In the not so distant past, the backsplash in a kitchen was an afterthought, just a small strip of typically neutral tile or even laminate meant to keep grease off of the walls.
Today, there are many choices in backsplash options. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is a way to pull the cabinets, countertop and the overhead cupboards together. Choosing an option that does justice to the look you want to create and the features of the kitchen is always priority one.
To Match or Not To Match?
It is possible to create a monochromatic look with the backsplash and the countertop as well as the cabinets. This includes picking up tones and colors in the countertop and the upper cabinets and matching those with colors and tones in the backsplash.
Natural stone tiles are a great example of this type of tone and color matching. In small spaces and with light colors this gives an open, airy look. For larger kitchens and darker spaces, the darker tile matching the counter is dramatic look, particularly when paired with selected under cabinet lighting or glass doors on cabinets with internal lights.
Adding patterns in the tile gives a unique and creative look to the kitchen space. In this type of design, the backsplash takes more of a center stage, drawing the eye along the pattern. Patterning can include repetitive geometric patterns with the grout also contributing the overall look.
Some types of tile patterns are considered classic, while others are more trendy. The subway tile layout and pattern is ideal and can be dressed up or dressed down with ornate kitchen cabinets or more rustic or minimal styles, making it a good example of using the same pattern for different styles.
A Splash of Color or Neutrals?
A splash of green, blue, red, yellow or orange can give a very dramatic burst of color in a classic white and black kitchen. This is always a great look with the earthy tones and colors found in granite or quartz, and it is a great look paired with hardwood floors.
A good rule is to consider bright or eye-catching for either the countertop or the tile, but not with both. With a vibrant, patterned, natural stone countertop, pairing a neutral type of backsplash that may have a unique pattern or design is a perfect combination.
The height and extent of the backsplash is also an important factor. It can be possible to combine different options in a backsplash, such as using subway tiles under the counters and then a more elaborate or ornate tile on the larger wall surfaces behind the sink and the stove areas.