In today’s kitchens and bathrooms a backsplash is a design element. A great way to make a design statement and interject some personality into a space is with a tile backsplash. Gluing up a four inch piece of countertop material is so yesterday. In terms of bang for the buck, tile is the way to go. Take a simple kitchen wall like this one above. There are three ways to handle this with a tile backsplash:
- Tile from the base of the counter to the bottom of the window sill
- Tile from the base to the bottom of the wall cabinets
- Tile the entire wall
Tiling the wall to bottom of the wall cabinets is the typical choice to handle this area. Going to just the window sill height leaves an odd horizontal line running across the wall, plus tends to look like one ran out of tile.
How To Choose The Tile
Select a tile to coordinate with your decor. Actually, if you are using a decorative tile with a significant pattern or color, tile is the place to start when planning a kitchen (or bathroom) decorating scheme. I call this the Color Key. Let the tile determine the colors of the rest of the room.
Find a tile which can work with the look you want to achieve. Rectangles, squares, circles or any other shape you gravitate too can work as long as you keep in mind the space in which you plan to use it. Shameless plug: this is where a designer is a lot of help, we understand how too many cuts in certain tiles can ruin the design or budget. Here we show a gorgeous traditional California style ceramic tile from Avente Tile which would be fantastic with a terracotta tile floor, rustic caramel colored wood cabinets and wrought iron hardware. From one of my favorite glass tile mosaic artists, Susan Jablon, one can find the most amazing tile options especially in color. Imagine this with crisp painted cabinets and a light wood bamboo floor and you’ve got a fresh and happy modern kitchen.
Take this kitchen wall from wow to WOW by running either of these tile choices all the way up the wall to the ceiling.This is exactly what I did in this bathroom I did for a client a few years ago. What you don’t see is the tile also runs on the wall underneath the floating sink cabinet. (Small dark rooms don’t photograph so well.)
Word of caution – don’t let the per square foot of a tile derail your dreams. Yes, I know money doesn’t grow on trees but in the scheme of things when using tile as a backsplash we are talking a limited amount of square feet.
People ooh and ahh over a tile backsplash. It takes a kitchen or bathroom to the next level when someone incorporates pretty tiles. In the end this is one of those items people wish they would have, if they didn’t. A tile backsplash is money well spent whether it is colorful and patterned or just plain vanilla subway tiles.