If you were to take a minute to think about the most utilized room in your home, which would it be? Your initial reaction would probably be your living room, and while that space does get plenty of love, it’s likely there’s a place that is even more utilized. Think about it. Where do you put together your snacks when you’re getting ready for a nice Netflix night in? And when the family is over, where does everyone seem to congregate?
The kitchen, of course. And in beautiful Tahoe homes, it’s no different!
And no doubt at least once you’ve been standing at the sink daydreaming about what you’d do differently in there if you were ever to upgrade the space or shop for a new home.
Better lighting? A wine fridge? How about an island with a built-in sink? The options are endless, and to tie it all together, a unique— or more contemporary—backsplash could really help you enjoy the time you spend in this room.
Oftentimes the backsplash is what defines the style of your space. For example, a kitchen with a plain slab door style—add a simple 2×8 inch tile in a stacked bond pattern, and your kitchen is more contemporary. Add an ornate jewel glass mosaic tile and your kitchen is more traditional or Mediterranean.
With so many options and variables that can go into creating the perfect backsplash, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all that is available and choose the design that is right for you.
WHERE TO START
If you were to find yourself in a position to add or update the backsplash in your beautiful Tahoe home, experts suggest to find what fits your style and the style of your kitchen—not necessarily what’s the most popular at the time.
What we’ve found is that when someone is trying to keep up with the trends—like a glass backsplash or some of the other things that seem to be in style—they get tired of it very quickly.
The goal of the backsplash is to tie the kitchen together and make it look finished. In some cases, this may mean the backsplash acts as a more dramatic piece to a subtle kitchen. In others, it is the standout piece in an otherwise conservative setting.
Ask yourself what you care most about being the focal point. Figure that out and tie it all together. A backsplash is a bow on a package. Tastefully done, it enhances and ties together all of the other materials which ensure the final style of the room.
When you walk into a space, you should go, “Ahhhh” – Not having any one thing stand out too much where you cannot see or envision the original concept of your project.
The sky is the limit, really, when it comes to options for backsplashes. It truly all depends on the look and style you’re going for.
Subway tile is currently the leader when it comes to popularity because it’s universal when it comes to style. It can complement a traditional style as well as have a sleek and modern look. While white, 3-by-6-inch subway tile is a classic choice these days, there are so many sizes and material combinations to choose from.
Honed marble, handmade tile, and glass are a few options, however, ceramic and porcelain tiles are more common and budget-friendly.
“Different tile shapes correlate to different styles,” she says. “Your basic rectangle works with any style. Aside from your running bond pattern, some more popular patterns are the stack bond for more modern designs and herringbone or chevron patterns in your traditional designs.”
Of course, there is the option to step away from tile all together, with marble or granite.
We’re seeing many full backsplashes where the countertops and the backsplashes match. Granite, marble, travertine, engineered quartz, etc. (Quartz is generally OK unless you have high heat near it. Engineered quartz doesn’t do well in high heat because it can re-melt.)
Frequently we’ll see a solid piece of stone behind the stove and then very simple tile everywhere else. Keep maintenance and your budget in mind. Not only is ceramic and porcelain moderately priced, but it’s very easy to clean. Natural stone tends to be more porous but to wipe a sealer on the backsplash twice a year really is not a huge concern in the grand scheme of things.
Unique tiles such as metal, bead board, chalkboard, natural stones, and sticky tiles have pluses and minuses. Metal tiles are much more expensive along with additional installation problems that could arise, such as scratching of the metal finish. Some of the aforementioned options, such as beadboard and chalkboard, should be used as accents in areas that do not get splashed on in everyday use of a kitchen.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Admittedly, a backsplash is not on the top of the to-do list when it comes to updating or building a new kitchen. But it can be an important piece that finishes the space and makes it a great place to spend time and entertain.
(Courtesy of House&Home.com)