How to choose a perfect kitchen backsplash

As you may or may not know, we’re currently designing Tina’s new kitchen. To tell you the truth, this process started six months ago – with this simplest remodel plan.

But don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t take half a year to design a kitchen.

The thing is, for personal projects, we like to have way too much time. We simply want to allow ourselves to change our minds somewhere in the middle of the process. Also, life happens, so projects like these can’t always be a priority.

But it does take a certain amount of time. To design a kitchen is not the easiest thing to do. Because you want it to be functional. Because you want it to be practical. And because there are so many decisions you have to make.

The refrigerator, the stove, the oven, the microwave, the sink, the tap, the dishwasher. The lighting, the drawers, the shelves, the knobs and handles, the fronts, the base, the worktop. The backsplash.

So how to choose the perfect backsplash?

No, scratch that.

How to design a perfect backsplash?

That makes a lot more sense. 

1.  The backsplash height

Before you even start thinking about materials for your backsplash, you have to know how high it will be.

Between floor and wall cabinets? All the way up to the ceiling? 30 cm above the worktop? Up to the wall cabinets on the side with the wall cabinets, and up till the top of the cabinets on the side without them?

CIAA_Icaraí Apartment_kitchen
CIAA – Icaraí Apartment // photo: © Thiago Almeida
kitchen backsplash | black tiles | simple kitchen
RÄS – la Carme // photo: © Adrià Goula

Not sure? Draw a little sketch of your kitchen, and see what looks best. It really helps!

2. Choose the material

Basically, everything resistant to water and heat can be used for a backsplash. Tiles, marble (or a different type of stone covering), painted glass, engineered wood (lacquered or with melamine), Corian. There are so many options!

kitchen backsplash | tiles | white kitchen
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photos: © Senja Vild
kitchen backsplash | tiles backsplash |tile worktop | simple kitchen
act_romegialli – San Giobbe +160 // photo: © Marcello Mariana

And do you want it to contrast the worktop? Or do you want to use the same material on both the worktop and the backsplash?

You see, the backsplash should, in some way, respond to other materials in the room. The worktop, of course, but also cabinet doors, walls, floor, door(s), curtains. In this step of the process, a mood board can be a great tool for testing your choices.

kitchen backsplash | marble | functional kitchen
RÄS – la Diana // photo: © Adrià Goula

3. Mind the details

Grouts. Play with shapes, sizes and patterns of the tiles. But think about the grout. Small white tiles with white grout look amazing, but those grout will turn yellow in no time.

Socket positions. Place them neatly and respect the pattern of the tiles (or any other material).

Corner profiles. If you have to have them, choose the smallest possible. They should be as subtle as possible – at least until we see a gorgeous kitchen with enhanced corner profiles and change our minds.

kitchen backsplash | tiles | simple kitchen | blue kitchen
NimTim architects – Westbourne Gardens // photo: © Megan Taylor

Details make difference. Just trust us on this one.

The amazing thing is: you don’t have to remodel the entire kitchen to change the backsplash.

Last year we listed a few rental apartment tweaks that can really improve your home. A new backsplash is definitely something that could fit into “simple but powerful fixes” category but is probably something to talk about with your landlord before the execution. If you’re lucky to live in your own apartment, we are almost positive you can upgrade your kitchen with nothing but a new backsplash.

Sounds interesting? Pick up a few samples from stores and explore your options. There’s a huge chance you’ll be amazed. New year – new(ish) kitchen? Sounds good to us!

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