Don’t Let Your Kitchen Backsplash Be a Missed Opportunity

When possible, continue the backsplash behind the vent hood, like in this Dallas kitchen. (Photo: Michael Hunter)

Even though backsplashes can make great focal points, many people save picking their backsplash tiles for last.

Your kitchen design will look more impressive if you pick your backsplash tile early on and design around it.

For those of you who are designing a new home or planning on remodeling your current kitchen, you should find the following tips helpful.

A backsplash should cover the wall space between the countertop and upper cabinets above your range. Lately, I’ve noticed the newest trend is to have the backsplash continue up beyond the upper cabinets, sometimes even behind and around a vent hood or a window. To figure out how much square footage of tile you’ll need, multiply the width of your wall by the height. Then, increase that number by 10% to make sure you’ll have enough.

Since replacing tile is expensive, you can never be too careful making your choice. Purchase a lot of different tile samples to take home (it’s cheaper than buying a lot of the wrong tile), then tape them to your wall and leave them up for a while.

Designers have established relationships with showrooms, giving us more leeway to request a tile and then return it on short notice.

This mosaic tile backsplash’s gray and terracotta colors match other colors used in this Kessler Park home. (Photo: Nathan Schroder) 

If you have countertops with a unique pattern or color running through them, it’s a good idea to pick a neutral backsplash tile, so you don’t draw attention away from your countertops. Of course, if your countertops are understated, you have more room to be creative and showy in your backsplash tile choice. Recently, my design firm has been using the same material for both the countertop and kitchen backsplash.

Choosing a timeless backsplash is essential if you’re planning on selling your house. White subway tile is one option, but also consider picket tiles, square, or hexagon tiles. White subway tile is also perfect for kitchens that have a lot going on visually.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to finding the perfect backsplash, some tile choices will work in your kitchen better than others.

By considering your budget, lifestyle, and the rest of your kitchen’s aesthetic, you can easily narrow down your selections.

Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at chambersinteriors.com/blog. 

Margaret Chambers

Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at chambersinteriors.com/blog

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