The modern kitchen is a place of work, albeit recently it has been re-imagined as a space to entertain and a hub within the home. The working aspect of the contemporary kitchen is underlined by the installations and equipment such as the typical electro-domestic goods, food processors etc. Accommodating this array of sophisticated installations and machinery the worktop is a hive of cooking activity. And as such the materials used to construct it should be carefully considered. There are numerous choices for cladding the walls behind the worktop, an area generally referred to as the backsplash. Practical considerations such as wear and tear as well as easy cleaning should be paramount when deciding on the material.
Kitchen backsplash ideas
The humble backsplash can transform the contemporary kitchen, entirely. Generally located directly behind the sink or the kitchen hob areas the backsplash ensures that surrounding walls don’t get damaged during cooking and cleaning operations. Choosing the right material should be as much a practical consideration as a decorative one. Ceramic, glass or metallic tiles are a popular choice, as are panels of hardwearing materials such as porcelain, marble or slate or indeed any of the other composite stone options on the market right now. They are easily cleaned with a quick wipe of a cloth without requiring complicated products.
Backsplash ideas can be adventurous, given that cabinet doors are usually neutral and conservative by nature. The ‘wow’ factor can be provided by the backsplash which is generally extended to cover the entire area between the underside of the overhead wall cabinets and the kitchen worktop surface.
Tiles or panels
The beauty of using tiles in splash backs for kitchens is that the range of decorative possibilities available, from patterned to plain, elaborate geometrical patterns or simply staggered or stacked; the range of options is endless. Perhaps a single daring colour choice, or a patterned tile, or a complex geometrical pattern using elaborately shaped tiles. The choice of grouting can also make a huge difference. If a coloured option is combined with a white tile the effect can be striking.
Other kitchen backsplash ideas include the use of panel materials. Panels, as opposed to tiles, have the advantage of requiring fewer joints, and therefore fewer opportunities for germs to gather. Materials such as marble, metal or glass are typical. These are easily wiped and the less porous the material the better regarding hygiene.
The best options for the kitchen backsplash
Perhaps the most popular choice of material is the tile which can be made of any number of materials. Tiling the backsplash is popular because it offers a wide variety of options, is normally hard wearing and if an area gets damaged can be easily replaced. Here below we look at recommended materials for the backsplash:
Modern Subway Tile
Now a classic in the home but originally designed for the New York underground because of its reflective surface and hygienic qualities. The slightly bevelled edges and its three dimensional quality lend the backsplash visual interest and practical advantages.
Depending on the finish the stone tile can be rustic or refined. Bush hammered, natural, sawn, sandblasted, flamed or smooth the different finishes for stone produce very different results. The texture of the stone should be matched or contrasted with the choice of worktop.
The colour and veins of the marble provide its character, the great advantage of marble for the backsplash is that it can be cut to any size. Thus avoiding joints and cutting down on areas where germs can congregate.
Although an unusual choice timber provides a designer flourish and warm character. Timber planks can be laid horizontally or vertically, or wooden tiles can staggered in a brick like effect. It’s important to varnish or seal the timber to avoid water penetration.
Any wall finish can have faux brick added to create an industrial loft like look backsplash. Brick can take a lot of abuse and makes a practical choice available in any number of colours and textures. The choice of grout is critical to the final effect.
For instant luxury bronze will provide a shimmering glow which will pick up and reflect the light in a kitchen. Whether used as an embossed tile, metallic ceramic finish or a smooth panel bronze creates a sophisticated backsplash.
One that is resistant to moisture, wear and tear, clearing and is heat resistant. Ceramic or porcelain tiles are ideal because of these very qualities.
Firstly create a mood-board by collecting samples of all the materials and paint colours to be used in the kitchen. Then assemble and choose the most suitable material.
The short answer is yes, but sufficient space must be available, the backing surface must be flat and special adhesive will be required.
Tiles, panels, stone, marble, timber almost any conventional material if treated properly, i.e. made resistant to water and heat.