Oftentimes, the backsplash peeks out between your appliances and cabinetry. However, its importance must not be underestimated. Your backsplash can steal the spotlight from your oven cooktop and sink. Common materials used include stainless steel, glass, and tiles. Before choosing the backsplash, you must first choose the colour of the benchtop and the cabinets.
Step 1: Size up the Space
To determine the square footage, you need to multiply the width by the height of your wall. This will tell you how much material is needed. To be safe, you should account for an extra 10% of the tile.
Step 2: Be Budget Savvy
If you have a limited budget, you should avoid trendy tiles. Instead, opt for a classic like white ceramic tiles as they are cheaper. But you should not spare any expense on the grout because it determines how the tiles adhere to your wall — which is crucial for durability and longevity.
When working on a budget, flexibility is key. You may not get the exact texture, colour or size of the tile you want, but always choose based on your priorities.
Step 3: Ask about Wear and Tear
Ask if the tiles you are considering can easily be cleaned or sealed. For ceramic tiles, this extra step is not necessary. But for natural tiles, this is crucial if you want to maintain its beautiful appeal. If you want to go for stainless steel, check if abrasives can scratch it.
Generally, you can apply any tile type to your kitchen backsplash as long as porous materials like cork and bamboo are sealed. Be aware that some building codes require a clearance between the wall and the range to protect any material. Because of these clearances, you can easily wipe off anything that gets splashed on the tile.
Step 4: Mix Materials and Match Colours
Tape tile samples to your kitchen walls to check what they look like through the entire day as natural light changes. Select one main hue and several accent colours to use in your kitchen, which includes the backsplash.
Your countertops usually dictate the colour and style of your backsplash. You should also consider fixtures, such as hardware and lighting.
Combine metallic tiles in various shades with different finishes like oil-rubbed bronze, brushed stainless steel or an antique brass. You can further enhance the colour by adding small tiles of granite or marble.
Step 5: Invest in the High-Impact Zone
Play with tile design above the range and sink as these areas have more square footage of wall space. Also, these areas get more visual attention. For the rest of your kitchen, opt for a neutral field. To create a visually-appealing centrepiece above the stove, bring in funky glass tiles. Play up patterns in these areas. For instance, you can apply a staggering brick pattern or install tile on the diagonal.
Step 6: Opt for Eco-Friendly Options
To create a backsplash that is contemporary and warm, you can use cork mosaic tiles or tiles made of 100% bamboo. Another eco-friendly option is recycled glass tiles. These are stain resistant, durable, and come in various colours and sizes.
Step 7: Avoid these Common Mistakes
If you want to order your own times from a supplier, you need to consider these important components.
First, the primary tile must be thicker than decorative tile. If not, you will be spending more money on building up the wall so that most of the tiles will lie even with those decorative pieces.
Second, make sure that the tile you want is in stock. When the tile industry is booming, most suppliers are willing to stock more. However, if the inventory is turning less, you must ask and make sure that the tile you need is readily available.
Lastly, you must remember trim pieces. If you opt for a bevelled tile, you will need a corner round trim piece. So you must ask which decorative moldings and trim come with your chosen tile. Make sure that these pieces coordinate in thickness and in glaze. Avoid ordering in separate batches to avoid any discrepancies.
The tiles you choose for your wall space above the range and between the cabinets and the countertop must showcase your kitchen’s theme. The backsplash will be the focal point and now is the time for you to get creative. To make the process a lot easier, follow this guideline for selecting tile backsplash.
Toby Walker is the Director and Operations Manager of Zesta Kitchens. With over 30 years of industry experience (having previously operated Nobby Kitchens and Bunnings Warehouse Kitchen Centres), Toby’s passion is providing a unique customer kitchen renovation experience, and this filters through the business to ensure a quality product with an on-time kitchen renovation.