July 26, 2009
Are backsplashes important in a kitchen?
Posted by kitchendetails under kitchen design
, kitchen design tips
, wonderful ideas
| Tags: Ann Sacks tile
, artistic tile
, backsplash design
, glass mosaic tile
, granite backsplashes
, kitchen backsplashes
, tile backsplashes
, tile ideas
, wood backsplashes
Simple answer: Absolutely!
But, does that mean always an involved, intricate design? No, it does not. In fact, in every project, the backsplash has to be evaluated..to see which direction the overall design might dictate. Often, I want to ignore the backsplash and not make it a focal point. In any case, I never want a person to come into a kitchen I have designed and say…”Wow, what a gorgeous backsplash” as the first comment they make. This might seem sort of odd, but it is not. I want the first impact be for the space as a cohesive unit, a work of art as a whole. Of course if you have a great design and tile or whatever, you want people to notice..but not as the primary element.
So, I like to really consider the options for each design and I am known for not wanting to “finalize” it until we start to see how the entire space is coming together and speaks to us. Ok, sometimes we do have it all together like a small cottage kitchen we just completed. Julie, one of our designers, worked with the client and the backsplash selection drove the design to an extent. But, I usually prefer to let the other elements start to come together just a bit before really delving into the design aspect of the splash. The caveat to this is making sure you discuss location of switches and outlets prior to completion of electrical rough in.
Attention also must be paid to the transitions in a backsplash and the location of outlets and other “breaks” in the flow of the design. Often, I will recommend plugmold outlet strips that are installed underneath the upper cabinets to keep typical outlets out of the splash. There are pros and cons to this but my clients have indicated the plugmold is easy once you get used to it. If you typically have a coffee pot plugged in, then you might want to put a regular plug where this would be located so you do not have to have a dangling cord. However, if you have a highly stylized backsplash, it is worth considering plugmold to minimize your outlets. This is all part of evaluating the electrical plan as well as discussing options and pros/cons so you can make an informed decision.
Stay away from side splashes of tile whenever possible…sometimes they can work but often they do not and just look out of place.
Here are a few great splashes from our portfolio as well as from other websites that I have found. Enjoy! Please let us know what you think by commenting below!
Stone splash using multiple sizes of stone for visual interest. Small 2×2 pewter tiles added to tie into the pewter in the kitchen. The bar liner is also pewter. This is one of ours! The stone is from Artistic Tile.
This is a back painted glass splash. We are working with Joel Berman Studios on one for a client now. This photo is from Apartment Therapy
Beadboard can be used as a splash also but consider the water intrusion. It is affordable alternative but may not last as long as tile. This photo is from This Old House
This cottage kitchen needed a kick of modern and the backsplash provided the canvas for a modern design element. The color of the glass 6×12 is a traditional color but the larger format is decidedly modern. It is offset so again, a traditional installation but the size of the glass and the small mosaic glass coupled with a mirrored (yes!! mirrored!) bar liner adds the modern zip. This is one of our small kitchen remodels! The mosaic is called Vihara and the large glass is from Artistic Tile.
Love this Ann Sacks tile!
I am not sure where I found this photo. Has been in my “idea” folder for a while. But it is quite pretty although I would have not done a chrome faucet!
A great example of a full height granite splash that is same as contertops. I use this primarily in modern applications. But again, must assess the particular job. No right or wrong! This is Key West Green granite. It works very well in a contemporary setting.
This remodel was very traditional and stone was used for the backsplash. Again, even with the most mundane stone, you can design a pleasing to the eye splash!
I love this! I cannot find the blog I saw it though…help! It was called the “tileist blog” I think! Anyone know? Want to give credit!
In this vintage kitchen, there is not a design per se, but the limestone "sticks" provide a nice contemporary bit of contrast to the othewise traditional cottage look.
Another great backsplash tile option from Ann Sacks!
Another good example of a full granite backsplash. Don’t think this is boring…often this is what the design needs…subtle and clean! ( and easy to clean as well!)