Add Style to Your Kitchen with a Kitchen Backsplash

Looking for a way to update your kitchen without committing to a full renovation?  Add a kitchen backsplash! There are so many fun and exciting backsplash styles out there, allowing you to really add a fun flair without breaking the bank.

How to Choose the Backsplash That’s Right for You

Choosing the right backsplash for your kitchen involves a few decisions. You need to decide what types of tiles you want. Then, you’ll need to find a design that fits your needs while also creating the perfect look for you. Here are some tips that will help.

Choose your tile

Tile options are amazing these days! You can now choose from ceramic, glass, porcelain, metal, marble or granite to create a fun and unique look. All work great for a kitchen backsplash, depending on what you are looking to spend. Ceramic and porcelain are more affordable, while more unusual materials like copper or glass might come at a premium. Decide what you want the look to be and how much you’re willing to spend. What’s nice is that there are some ceramic and porcelain tiles that look like metal, so shop around or engage a professional design service to help.

Pick your tile design

Aside from choosing tiles in different colors and patterns, consider how those tiles will be positioned. There are essentially three types of tile designs that most people choose from:

  • Diagonal tiles
  • Laser cut tiles
  • Subway tiles

Diagonal tiles offer a very unique look. Since it’s a more complex design, you’ll likely need more tiles to achieve the look, which will increase the cost a bit. Laser cut tiles are usually designed for more intricate patterns, but the outcome can be quite unique and stunning. Again, these are more expensive because of the number of tiles and installation needed to get the pattern right. Subway tiles are all the rage right now, giving the kitchen a clean, simple and sleek look. While these three are the most common types of designs, you most certainly can choose from a variety of patterns like mosaic or herringbone or find gorgeous hand painted tiles. You’re only limited by creativity!

Colors: mix or match

Backsplashes are a great way to breathe new life into existing kitchen colors or bring out new colors. If you have an existing countertop with, for example, greys and creams, maybe you want to add a fun new color like reds or blues. Or, you may want to highlight the grey for more warmth or bring out more creams to keep the look soft and neutral. There are so many ways a backsplash can make a countertop practically look brand new!

Choose your backsplash height

Choosing the height of your kitchen backsplashes is strictly a matter of taste and budget. Most homeowners opt for the counter to cabinet height but if you really want to add a stunning visual, you can go for a full height backsplash. This will create a substantial eye-catching focus to your kitchen so if you’re at all unsure, reach out to a kitchen design professional to help.

Professional installation vs. DIY

There are many qualified professionals that know how to install backsplashes. Once you know the materials and design you’re looking for, discuss your vision with a professional to ensure they know how to meet your expectations. Thinking about installing the backsplash yourself?  Here are a few tips:

  • Finalize your layout (subway, herringbone, etc.) and then measure the space overall. Measure twice! You know the old saying: “Measure twice, cut once”. You want to make sure you have more than enough material to get the job done.
  • Don’t forget to take into consideration the height of the backsplash when measuring and ordering tiles.
  • Invest in a good tile saw. Yes, you’ll have to do some cutting for those unusual corners and end pieces.
  • Watch a few “how to install” videos to get a feel for the process and check out a few “how to” articles from Lowes, Home Depot, and Family Handyman. They’ll really help!

When you’re ready to change up the look of your kitchen, you can really add style by adding a kitchen backsplash. You’ll be thrilled with the results for the fraction of the cost of a new kitchen.

How to Make Your Kitchen More Functional

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It can either be a pleasant experience or a trying one, depending on how your kitchen is designed. Believe it or not, there are several ways to make your kitchen more functional without breaking the bank. Check out the suggestions below to see what might help you get the kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Add a kitchen island or butcher block

Look around your kitchen:  is there a lot of wasted floor space?  Do you feel like you’re walking back and forth across an empty floor to go from refrigerator to sink to stove?  How about your surface area?  Could you use a bit more space?  It may be time to add a kitchen island or butcher block. Many kitchens are built in a perfect square with a whole lot of nothing in the middle. What a waste!  You can easily add more surface area, storage, and functionality to your kitchen simply by adding an island or butcher block. Depending on the size of the space, a simple portable butcher block may due but if you have the space, adding a kitchen island is a fairly inexpensive renovation with a big payoff. Find a professional designer that can advise you what will work best in your home.

Drawers with a purpose

Especially in older homes, drawers were made to be multi-functional but nowadays, you can take those drawers to better suit your needs. One of the most popular upgrades is spice drawers. You’ve been there:  peering into a dark cabinet with spices 5 layers deep on a shelf. You can’t find anything, so you use the same five spices over and over again. No more!  Keep all your spices organized and right where you need them with a spice drawer under your cooktop. It’s a great way to keep all those small containers organized without wasting any counter space!

Add another sink

People are surprised by this suggestion but it’s nothing short of brilliant if you think about it, especially if you can put that second sink in a kitchen island. If you share kitchen time with another cook, you’re going to love how convenient this is. One sink for food prep, another for the dirty dishes. Heaven!

Repurpose deep cupboards

Are there some cabinets so deep that you only use the front half?  Think about repurposing a few deep cupboards with bench space, power points and lighting in them. Store your appliances here so you can use them then close the door and forget about them.

Maximize your cabinet space potential

Maximize your vertical space by having wall cabinets reach to the ceiling. That big space above your cabinets?  Dust collectors. Go vertical and make your kitchen more functional! Increase the depth of wall cabinets from the standard 12” to 15”. There are several affordable lines of cabinetry that allow you to do this.

Kitchen upgrades that don’t require remodeling

Here are a few additional lower-cost ways to make your kitchen more functional:

  • Hang pots and pans
  • Add hooks inside cabinet doors for measuring spoons and measuring cups
  • Always use your corner space and utilize Magic Corners or a Lazy Susan to access the space.
  • Utilize the seldom-used cabinet above the refrigerator
  • Store your cookie sheets vertically on shelves
  • Group like utensils

There are many ways you can make your kitchen more functional, regardless of size. Try some of these and see how much your kitchen experience will improve!

5 Trends in Kitchen Countertops

When it’s time to renovate your kitchen, countertops can often make the biggest impact as they’re the most visible part of any kitchen. Trends have come and gone over the years; some are still going strong while others are considered outdated. Want some fresh ideas for your kitchen remodel?  Check out these 5 trends in kitchen countertops.

Prominent Patterns

Natural stones such as granite and marble can come with many different patterns or styles. You may see a fairly consistent pattern throughout the stone or you can see what’s called “movement” which means a unique pattern of crystals, veins and patterns that flow through the piece of stone. In the past, movement wasn’t desirable by homeowners for countertops but the new trend is to bring it on! Very distinct, prominent patterns in granite and marble are now in style; the more unique the better. For many, it makes decorating more interesting as designers match the colors and patterns in the stone with other décor in the kitchen such as artwork, wallpaper or backsplashes.

Backsplash Tiles

In the past, a backsplash was an extension of the stone or other material used for the countertops. Nowadays, backsplashes are predominantly tiles which allows for much more versatility. Whether it’s multi-colored tiles or subway tiles, backsplash tiles are the new norm. Materials for the tiles can include marble, metal, glass, copper, slate or glass, just to name a few. The options allow homeowners to really customize the look of their kitchens.

Neutral Countertops

Another emerging trend with the popularity of backsplash tiles are neutral countertops. While many homeowners want their countertops to take center stage with interesting patterns, others want their backsplash creativity to shine through, and are instead opting for very neutral countertops. Soft greys, whites, creams and beiges allow for other items in the kitchen, not just backsplashes, to stand out. The goal is for the countertop to be neutral and not catch anyone’s eye while other fun features such as lighting, backsplashes or even appliances to stand out.

Metal Countertops

This surprising trend is actually quite stunning! Metal countertops are now becoming increasingly popular all homes due to their durability and eye-catching shine. Though not new; this trend has been spotted in more contemporary, urban homes, the look is going mainstream. Many metal countertops are made to withstand rust and surface dings that are bound to happen in the kitchen.

Integrated Kitchen Sinks

Over the years, styles of sinks change with some frequency:  Over-counter, undermount, black granite, white porcelain, stainless steel, farmhouse sinks, etc. The trends seem to be driven by the look more than the functionality. Now the trend is sinks that are integrated into countertops. Also known as an “integrated sink countertop,” “counter sink,” or “integral sink”, integrated kitchen sink countertops are a single-piece design because the sink is made of the same material as the countertop. Why is this on trend?  They’re easy to clean because there are no seams between countertops and sinks. They provide a sleek look, so the sink isn’t a visual focal point in the kitchen. They’ve been popular for awhile in bathrooms, but now kitchens are featuring them as well.

At the end of the day, if you’re interesting in building your dream kitchen, the style needs to reflect your tastes as well as what you want the functionality of your kitchen to be. Countertop trends can be fun in opening up possibilities to make your kitchen unique. Not sure if these trends will work for you?  Work with a company that specializes in kitchen remodeling and restoration to find options that are right for you.