There are many options these days for kitchen backsplashes, from the simplest to the most detailed. The basic principle of a backsplash is to protect the wall between the countertop and the upper cabinets from spills and/or splashes, obviously nowadays backsplashes are more often used as a decorative surface, but however simple or complex they still serve as their initial purpose. By breaking the choices down to three basic options it will allow you figure out which is best for your kitchen remodel.
Very broadly you can decide to have a 4” backsplash of whatever countertop or other material you are using, or you can install a full height backsplash, from the counter to the underside of the upper cabinets, of your countertop material or other, or lastly you can install a tile backsplash. Each of these has costs and benefits so let’s look at them individually with a little bit more detail.
The most cost efficient of all three choices would be installing a 4” backsplash of your counter material. This is fairly standard with plastic laminate countertops, but can also be seen in solid surface installations and also with granite or any other stone surface. This is easy and quick to install and if you want the same material as your countertop easy to order with your countertop order. The most simple of the choices most clients choose this option if budget is of a concern (tile backsplash can later be installed if the client so wishes) or if they prefer a more simplified look. Size of the kitchen can affect this choice as well as many small kitchens may look “overdone” or “unbalanced” with a heavily detailed tile splash in such a small space.
The next backsplash option would be a full height backsplash, this can either be of the same material as the countertop, or a different material entirely. Clients that like full height backsplashes tend to want easy clean ability with maximum wall protection and a more monolithic look. By covering the entire
wall surface you can assure that spills and stains will not be an issue. If you were using a granite or quartz surface this would be very easy to wipe clean and since it’s a solid piece there would be no need to worry about grout lines to keep clean. Another option would be going with a completely different material; I’ve had clients that have chosen to use stainless steel panels or glass which can be gorgeous options but will need a little more care when cleaning. This look tends to be a little more contemporary depending on the material given the clean seamless look that if provides.
The final backsplash choice would be a tile backsplash. Tiles can obviously come in many shapes and sizes, ceramic to natural stones, glass to metals and a variety of patterns and combinations of the different materials. Tile splashes provide endless stylistic options and a lot of design potential while protecting the wall at the same time. Keep in mind though, the smaller the tile the more grout lines you will have and certain spills like red wine or marinara sauce will not be a white grout’s friend, So cleaning spills right away with the appropriate grout cleaner will be important. Pricing on these splashes will vary widely depending on material choices, but the labor on tile splashes will be much higher and can be very time consuming depending on how detailed the pattern is. Given that many of these pieces can get quick expensive (think hand painted tile from Italy or recycled beach glass) most clients we work with will balance their budget by using a ceramic as the base and popping in more expensive glass, stone, or metal pieces as accents. Stylistically they can go from contemporary to very traditional depending on tile material, size and pattern, but this choice is definitely the most dynamic of all the backsplash options.
Keep in mind, any of these options can be combined to make the perfect backsplash for your household. I’ve had clients install a simple 4” splash around the kitchen and a full height piece behind the stove or cooktop or combine tile and monolithic pieces; it all depends on what works for your household. When deciding which option is the best for your family there are a few things to ask yourself, do we want the backsplash to be simple or to make a statement? How durable/stain resistant do we want the backsplash? And what is our price range that we want to stay in for the backsplash itself? I hope this will help guide you to making your backsplash the best fit for your kitchen remodel.
If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!