There are a million and one different backsplashes in this world to choose from–just take a walk down Home Depot’s aisle and you will most likely be overwhelmed by the options. I am not going to tell you what kind of backsplash you should choose because that is totally your own preference, but I will tell you some things to consider when choosing.

  1. Sq Footage of Backsplash Area.  You can have your backsplash go all the way up the wall like we did, or you can choose a small 5 inch section. You may want to take your backsplash around the corners of some areas of the kitchen, have it stick out over the countertops. etc. However you choose to design your backsplash area, you will need to measure the height/width and calculate the total square footage.
  2. Color of Countertops, Cabinets and flooring. This is very important when selecting your backsplash. You want the color scheme to blend nicely with your countertops, cabinets and flooring when selecting a backsplash to install. If the countertops and cabinets are staying the same, then buy a sheet/sample of backsplash at the store and take it home to see how it blends in. If you are changing the colors of everything, then hold a sample of each thing up to each other and make sure the colors blend well. In the picture below, you will see a sample of our current flooring, a sample of a countertop similar to what we were getting (we went with a grey/black combo in the end) and the backsplash I wanted to use. The grey in the backsplash tied in well with the back and grey tones in the granite we choose, the white brought in the white of the cabinets and the ‘marshmallow’ color had brown undertones which worked with our flooring. (Sorry the picture is blurry…I didn’t know I would be posting this on a blog someday:)                    IMG_4949
  3. Trends. The most current trend on Pinterest or any home decor magazine might or might not last the test of time. Since you are making a monetary investment into your kitchen, it is something to consider. In the case of this kitchen, we decided we wanted something trendy (because we liked it:) but something neutral enough that others would like as well. While it is most important to invest and live in a home that you like, do not forget the person who may buy your home in the future.
  4. Pattern of Tile & Installation. When we purchased all of our tile, we had bought 12 x 12 sheets of tiles. The actual amount of wall space we wanted to cover was about 18 inches high. We had a definite pattern in our tile and it did not work to just cut a piece in half and put it on top because the pattern was not correct and it looked odd. This meant we needed to buy a quarter more 12 x 12 sheets than we thought we needed because we could not just split a sheet in two (bummer). The good news was they still had the tile in stock (thank heavens!). Luckily we had some amazing and handy friends, Kevin and Evelyn (see our lifesavers below), who had experience cutting tile and laying tiles/backsplash who came and cut a gazillion tiles and pieced together the whole backsplash in the correct pattern. IMG_1722IMG_1724 It was no easy feat and without a tile cutter and an experienced person laying the tile for us, it could have been disastrous. I am not saying to rule out a backsplash you want because it is harder to install, I am just saying beware it is not always as easy as it may seem at first glance.
  5. Install yourself or hire someone? The Home Depot folks thought Erik and I looked handy and told us we could easily install the backsplash ourselves. They actually have a self-adhesive tile paper that makes putting tile up a breeze (or so they say). This would have been nice on the wallet, considering the cost of hiring a professional installer, but in the case of the crazy patterned tile we purchased, it required a ton of tile cutting and piece by piece placement on some of the rows, so the proven old fashion mortar/grout method was the best option for this install. Would love to hear if you have used the self-stick sheets and if they worked? Let me know! IMG_3601
  6. Grout Color. This was tough.The question to ask yourself is ‘Do I want my tile to stand out, or my grout?’. Sometimes you want grout to be a statement. For example, if you lay white subway tiles you normally want a black-type grout color to make the white tiles pop and have a beautiful contrast. If it is a neutral beige color you probably want a similar but slightly lighter/darker shade of beige for your grout color to make it blend in nicely. In the case of our backsplash, which was already very busy, we wanted the least likely color to draw attention to itself. White grout would actually blend in with the white tiles but pop out against the black tiles and make it look odd. We sampled two different grey colors and a black color using left over tiles. We both thought we were sure to like the Charcoal color the best but once we saw the sample, it looked dark, dirty and popped out more than we expected. We had a dark grey and a light grey and ended up choosing the light grey because it didn’t seem aggressive and complimented the tiles well. Side note, the light grey grout has never once looked dirty with food stains like white grout often does. Loving our light grey! Good idea to sample the grout before you install it and ruin all the hard work you did putting the tiles up!
  7. Budget. The tile that I found at Home Depot was not the most expensive, not the cheapest, went right down the middle of the road because I really liked the style and it was also friendly on the wallet. The best news was that it went on Sale about a week after I found it and then about two weeks later it was on Clearance! I honestly purchased the tile sheets for about $4 a sheet, which is AMAZING! I also shopped all the home stores that had backsplash, looked online, brought home a number of samples before deciding what style/price to go with. It’s a balance: what you want and what you can afford to get. Installing the backsplash is also a budget item to consider. Can you afford to have it installed or could you save a bunch of money and install it well yourself?

We have loved our backsplash! We actually call it our kitchen art:) It makes a statement the moment you walk in the front door. It turned the boring old kitchen into a talking point for all who come over. It is neutral in color, easy to clean, and fun to look at.

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Hope these tips have helped you in picking your new backsplash!

Read about the rest of the kitchen remodel click here!

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