Once purely a functional part of the kitchen, the countertop backsplash has become an integral part of a kitchen’s aesthetic design. In fact, a backsplash is currently required by code in all counties of Virginia. The idea behind the backsplash – found mainly behind your kitchen sink and other potentially wet areas, sitting on top of your countertop and spanning the entirety of your wall, was designed to simply protect your walls from stains and splashes. Today, the choices of materials available have grown exponentially. This has had an interesting effect on kitchen design. From pure function, to a way of heightening your kitchen’s appeal, the humble backsplash can be the perfect finish to a flawless kitchen design.
What are some of the options you can choose? In this article, we’re going to go over some of the many diverse materials available on the market today. We will look at some of the pros and cons of each option and hopefully, help you decide on the best kitchen countertop backsplash for your kitchen.
Stone Backsplashes that Offer a Touch of Class
If you are looking for a sophisticated high-end option for your kitchen, stone is an excellent choice. The different varieties of stone offer a large range of individual options, and if you are already installing a fitted stone countertop, then a stone backsplash can add an extra level of sophistication to your design layout. This, coupled with under-counter lighting creates a dramatic effect.
A granite backsplash is a favorite option for many people and is versatile enough to work in many kinds of kitchens – from traditional to contemporary. They are also very durable, and like most stone options, are heat resistant. Cleaning is simple, but granite does require proper sealing, since it does have the potential to stain. The main concern would be oils behind the range, as water staining on vertical surfaces in minimal. Granite is also very heavy, and must be professionally fitted. Because of the characteristics of natural stone, you will be able to find backsplashes that are one-of-a-kind.
Marble is another stone option that many desire for a high-end kitchen. Like granite, marble offers naturally occurring patterns, which can fit beautifully into your brand new kitchen. On top of the individual patterns that can be found with marble, it is also available in different colors. This offers a greater range of options when deciding on your overall kitchen color scheme. Marble does require some maintenance with professional sealing being the most important part, especially in grout joints. Without proper sealing, your backsplash could stain. You may also need to take extra care when working with around marble, as it has been known to chip or scratch easily.
Quartz is a stone material that’s become prevalent in kitchen backsplashes. Quartz, unlike granite or marble is non-porous, which means it does not require special sealing and will not stain! Cleaning quartz is extremely easy and it comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Quartz is a very strong natural material and lasts a long time. Because Quartz is so resilient it is much harder to damage (unlike marble.)
Whether it’s quartz, marble or granite – stone backsplashes can give your kitchen a high-end feel and, with proper maintenance, most natural stones will last for a very long time. They can be heavy, so professional installation is always recommended. These backsplashes can add an amazing finish to your kitchen that friends and family will admire for years to come.
Alternative Backsplash Options that Can Fit Any Budget
Backsplashes don’t have to be only stone though. There are many more materials to choose from when you deciding which backsplash will be ideal for your kitchen. For instance, stainless steel as an option could work very well if you have a contemporary styled design. This material is affordable, as well as very easy to clean. Cleaning should only be done with warm water, as chemical cleaning products can have a negative effect over time. Stainless steel will also not stay pristine forever. Minor scratches can build up, and unlike stone options, may dent in places, which can be noticeable. Overall, stainless steel can bring a special quality to certain kitchens, creating a lighter room and a smooth finish. When including stainless steel in your kitchen design, less is more. Be careful not to have too many surfaces in stainless steel since it could leave your kitchen looking too commercial.
Porcelain or ceramic tiles are also popular and common choice for many people. This is due to their versatile nature, as they can be fitted into any size kitchen with relative ease. Because of the nature of tiling, if your backsplash does become damaged in any way, all it takes is replacing the one tile, rather than an entire fitted backsplash. Tiles also come in many styles and colors and can even resemble other materials. When installing tile, make sure to keep a few extra pieces in a safe place just in case.
Laminate backsplashes are the ideal choice for low budget kitchens. They come in many different styles and are easy to clean. It should also be noted that laminate is not very heat resistant. When using laminate, keep hot pots, pans and dishes from directly touching the surface. Laminate doesn’t give off a high-end feel, but is an affordable alternative to natural stone.
Other lesser known kitchen counter backsplashes are available on the market today, including glass, mirrored glass, wood and composite. Each having their own unique traits. Mirrored glass requires more polishing than normal glass, and if you live a busy lifestyle, then you just may not have the time required to maintain the original look of mirrored glass. Finding the glass backsplash that fits with the décor of your kitchen, as well as lifestyle, can end up being a major decision.
Backsplashes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials. No longer are they just a functional piece of the kitchen protecting your walls. A well-chosen and fitted backsplash can make a statement, and even add value to your kitchen. They can elevate a kitchen from a simple place of cooking, to a room you can be truly proud of. With all the options out there, from stone to stainless steel, you are bound to find one that meets your needs.
Our knowledgeable and friendly staff know what makes a great kitchen (or anything else you can dream up!) Give us a call and we’ll help you find something that’s perfect for your next project. As always, our estimates are free! Contact us at 804-379-2641. Schedule a FREE estimate online.