create their dream space. With more options than ever before, it can be both an inspiring and nerve-wracking task to find the right backsplash for your home.
As you’re browsing the aisles of backsplash samples, keep in mind that, while it’s easy to fall in love with a certain material or color, it’s crucial to take into consideration other factors in your choice. Aesthetics will only go so far in the kitchen! Ask yourself questions like: how easy is the backsplash to clean? Is it heat or water resistant? Does it require sealing every few years? Is it easy to do a DIY installation, or should a professional be consulted instead?
Make the selection process a little easier by considering your household’s everyday lifestyle and preferences, since the right backsplash for your kitchen won’t require you to make any drastic changes. Keep reading to figure out the key differences between some of today’s most popular backsplash materials.
Ceramic is a clay and mineral mixture that is solidified at high temperatures. Porcelain is fired at even higher temperatures, making the material less porous than standard ceramic. Both of them are priced similarly and reasonably, making them both budget-friendly options. The tiles are durable and have heat, water, scratch, and stain-resistant properties. They can be easily installed on your own if you’re careful about finding the right adhesive. A popular choice, this material is very easy to clean and there’s a seemingly never-ending selection of colors and styles.
Porcelain can tolerate more impact than ceramic, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to avoid replacing tiles down the line. If you opt for ceramic tiles, you will have to prioritize keeping the grout lines clean, as dirt and stains can be very visible, especially if the grouts are light in color.
A glass backsplash creates a very streamlined and sleek look for any environment. It can be fitted in seamless panels, and is often either screwed or glued to the wall. It’s reflective and as a result, attracts light, tricking the eyes into perceiving more space. Glass is incredibly easy to clean and the same cleaning sprays used to spruce up your windows can also be used here. Additionally, glass is a recyclable material, so if you’re looking to stay eco-friendly in your home, there are plenty of re-purposed glass backsplashes to choose from. Keep an eye out for tempered glass, which is tougher and more scratch-resistant than ordinary glass.
Unsurprisingly, with all of these added benefits, glass is still one of the most expensive backsplash options to purchase. It can be difficult to install, specifically because the tiles are transparent, so adhesive mistakes are as clear as day. If you’re not too confident about your installation skills, it’s worth getting a professional to help. It’s even more recommended to get outside help if you plan to get your glass backsplash painted.
Nothing comes close to the kind of distinct, jaw-dropping luxury factor that marble gives any home. Used as a backsplash, marble is an eye-catching accent piece that will elevate the look of your kitchen. No two slabs of marble are the same, since it is a naturally occurring stone, which means you’ll have a large selection to choose from. You can also choose between purchasing an entire slab or picking individual tile pieces. Like other natural stones, marble is easy to wipe clean, just stay away from acidic cleansers and sprays.
Marble is still one of the most expensive materials to incorporate in the home and is by no means maintenance-free. While it’s easy to wipe clean, marble is porous since it is a natural stone. It will need to be sealed, as well as resealed periodically, to prevent staining. As durable as marble is, it can also be scratched and cracked more easily than its counterparts.
Quartz composite, also known as engineered stone, is a popular option among consumers. It provides the look, feel, and finish of natural stone materials, which are by comparison pricier and harder to maintain. Comprised of a quartz and resin mix, brands utilize varying ratios to develop their composites. Generally, the lower the percentage of resin, the better quality the quartz composite is. At its best, quartz composite is heat, scratch, and stain-resistant, as well as incredibly durable. It’s non-porous as well, meaning it won’t need sealing and is easy to clean with soap and water.
A major con for DIYers, quartz composite installation must be done by a specialist, preferably a professional with prior experience installing engineered stone backsplashes.
Laminate backsplashes are only getting more and more impressive. With a plethora of colors, finishes, textures, and patterns made to look like real wood or stone, laminate is a fantastic option for those looking to save money without compromising style. Easy to keep clean, and with many water-resistant varieties, laminate is easy to maintain and use for years to come.
There are a few major drawbacks when it comes to choosing laminate. The majority of laminate backsplashes are not heat resistant, and should not be installed near gas ranges. It’s important to speak with a professional to determine if your kitchen’s layout provides the necessary space for this material. While fine to incorporate around wet areas, make sure laminate backsplashes are installed securely to prevent any potential water damage.
Backsplashes are both a functional and stylistic element in your kitchen, not just an accent piece. Whether you’re working with a tight budget, opting for an eco-friendly option, or considering your own DIY installation, there’s no shortage of backsplash options in today’s market. With a bit of persistence, an open mind, and a clear list of non-negotiables, searching for the backsplash of your dreams will not only be a breeze, but also pretty fun, too.
Looking for more inspiration? Here are eight properties with unique backsplashes.