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Kitchen Backsplash: 4 Simple Steps to Get Started

Creating the perfect backsplash design is more than selecting a tile you like. Designing your kitchen backsplash can be overwhelming with all the options available.

While installing backsplash all around the kitchen is an option, the most important places you should install it are where water damage, oil damage, and stains are most likely to occur. After all, it will be cost efficient to clean your backsplash rather than having to change your paint.

Designing your kitchen backsplash does not have to be a hectic task. Here at DMV Kitchen and Bath we believe that you can enjoy the process of kitchen remodeling when given the necessary assistance and guidance. 

Based on our extensive experience on kitchen and bathroom remodeling, we have created 4 simple steps you can follow to design the perfect backsplash for your kitchen.

Step 1) Determine the Objective of Your Kitchen Backsplash

The objective of your backsplash will be based on identifying your kitchen’s focal point. The focal point serves as the “showstopper” of your kitchen.  This is the point where your eyes will naturally want to look. Any of the kitchen components can be the focal point—including the kitchen backsplash.

In addition to protecting your walls, the backsplash is an aesthetic backdrop for the overall look of the kitchen and should work together with the rest of the kitchen components—not compete with them. This is the vertical transition from the countertop to the walls and finally to the upper cabinets, and ceiling.

If the kitchen backsplash is the focal point of your kitchen

The success of your showstopper backsplash design will depend on how much surface area it covers.  In addition, the focal point can extend to the entire kitchen, cover a whole wall, or be limited to a small area of your kitchen. 

In other words, some bold backsplashes work well when installed in a small area of the kitchen.  Whereas other bold designs look better by installing it throughout the entire kitchen. 

It is important to note that backsplash materials used to create focal points are usually more expensive than material used to blend the backsplash with the rest of the kitchen.  However, designating the backsplash as the focal point of the kitchen can truly balance the overall design of the kitchen.

Making the backsplash of your entire kitchen the showstopper

Making the backsplash of one wall to be the showstopper

Making the backsplash of a small portion of your kitchen the showstopper

If the kitchen backsplash is not the focal point of your Kitchen

If you have selected an intricate countertop such as granite with extravagant veins or cabinetry that have an eye-catching design and color, you may want to consider that to be the focal point. 

Certainly, adding a second focal point with a bold backsplash design will have the opposite effect. As a result, different elements of the kitchen will compete for attention.  Therefore, the objective of your backsplash will be to simply blend in and help unify the elements of your kitchen.

Furthermore, backsplash selection for blending is tied to the colors of the other components in your kitchen.  Neutral color backsplashes, like white, gray, soft brown, or beige, work well with countertops and cabinets that have a lot of pattern and bold colors. 

Step 2) Determine Backsplash Surface Area

Deciding how much surface area you want to cover with your backsplash will help you narrow down the style and materials you will incorporate into your backsplash.  Regardless of the focal point of the kitchen being your backsplash or not, you still must consider how much space you have available to work with. 

How much of your kitchen’s surface area do you want your backsplash to cover?

If you want a large pattern installed in all the walls of your kitchen that needs at least 24” to be fully appreciated, you need at least 24” available.  The average space allocated for backsplash is between 15” to 18”, but of course this is not a set rule. 

You can always elevate your cabinets if the space above the cabinets is available, get shorter cabinets or limit the design to a small area in the kitchen where you have at least 24” available. 

Once you have considered the available space, deciding how much to designate for the backsplash is easier.

Step 3) Choosing a Backsplash Design Based on Your Kitchen Style

kitchen styles are unlimited now a days. They range from traditional, to modern, to a mix of both resulting in your own unique design.  Your kitchen backsplash should complete your overall style. 

As you shop for backsplashes, you will notice that one backsplash design can work in multiple kitchen styles.  For instance, subway tiles are usually correlated with traditional or farmhouse kitchen styles.  Changing the arrangement or selecting a glass subway tile can take your backsplash from traditional to contemporary. 

If you find a tile you like but it contradicts your style, work with your contractor on ways you can incorporate it into your backsplash design without sacrificing your style.  

Intricate mosaic designs add a lot of detail and color to your kitchen backsplash.  For example, they work well in Mediterranean or modern kitchen styles. 

Tile Colors

Tile colors are key in any kitchen styles.  Bold colors might overpower everything else in the kitchen if used in excess.  Instead, try installing a bold tile in a small area versus the entire kitchen.

Above all this small money saving change might make a difference on how well the other elements of the kitchen are incorporated into the overall design. 

That is to say, reflectiveness and shine of glossy tiles on your kitchen backsplash will add flare to your backsplash and a touch of glamour. 

Step 4) Select the Right Material for Your Kitchen Backsplash Design

There are few factors to consider when selecting your kitchen backsplash materials.  Above all, consider how often the kitchen will be used.  If you cook a lot, keep in mind that there will be more splatters.  So consider selecting a material that is hard to stain and is easy to clean. 

Designs that have a lot of grout for instance, like mosaics, will be harder to clean in comparison to tiles with less grout or no grout at all.

Another point to keep in mind is the degree of maintenance required for certain materials.  Some natural stones require resealing every so often.  Inform yourself on the materials you are selecting before you order them.

In Conclusion

These 4 simple steps will help you start designing the perfect backsplash for your kitchen.  Keeping in mind your kitchen focal point, the space you have available to work with, how you intend to use your kitchen, and learning what material will work best for your needs will ease up the process of designing your kitchen backsplash. 

The process is not as overwhelming when you have few pointers to start with and a trusted contractor like DMV Kitchen and Bath to guide you through your kitchen remodel project. 

Put our experience to work for you and contact us for a free estimate.  The DMV Kitchen and Bath team will be more than happy to assist you in your kitchen remodel project and do the hard work for you.