Tips on Selecting the Right Kitchen Backsplash

Although kitchen backsplashes serve practical purposes by protecting walls behind counters, sinks, stoves and other kitchen surfaces, they also tie the style and appearance of a kitchen together in a big way. As a result, it pays to take your time while selecting the backsplash for your kitchen. It’s not going to be sold as one solid piece. Instead, you’ll have to select the tiles out of which it will be made. The good news is that you have plenty of options. The not-so-good news is that selecting the perfect thing is often confusing. The following tips are sure to help.

Choose the Right Color and Finish

One way to narrow down your search for the perfect tile is by keeping the color scheme of the kitchen in mind. Look at the cabinets in your kitchen to figure out which color is right for you. For example, dark-colored cabinets call for dark-colored tiles. Similarly, light-colored cabinets call for light-colored tiles. The finish matters too. Tiles are available in matte finishes and shiny finishes. If your kitchen has under-cabinet lighting and sleek, stainless-steel appliance, a shiny finish will work especially well.

Select the Right Size

Avoid the all-too-common mistake of choosing inappropriately sized tiles for the backsplashes in your kitchen. The size of your kitchen will help you determine the size of the tiles that you should use. If you’re lucky enough to have a large kitchen with room to spare, you can go ahead and choose larger tiles. If you have a compact, cozy kitchen, on the other hand, you should stick with smaller tiles. Oversize tiles in a tiny kitchen will make it look even smaller. Tiny tiles in a spacious kitchen will look far too busy and cluttered.

Notes about Grout

Grout probably isn’t something that you give a lot of thought to in your day-to-day life, but you should keep it in mind when selecting a backsplash tile for your kitchen. In general, the grout color should match the color of the tiles. It should produce a monochromatic look. This is preferable for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it helps to mask small imperfections. For another, it produces a seamless, unified look. If the grout doesn’t match the tiles, tiny blemishes will be thrown into stark relief. There’s one small exception to this rule: You can sometimes use grout that doesn’t match, as long as it complements the existing color scheme.

Keep it Simple and Neutral

Although you may be tempted to use your tiles to produce an ornate look, the truth of the matter is that you’re almost always better off sticking with a simple, neutral design. If you have a large area to work with, you might be able to pull off a simple border, or you could throw in an eye-catching pattern beneath the range hood. Otherwise, you should keep things as neutral as possible. This will pay off now by giving you a clean, contemporary look. It could pay off later too, when you go to sell your home.

It doesn’t seem like choosing backsplashes would be particularly difficult, but the truth is that it pays to put plenty of thought into the process. By doing so, you will lay the groundwork for a truly stunning kitchen. You’ll also end up with a look that will stand the test of time.

Jill Burbank is an inbound marketer who guest blogs for a variety of online publications. Follow her @JillBurbank2.

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