One of the most popular elements of any home is often the kitchen backsplash. Backsplashes are practical and desirable because they protect the walls from stains and water damage. But the benefits of a tiled backsplash don’t stop there.
Installing a kitchen or bathroom backsplash can make a real impact on the look and feel of your home, here are several things to consider when shopping for a tile backsplash.
1. A backsplash adds a personal touch to the room’s style
Your walls are open canvases and you can add your style to them with paint but nothing adds a stylish and personal touch like installing a backsplash with unique tile that speaks to you and your personality. There are endless tile choices, let your imagination and creativity be your guide and you can have something truly unique to you and your home.
2. Not all tiles will eliminate stain risks or be easy to maintain
If you love to cook and hate to clean be careful which tiles you choose for your kitchen backsplash. Not all tiles are great at reducing maintenance and certain tile choices could actually add to your maintenance workload and schedule instead of reducing it.
For instance, while we love the look of natural stone, stone and marble are naturally porous materials so they are susceptible to staining and require scheduled maintenance with specialty cleaners and sealers. Small tiles may also end up needing more maintenance because they will have more grout joints and that’s where grease and dirt like to take up residence.
If maintenance is a high priority for you, we recommend ceramic, porcelain glass or even metal tile. Because these materials are non-porous, stains will not be able to penetrate the surface of the tile. We also recommend an upgraded grout for backsplashes, one that has stain-resistant technology built-in. One last thing to consider if you are concerned with less maintenance, the larger the tile the less grout joints and therefore the less maintenance needed.
3. Think long term
Whenever you are investing in your most valuable asset (your home) you should make sure you are considering the long term impact. For example, if you plan to live in your home for a very long time you most likely do not want to be remodeling every few years due to rushing a decision as large as tile selection or which tile contractor you hire. It would be a shame to choose something just because it is on sale only to later find out there was a reason it was on sale or you really did not like it and are now either stuck with it or have to spend more money to change it out to something you will truly enjoy.
On the other hand, if your home is temporary and you plan on putting it on the market within a few years, tile choices should be less about what you want and more for the general public. Choose neutral colors and tile that appeal to a larger group of people, think subway tile instead of mosaics. Subway tile is a classic look that has stood the test of time and is always in style.
When considering a tile contractor to install your backsplash, do not rush to make your decision or choose based solely on something as fleeting as price. We understand HGTV makes it appear as if something like a kitchen backsplash can be installed, grouted and ready for action in just a couple hours, but that is not the case! They call that TV Magic in Hollywood but in the real world there is a lot more involved in producing quality work that will last for generations to come.
Ask contractors what methods and materials they will be using. What grout and why? How about silicone caulking, will they use it in between the wall and the countertop? Or will they be grouting that joint? If they are removing an old backsplash, how will they protect the cabinets and countertops? How about protecting the rest of the home from fine dust? These are all valuable points to consider and make sure you get the answers you need.