Backsplash – Styles, Cost, Upkeep & Installation

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Backsplash – Styles, Cost, Upkeep & Installation

Beautiful bathroom sink faucet from Facets of Lafayette's showroom. Tile backsplash in background

Backsplash is in reference to the material used to fill the gaps between counter-tops and cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom. It is essentially a vertical extension of the counter. You can also find backsplash incorporated into bathtub designs. While backsplashes’ original purpose was to protect walls from food splatter and liquids, the concept has evolved into a decorative element that can add style and personality to a room. Backsplash is often considered the fun part of home renovation and design. The options are only limited by your imagination. Let’s take a look into everything you need to know when considering backsplash as your decor focal point for your home renovation.   

Styles/Materials

Backsplash can be one of the more difficult elements to decide upon when it comes to your renovation because there are so many styles, patterns, colors and materials. Tile is your most common kitchen backsplash choice because it is affordable, easy to maintain and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Types of tile include: ceramic tile, porcelain tile, marble/stone tile, glass tile, mosaic tile, and more. Porcelains and glazed ceramics will stand up best against water. Natural stone is another backsplash option that is quickly growing in popularity. It is not uncommon for homeowners to utilize the same material as their countertops for the backsplash (granite, marble, etc.).

Other material options include wood (If properly sealed of course), metal, tin, mirrored, and more. When choosing a material, be mindful of the overall purpose of backsplash. Maintenance of the materials is just as important as appearance.

Upkeep

Ceramic and porcelain tile are by far the easiest when it comes to backsplash maintenance. These materials do not stain and can look new after an effortless wipe with a sponge. Many natural stones on the other hand are known to be porous and take a bit more effort to get and keep clean. They also chip easily and can spot with grease. It is recommended that natural stones be resealed often. 

If you do a lot of cooking in your household, you may want to also consider larger tiles rather than a smaller pattern that includes more grout lines. Grout is not as easy to keep clean and you likely want to avoid any kitchen decor that requires its own toothbrush for cleanings. 

Cost

Backsplash can be very affordable, but it is as expensive as you make it. Certain tiles are as cheap as $2/sq foot while certain natural stones can be $100/sq foot and up. If budget is of concern to you, remember that when done properly, cheaper materials can be made to look like the highest quality material. The way you choose to utilize the material is debately more important than the actual material you choose. Another cost to consider is installation; do you plan on hiring a professional to install or will you be attempting to do it yourself? 

Installation

The key to backsplash installation is proper planning. If you are planning a large or complicated design, we recommend hiring someone to do the job. If you are doing the installation yourself, some tips include: 

  1. Mark off your working area so you purchase the proper amount of material. 
  2. Make sure your surface is completely clean and dry before getting started.
  3. Get the right tools! If you are using tile, get a tile saw to make clean cuts. ***Measure cuts
  4. Start in small sections
  5. Consider pre-mixed adhesives so you don’t have to mix it to the perfect consistency yourself.
  6. Use spacers! They keep your materials (specifically tile materials) leveled and evenly spaced so they don’t slide before the adhesive fully sets.
  7. Make sure to wait a minimum of 24 hours after you lay the material before grouting. 

There is a lot of value and benefit to backsplashes. If you would like help in coming up with a tile backsplash design, we have a custom design team at Facets of Lafayette to help!

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