One of the first questions clients often ask when discussing backsplash tiling is "what style of tile do you recommend?" My answer is always the same: "whatever tile you like." The process of selecting the right tile for your backsplash can be overwhelming, with so many options available such as stone, mosaic, glass, mirror, stainless steel and plain white tiles, not to mention the variety of colors and layout orientations. It's easy to go into a home improvement store with a clear idea of what you want, only to leave feeling unsure of your choices. A designer can be a great resource to help navigate this process, but as a contractor, I also have advice to offer and can make the selection process easier for you.
What is the focal point?
When I ask clients this question, they are often surprised, but it's important to consider: what do you want your guests to notice when they walk into your kitchen? Your backsplash, or other elements such as your cabinets or countertops? It's also important to consider whether you plan to have an accent tile above your stove and if you will be bringing in color through decor and accent pieces. These factors can influence your decision on whether to choose a neutral tile or a more bold and unique one. Additionally, the style of your countertop can also play a role in your tile selection. A quieter countertop may allow for a more expressive backsplash, while a busier countertop may require a more subtle backsplash to complement it.
Will the design have longevity?
When I mention this, I am referring to whether the tile will still look great in 10-15 years. It's easy to be drawn to a striking color or style that catches our eye, but it's important to consider whether it will still be appealing in the long-term. Trends come and go and what was once considered stylish may now be outdated and even an eyesore. This is especially important to consider when you're planning on selling your house in the future. While it's understandable to want to be daring with color choices, it's often better to keep with your home's design style, whether that be contemporary, modern, Victorian or country. This will ensure that your backsplash will have a timeless appeal.
What is your budget?
It's important to keep in mind that the cost of backsplash tiles can vary greatly, ranging from $7 to $40 per square foot. This, combined with installation costs, can add up quickly depending on the size of your kitchen. However, it's important to remember that you don't have to break the bank to achieve a stylish look. There are plenty of options available at a lower price point that can still add style to your kitchen. Understanding this will help you narrow down your choices and make a more informed decision when it comes to selecting a tile for your backsplash.
In my opinion, functionality is the most important aspect to consider when choosing a backsplash tile. The primary purpose of a backsplash is to protect your walls from food splatters and stains. For this reason, I recommend selecting a tile that is smooth and non-porous, making it easy to clean with just a simple wipe of a wet cloth or sponge. Before making a final decision on your tile choice, ask for samples, bring them home and place them in your kitchen for a few days or a week. This will give you a sense of how the tile's color and style will work with your lighting, decor and your home. Additionally, you can place the samples along the back of your countertop for a few days, you will quickly notice which samples catch your eye as you walk into your kitchen throughout the day, and which samples you don't like. This way you can narrow it down to your final choice. Remember, it's easier to remove tiles at this stage than after it's installed. If you're still unsure, ask your contractor to bring you tile samples, a good contractor will learn your style and design tastes beforehand and bring you samples that work for you and your kitchen project.