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10 Inventive Kitchen Backsplashes |

10 Inventive Kitchen Backsplashes

http://www.sunset.com/home/decorating/kitchen-backsplash-ideas?xid=sfg-sunset-1017


Remodeling your kitchen? Here are 10 ways to treat the kitchen backsplash, from stainless steel and stone to brick and subway tile


Published 4:00 am, Sunday, October 29, 2017

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All in on Texture

Glazed bricks offer the timelessness of subway tile with a little something extra: texture. Kitchens are full of smooth, glossy surfaces, so a material that contrasts that—like brick—visually balances the room. Plus, the glazes can often be custom mixed for a one-of-a-kind hue. Want even more impact out of your backsplash? Take it all the way up to the ceiling and over the range hood.

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All in on Texture

Glazed bricks offer the timelessness of subway tile with a little something extra: texture. Kitchens are full of smooth, glossy surfaces, so a material that contrasts that—like

… more

Photo: Lincoln Barbour


Wallpaper Works

Convention says wallpaper is the worst material to use as a kitchen backsplash. Grease could stain it, steam could make it peel off or damage it, water could make it pucker. But a paper backsplash is possible with careful prep and installation. In this case, the wallpaper has a protective Scotchguard-like coating and is further removed from danger by thin panels of tempered glass.

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Wallpaper Works

Convention says wallpaper is the worst material to use as a kitchen backsplash. Grease could stain it, steam could make it peel off or damage it, water could make it pucker. But a paper

… more

Photo: Thomas J. Story


Boost the Color Scheme

If you want to give your kitchen a little more juice, use the backsplash to enhance the room’s color palette. Here, a pale aqua tile contrasts the yellow range and pumps up the gray and white cabinetry. It covers a relatively small amount of real estate, so the risk is small, but the payoff is big. Something to keep in mind: Water spots show up more on darker colors, just like with a car. Choose a pale or mid tone to keep your backsplash looking cleaner longer.

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Boost the Color Scheme

If you want to give your kitchen a little more juice, use the backsplash to enhance the room’s color palette. Here, a pale aqua tile contrasts the yellow range and pumps up the gray and

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Photo: Lisa Romerein


A Little Luxury

The veining in this black marble brings an organic softness to this otherwise unornamented kitchen. The small backsplash rise—approximately four inches—echoes the chunky island countertop while keeping with the overall minimal mid-century look. For the cleanest look, match the backsplash edge profile to the countertop’s. If the countertop is beveled, do the same to the top edge of the backsplash, for example.

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A Little Luxury

The veining in this black marble brings an organic softness to this otherwise unornamented kitchen. The small backsplash rise—approximately four inches—echoes the chunky island countertop

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Photo: Thomas J. Story


Sideways Subway

If subway tile is all that’s in your budget, never fear: It’s a classic. In fact, it’s so appealing and timeless, you can get away with a playful installation, like the vertical pattern shown here. (The industry term for this pattern is “vertical straight set.” The typical staggered pattern is called either “offset” or “running bond.”) Other fun installation alternatives are horizontal straight set, herringbone, or basket weave.

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Sideways Subway

If subway tile is all that’s in your budget, never fear: It’s a classic. In fact, it’s so appealing and timeless, you can get away with a playful installation, like the vertical pattern

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Photo: Thomas J. Story


Steel This

How’s this for creative reuse? Corrugated metal siding underlines this kitchen’s rustic vibe—and is pretty indestructible to boot, as long as you source galvanized steel. (Galvanized steel is treated with zinc to prevent rust and corrosion.) Design-wise, pay attention to the strong vertical lines the corrugated panels add to the overall look of the kitchen. In small applications, like in this kitchen, the effect is pleasing. Over a larger area, the lines might need balancing by either painting cabinet surfaces or running the cabinetry wood grain horizontally.

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Steel This

How’s this for creative reuse? Corrugated metal siding underlines this kitchen’s rustic vibe—and is pretty indestructible to boot, as long as you source galvanized steel. (Galvanized steel is

… more

Photo: Thomas J. Story


Warming Trend

When a modern kitchen needs warming up, look to tile with handmade or aged qualities. The small imperfections or variations in color contrast beautifully with the sleek finishes often used in contemporary design. In an open-plan kitchen like this one, the tile also provides a focal point that anchors the kitchen.

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Warming Trend

When a modern kitchen needs warming up, look to tile with handmade or aged qualities. The small imperfections or variations in color contrast beautifully with the sleek finishes often used in

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Photo: Thomas J. Story


Color at Random

For a little more interest than you get with solid color, try mixing in a handful of tiles that contrast. In this kitchen, tiles in shades of gold punctuate the lavender backsplash and nod to the color of the plywood cabinetry. Leave this installation to an expert, or take the time to plan out the best layout to get a random but balanced feel. (This installation is an example of horizontal straight set installation, also called horizontal stacked.)

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Color at Random

For a little more interest than you get with solid color, try mixing in a handful of tiles that contrast. In this kitchen, tiles in shades of gold punctuate the lavender backsplash and nod to the

… more

Photo: Thomas J. Story


High Value

This tile stack may be short, but it’s long on style. This is the perfect application for an expensive or showy tile since it requires fewer tiles and won’t dominate the kitchen’s overall look. A low backsplash will catch most splatters, but make sure the wall surface above the tile is scrubbable (e.g. satin or semi-gloss paint) for any stray splashes.

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High Value

This tile stack may be short, but it’s long on style. This is the perfect application for an expensive or showy tile since it requires fewer tiles and won’t dominate the kitchen’s overall look.

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Photo: John Ellis


Off the Grid

If subway tiles make you snooze but you’re not looking for color, try a white tile in an unusual shape. This cross pattern turns the limited amount of space between the cabinetry into an eye-catching area that holds up to green cabinetry. Black grout helps the pattern stand out and won’t turn a dingy gray with age like white grout often does.

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Off the Grid

If subway tiles make you snooze but you’re not looking for color, try a white tile in an unusual shape. This cross pattern turns the limited amount of space between the cabinetry into an

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Photo: Mary Costa



One of the ways to make a big impression in the kitchen is by choosing a creative backsplash.

But creativity can mean a variety of things. Sunset Magazine has singled out ten ways to take the backsplash from boring to wow-worthy.

If you’re looking for a playful take on subway tile, trying to inject some color into your kitchen or just looking for a way to match the walls to your kitchen accessories, these tips should help. The slideshow above features ways to stretch your dollar and make your kitchen shine — while remaining functional.

This article originally appeared on Sunset.com: “10 Inventive Kitchen Backsplashes”

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