3 steps for picking the perfect backsplash for your home

November 6, 2014

Backsplashes are water-catching panels placed behind a sink, shower or bathtub, usually of a different material and design than the surrounding walls of the room. Find out how to choose the perfect one for your home.

3 steps for picking the perfect backsplash for your home

Backsplashes can be made of any number of materials, designs and colours; linoleum tile is common, but wood, porcelain, brick, stone and metal backslashes are common in designer homes. Homeowners should take into account material and aesthetics when selecting a backsplash, as well as how well it goes with the room.

1. Choosing a material

Choosing a backsplash's material isn't just a matter of physical appearance. A backsplash must be able to take water and other liquids on its surface without damaging, staining or warping. Water can easily damage wood, for instance, so wood is a risky material to choose unless it is carefully sealed and maintained. Make sure to also consider how difficult the backsplash may be to keep clean. It may be hard to thoroughly clean the textured surfaces of stone, brick or some metals, for instance, and splatter or dirt on dark-coloured materials may be more visible than splatter on light-coloured ones.

2. Aesthetics

The variety of backsplashes available allows homeowners to showcase their creativity. For instance, many homeowners choose a backsplash that's made up of tiles in a regular grid, perhaps with longer pieces of tile on the backsplash's outer edges. But with a little creativity, a homeowner could offset some rows of tiles from others, or create a checkerboard pattern with alternating colours or even a mosaic.

A stone backsplash could be made of small or large stone tiles, or even one single piece of rough, natural slate. Wood can be stained to change its natural colour, and can range from rustic to luxurious and old-fashioned in its feel. No matter the colour, metals can give a modern, high-tech air to a room. They can come in tiles or a single sheet, and can be hammered to change its texture. They can also be polished to a sheen, or treated so they are dull.

3. The right fit

Backsplashes allow homeowners to subtly dress a kitchen or bathroom up, or make it feel more casual or inviting. Like many design components, they can either blend into the design of the rest of the room, reinforcing other design components, or they may deliberately accent the room. For example, a stained wood backsplash in a rustic-themed kitchen may blend in and reinforce existing design choices. However in a more sleek and modern kitchen with chrome finishing, that same wooden backsplash becomes a bold choice that catches the eye.

The range of options in backsplashes and other design components can be overwhelming, but well-chosen backsplashes can be a wonderful and fun way to liven up a kitchen or bathroom.

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