Kitchen backsplash: design ideas and inspiration

A kitchen backsplash – by modern terminology of design and architecture – is a part of the wall covered with something between the upper and lower rows of kitchen cabinets, including above the stove and sink. Its functions in the kitchen:

  • wall protection from drops of fat, oil, residues that jump during cooking
  • practical
  • ease of washing and cleaning
  • decoration
  • room wall decor

Since the kitchen is a frequently visited place where the whole family gathers daily, its design should create a joyful festive mood and leave a pleasant emotional impression. The design of the kitchen backsplash has a significant role because of its considerable length and the creation of the background for kitchen furniture. It is worth striking its main characteristics: colors, materials for manufacturing, and their features.

All backsplashes in the kitchen are susceptible to the effects of heat and steam. But if in the dining area, you can emphasize the decorative properties of the finish, then next to the stove, the stability of the material plays a vital role. Fortunately, there are many more options for designing a backsplash for the kitchen than it seems. Some of them are as practical as possible; others have an unusual aesthetics, while others are the golden mean. Details are in the below article. 

Features and recommendations

As we said from beginning a kitchen backsplash is a coating over the work area that protects walls and furniture, for its design you need to choose a material with functional characteristics that do not deform with time and also lends itself to care.

Although some designers prefer to use the finish over the entire wall area, more often, the backsplash stands out from the overall composition and acts as a bright detail – with the help of color, texture, or pattern. You can purchase the same coating as the countertop – this will help harmonize the space.

Dark surfaces are considered less practical. But if the backsplash is endowed with saturated color, then the rest of the room must be muffled. Horizontal stripes will help to lengthen the room visually, and the mirror finish will add volume.  

But these recommendations are very arbitrary. You need to follow your capabilities, design tastes, and the benefit of a wide range of materials.

Types and finishes

Ceramic backsplash

The ceramic backsplash is the most popular solution, which is already ranked among the traditional ones. Tile is an inexpensive product that is resistant to moisture, fire, alkali, and acids. It is easy to clean and, as a result, serves for a long time.

The disadvantage is the presence of joints that do not so well withstand pollution and absorb liquid. Because of this, the grout has to be updated quite often. Partially solving the problem will help the acquisition of a unique waterproof option.

Today you can find products with a variety of shapes and patterns. For a modern style, a plain square or hexagonal tile is suitable, and the classic uses more decorated options.

The tile is perfectly combined with other materials and is suitable for finishing the entire wall. Facing work is a soiled process that requires specific skills. Also, it is rather difficult to update the design, since tiled products are not a one-year purchase.

Mosaic backsplash

A kitchen backsplash with a mosaic composition looks complicated and artistic. With its help, you can layout any picture, whether it be abstract patterns or picturesque flowers. 

For example, a decorative mosaic stone panel has a deep texture so that restrained color combinations will look naturally. Glass and the ceramic puzzle is chosen for the design of sophisticated ornaments. In a minimalist interior, you can confine yourself to a plain surface, since the texture of the mosaic itself creates an artistic accent.

Modern mosaics are sold in the form of matrices of different sizes, as well as fragments, are in a small, almost pixel variation 1x1cm, or larger – 5x5cm.

The main advantage of a mosaic backsplash in the kitchen remains attractive aesthetics. You can improve the durability of the finish with a durable adhesive of good quality. The disadvantages include a large number of joints that can accumulate dirt, the high cost, and the complexity of applying.

Stone backsplash

Stone, as a facing material, can be of two types: artificial and natural. The second option is used much less often, mainly because of the high cost. But to ensure maximum environmental friendliness of the coating, granite slabs can be purchased. They are quite strong and durable. 

Rational owners prefer artificial analogs. Acrylic and quartz products do not absorb moisture, do not deform, and are also great for decorating countertops in the same way. A gypsum backsplash can be considered on a par with the previous options if a protective varnish is applied to it. Designers do not recommend combining several varieties of stone within the same space, especially in modern interiors.

Regardless of the origin of the material, its cost is higher than other products, and installation requires the intervention of professionals.

Glass backsplash

Glass products are associated with fragility and do not immediately inspire confidence. But for the design of the kitchen backsplash, a hardened variety is used. In essence, it is much more reliable, does not scratch, is not afraid of sunlight or temperature changes, and the service life reaches ten years. Glass is often installed on top of other coatings for protection.

The disadvantages include the high cost and the need for an order for individual measurements due to difficulties in the trimming process.

The design of the glass backsplash can be plain or imitate other materials. The visual variety expands the possibility of photo printing of any complexity – the work area will become a vivid detail of the kitchen.

Steel backsplash

Such an element will ideally fit into the interior of the kitchen in the style of hi-tech, loft, or minimalism, but if you wish, you can choose the suitable option for classic areas. In general, a backsplash made of steel is still considered something exclusive. It gives the room a stern, stylish, even official look, so metal is often combined with warm wood.

Backsplashes are made from affordable stainless steel, as well as more expensive copper. The texture can be different: a glossy, mirror-like interior, or matte, forming a soft glow. A sheet of metal can cover the entire free zone so that it will not build joints and create a feeling of solidity.

The work area will look even more spectacular if you install a special illumination above it – the light of spotlights directed to the steel sheet shimmers beautifully in the evening.

Wood or MDF backsplash

A wooden backsplash is a very controversial option for the kitchen. Due to its porous structure, this material absorbs moisture, dirt, and odors. But in some cases, environmental friendliness and natural aesthetics of wood is a necessary component of the design.

Such a coating requires preliminary preparation, which includes the application of protective varnish, as well as special oils that prevent drying. A wooden product can be hidden behind transparent Glass in a zone with a plate, or even better – replaced with a more affordable MDF and particleboard.

A wood backsplash will perfectly fit into the kitchen of any style and will form a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. It is often combined with a countertop or other kitchen cabinet elements.

Brick backsplash

Brickwork is incredibly popular not only in the loft but also in other interiors. In this case, it is not necessary to use coarse brick for decoration – you can create the desired texture with the help of more robust materials that can cope with the role of a kitchen backsplash.

A stylish solution is a brick backsplash made of ceramic tiles. You can choose a glossy or matte texture, as well as choose a custom color combination. An artificial stone also has the required effect, but it is recommended to worry about its preparation in advance.

If there is no need to imitate masonry, natural brick is suitable for the design of the working area. It is resistant to temperature changes, durable enough, and not picky to care for. Before buying, make sure that the surface is not coarse-grained. Otherwise, it will quickly absorb all kinds of grime.

Mirror backsplash

It entirely survives in harsh kitchen conditions, does not lose its appearance after a long period of use, and is cleaned like a regular mirror with a damp cloth and detergent.

The mirror backsplash in the kitchen is not afraid of mold, fungus, or aggressive chemicals, except, perhaps, hydrofluoric acid, which is rarely found in everyday use. The downside of this solution can be considered fragility, although some new products have increased strength.

Mirror backsplash is found in three variations:

  • Panel. It can cover the entire working area, thereby forming a single volume without traces of the joint.
  • Tiles. Distinguish details of different shapes and configurations. Joints are filled with transparent sealant.
  • Mosaic. Best suited for large spaces. On a fragmented surface, color shimmers.

The working area of the kitchen is decorated with mirror to extend the room and create a beautiful light effect visually.

Porcelain backsplash

The composition of porcelain stoneware includes two grades of clay, quartz sand, silicates, and coloring pigments. Each ingredient improves the characteristics of the material, as well as expands the visual capabilities.

Due to the cost and complexity of installation, porcelain tiles are often used to decorate the entire wall. Still, where you need a particularly strong coating, you can limit yourself to just a backsplash.

This type of cladding is good in that it can be used to imitate any other material: for example, inscribe the texture of the wood that is less resistant to kitchen conditions, or expensive marble.

Marble backsplash

Marble, laid out on the entire wall, looks very advantageous and will suit both the classic and the modern interior. 

Laminate backsplash

One of the unusual solutions for a kitchen backsplash is the laminate finish. This material is made of wood fibers coated with a decorative layer that imitates the wood and a protective film on top. The laminate is moisture-resistant, lightweight, easy to clean. During installation, a lot of effort is not expended; you can put it on your own. Types of laminate differ in cost and properties, the higher the degree of hardness, the more expensive the material. The top layer imitates the patterns of natural wood, and it is smooth and textured. To finish the kitchen backsplash with a laminate, you should first align the wall, then stick the boards, tightly joining them.

Plastic backsplash

Plastic is a budget option for a backsplash. The market offers a variety of grades of plastics, the quality of which directly depends on the price. To use it in the kitchen, you need to select heat-resistant grades, low-quality material can begin to melt in the zone of the stove with the release of harmful substances. During installation, sheets of plastic are glued directly to the wall with loose joints; particles of water, food, and possibly unpleasant odors can be in the kitchen. Sheets are mostly light, easily damaged. The use of smooth plastic is recommended.

Figured continuation of countertops

Making a continuation of the countertop instead of a backsplash is a good decision, but rather mundane. Instead, the backsplash can be turned into a designer find, if you make curly carvings by the chosen style. It will turn out elegantly and unusual.

Design colors of backsplash

The backsplash design is determined by its color. Choosing it is a difficult task because using different colors with the same kitchen cabinet can dramatically change the overall impression of the room. Design colors naturally depend on the desired interior and the expected colors of the furniture.

Light shades of a backsplash, harmoniously fit into the interior of the kitchen of the following styles: romantic, Provence, classic. Such colors almost merge with the kitchen cabinet and create the impression of tenderness and sophistication. Perhaps their main drawback is dirtiness: every drop of fat is noticeable.

The dark shade is good in that the contaminants are not visible during cooking, it requires less maintenance, and it is not necessary to wipe often. In order not to create excessive gloominess of the interior, designers recommend the use of glossy reflective materials that will add volume. You can improve the impression with a picture or a mosaic of lighter tones. Do not use bright shades of dark colors – purple, burgundy. The kitchen is chosen lighter and rarely the same tone.

Light shades

Light neutral natural shades look great in the classic interior: beige, gray, light brown. They should not contrast with furniture but must create an impression of wholeness and warmth, which is complemented by the warm illumination of the working area. Pictures on them are insignificant and dim.

For a romantic interior, pastel colors are chosen: light blue, dusty pink, lilac, which are supported by light furniture with the interesting decor in the form of curls, flowers, fruits, stained Glass. Drawing on them is optional, but it can be large, vague abstractions, flowers.

If you want to make a kitchen in Provence style, the color of the backsplash will suit light beige, milk. Drawings and ornaments can be unusual and original: pastoral views, floral ornaments. 

Dark shades

For a hi-tech and modern style, dark backsplashes are used: black, dark gray, dark blue, play in the contrast of colors with light – white furniture. Sometimes it can be supplemented the color of the backsplash with individual interior items: black lamps, chairs, curtains. The backsplash materials are glossy, smooth; the illumination of the working area is cold.

Sometimes shades of dark tones are used for classic interiors: it is dark brown, dark beige. For kitchens in the loft or eco style – the texture of the coating repeats brick or masonry, and the color is red-brick and dark gray, respectively. Rather backsplashes are stylized under the texture and color of the wood.

Bright colors

If you are wondering about the possibility of using bright colors for a wall backsplash, let’s look at color options. The best images create rich fruit shades of pink, fuchsia, red, peach – they will add warmth. Bright yellow and orange colors will create a sunny atmosphere, even on cloudy days. Green, lettuce, emerald nerves calm. Night blue, turquoise, and sky blue will add lightness. For a harmonious and holistic visual perception of the kitchen, the colors of the backsplash are supplemented with bright details in the furniture – handles, pattern, on other walls – a picture, panoramic photo wallpaper, in accessories – a lampshade, curtains. Bright colors on the backsplash may be present in the form of a large pattern or ornament with a general neutral background: white, milky. Bright colors are characteristic of Art Nouveau, minimalism, and other modern styles.

When choosing a color scheme for a backsplash, you should think about the material for its manufacture. Different colors and designs require their unique material structure.

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