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DIY 101: Backsplash Your Kitchen Like a Pro

» Kitchen
» Home Improvement


Published: 12/16/2013 by


Backsplashes are amazing. With only a fraction of space, it can turn kitchens from drab into fab. Of course, the more significant role of a backsplash is to protect walls from grease, stain, moisture, and to some extent - as a safeguard against fire. But who says you can’t be practical and give kitchens character at the same time? Home design follows a delicate balancing act between form and function – and fortunately enough, a kitchen backsplash offers an opportunity for both. For those interested in tile work, backsplashes will flex creative muscles but won’t be as arduous as tiling a whole floor. Tile Choices Far from the days of the austere white ceramic tile, shops offer a wide range of materials for backsplashes today. Picking out a tile may be overwhelming but as a guide, selecting the appropriate tile for your project depends on a number of following factors: kitchen size and design, lighting arrangement, budget, and skill. Beginners may find certain tile types easy to work with and then there are some that will require a wet saw to fit into tricky corners and spaces. In such a case, we recommend renting needed equipment instead of buying one. Check out the popular backsplashes options below and learn their pros and cons. • Metal. For a modern look, metal tiles are the way to go. These are made from stainless steel or aluminium. These are steadily growing in popularity as more home owners are learning to appreciate the uncluttered and sleek look of a minimalist design. Since metal has a reflective surface, smaller kitchens or those with limited access to light can take advantage of this. Paired with the right appliances and color theme, designers can create bright and openkitchens without having to tear down walls. Metal tiles are also heat resistant, durable, easy to maintain, and definitely more hygienic than ceramic or porcelain tiles. It’s no wonder then why professional chefs and restaurants choose metal above other materials. The downside is that metal is vulnerable to denting and scratching caused by coarse cleaning tools. • Marble. These are timeless and they harken back to the glory of the Greco-Roman period. However, marble can be too formal for some settings. Otherwise, marble is perfect for traditional homes and kitchens projecting an old world charm. Marble is sturdy, strong, and easy to clean. However, marble isn’t recommended for the beginner. It is difficult to cut and would need a special type of adhesive. You can hire a professional but keep your budget in mind. Marble is more expensive than other tiles and additionally, it would need sealing to protect it from stains and moisture. • Natural Stones. Stones add warmthto any living space. The popularity of stones can be accredited to their high versatility. Without the overly luxurious feel of marble, natural stones work well in both modern and traditional style homes. As a kitchen backsplash, natural stones are limited by the choice of colours but on the other hand, stones offer a number of advantages such as high resistance to stains, grease, and moisture. Further, stones are very low maintenance. • Glass tile/Mosaic. We’d like to think that these are the precious stones of the tile world. They gleam, they shimmer, and they are absolutely stunning. Like their sleek metal tile cousins, they are fast becoming favorites . Depending on the budget, home owners can choose between solid glass panels, glass tiles or smaller glass squares. Glass can be more expensive than ceramics but the sheer style they add to the kitchen is simply delightful and hard to resist. If glass tiles you must have, then consider going for mosaics instead of whole panels or tiles. Use it as accents or trims to spruce up the kitchen. Glass tiles are a lot easier to handle than marble or natural stones and DIYers can indulge their creativity while also putting their skills into practice. Do remember however that glass requires constant cleaning as fingerprints, grease stains, and scratches can be easily seen. The bigger advantage is that glass instantly adds personality to a dull kitchen. There you have it, our guide on backsplashes. If thinking of a complete kitchen renovation, consider a backsplash first. As we stated earlier, backsplashes are perfect for DIYers. It can transform the look of your kitchen without much of a fuss. So get creative and have fun! Roberta Madison works as marketing manager at The company provides superior tile products, mainly glass tiles, mosaic tiles, stone tiles and metal tiles. Follow GlassTileStore at G+.