The kitchen is an excellent place to add value to your home through renovations. One of the top and most trendy options today is backsplash tile above your kitchen counters. Not only is it cheaper than nearly every other improvement available, applying it is a simple DIY process that takes less than a weekend.
With multiple materials, colors, and patterns to choose from, you can add a unique flair to your cooking space with ease. If you’re ready to give your kitchen a facelift, then check out these backsplash ideas to help get you in the home renovating mood.
The Benefits of Backsplash
If you’re still undecided on your kitchen backsplash ideas, consider the multiple benefits this simple add-on provides a homeowner. For starters, backsplash tile costs as little as five dollars per square foot. That’s significantly cheaper than a new countertop or cabinet doors, and thousands less than new appliances or lighting.
Tile is also incredibly easy to clean in the event of a mess, which kitchens are famous for. Bare walls require tons of elbow grease, while tile can be wiped clean in an instant with a pure vinegar and water solution. If you’re not a fan of chemical cleaners, then this might be part of a better solution for you.
Whether you shop online or at the local home improvement store, you’ll find dozens of designs to choose from. There is seemingly no end to the options available, allowing you to pick out the colors and designs that match your existing home décor best.
If you clear out time on a Saturday or Sunday, you can apply this upgrade by yourself with next to no tools. The process is as simple as they come, saving your hard-earned cash on the cost of installation.
Finally, you can swap out your backsplash in a snap if you decide to fully renovate your kitchen later. There’s no need to remove cabinetry or appliances. It really is that simple!
Excited about adding a splash of color to your kitchen yet? Check out these kitchen backsplash ideas and tips for a little inspiration.
Creating a Focal Point
When adding a backsplash to your kitchen, a good rule of thumb in the design world is to create a focal point around your cooking area. You can do this by choosing a different color or design above the stove. If you have the funds, you could also opt for a slightly more expensive tile for that area of the wall and utilize cheaper tiles for the rest of the room.
The combination creates a focal point, accentuating your kitchen for the meal preparation area that it is while showing off your main appliance. It’s also an excellent way to further personalize the look of your kitchen area.
Mix It Up
Most countertops are a solid color or at least have minimal deviation in their overall look. This pairs perfectly with complex and colorful kitchen backsplash designs. Don’t be afraid to pick something that looks somewhat eclectic. The mix and match pattern will blend seamlessly with your counter while adding a little charisma to the room.
Accentuating the Tile
If you’ve browsed backsplash online, then you’ve probably seen several homeowners implementing a separate tile design as a trim. This can help your new addition to stand out and make a statement, but there’s a pro tip that can help you save money while achieving the same result.
Utilize the mix and match design in the previous section, opting for cheaper tiles to create the center of your design. Then, choose something in the next price bracket to create the border. Handmade ceramic tiles tend to feature colors and designs that pop, giving your kitchen a one of a kind look.
Resize Your Kitchen
Very few homeowners think that their kitchen is large enough. If you fall into that boat, then backsplash offers a solution to make your cooking space look larger than life.
First, choose something larger than the standard six by six-inch tile. Then, wrap your backsplash around the entire room. The combination creates the illusion that your kitchen is indeed larger, which is a high selling point as well as a welcomed change.
Don’t Be Square
Online pictures and store displays tend to portray backsplash in that straight, subway-like orientation. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you might want to spice things up a bit to create a unique look.
Take the sheet of tile and hold it at an angle, making the squares diagonal. Alternatively, you could choose rectangle shaped tile and do the same. This is an excellent way to create the focal point above your cooking range or give a little more character to the room.
It isn’t easy to find enough of the exact same tile to cover your entire kitchen, especially with custom accents. If you find yourself having to pick more than one color set, remember your complementary colors. For a quick art lesson, complimentary colors sit opposite one another on the color wheel. Blue and orange are an excellent example.
If you’re looking for something subtler, find a neutral tile and a shade that compliments it. A medium tan would go well with a deep red, for instance, but use your own judgment and style to pick out something perfect for your kitchen.
Try Before You Buy
Okay, you’re actually trying before you install. There’s nothing worse than being left with a thin sliver of dead space between your backsplash and your cabinets. Alight your sheet of tile with the bottom of your countertop, then align it with the wall to make sure it fits as you want it to.
For individual tiles, do the same but move them hand over hand in your desired pattern until you reach the bottom of the cabinets. You can always start with a half tile on the bottom, too, to make sure your chosen pattern fits. If things aren’t aligning as planned, then you might need to take those tiles back and pick something else.
To even an experienced DIYer, this can all sound a little complicated. If you want to make this the easiest home renovation you’ve ever done in your life, then you might want to consider mastic.
This material is already mixed with the right consistency to hold tile straight onto the wall, eliminating the need to apply individual tiles. Several mastic options also incorporate various materials such as stone and metal, to give a varied and unique look to your walls. Most mastic sheets interlock, making the application process even easier.
On the downside, this level of simplicity usually costs a little more than individual tiles. On the bright side, you can apply them to every wall in your kitchen in about half an hour.
Tiles are applied to a wall with either thinset or mastic. Provided you didn’t buy a mastic sheet, that means you’ll be applying this adhesive by yourself.
Either option shows through glass, slightly altering the appearance when applied to the create the beautiful colors you’ve seen online. You can also buy colored variants to completely change the look of your tiles, altering their color to something no one else has.
Mind the Grid
Sheets with mastic included come in interlocking units. For a full DIY job, you need to create the exact same type of interlocking grid for everything to mesh together. This involves prepping the surface beforehand with a layer of white thinset, not mastic.
After the initial layer dries, you can apply your pattern with either thinset or mastic as you set the tiles. Think of it like laying bricks. Each tile should lay overtop of where the bottom two connect.
This gives you a durable, tight seal in-between each tile. Ultimately, the result makes backsplash easy to clean while providing a gorgeous look.
How to Save on Tiles
When shopping around online or at your local hardware store, you might find that the price per square foot is outside of your budget. Costs for tile can be outrageous, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great styles at a lower price. Knowing where to look is over half the battle for this renovation.
Sites like Overstock.com carry excess shipments of product, offering them to consumers at a lower price. While your selection might be a little more limited than you would like, it is an excellent place to start looking. Home Depot also offers several tiles for under four dollars a square foot.
When shopping online, watch out for deceptive listings. Several websites make it look as though their prices are a dollar or less, but these are only for samples and small pieces. The price per square foot is usually much higher when this is the case. Glass Tile Oasis and Houzz both do this, appearing in the top of a Google search for a cheap backsplash.