Backsplashes are more than just an extra layer of protection for your kitchen walls. They are also the means for some serious design impact. Color, mosaic work, continual expanses of natural stone – whatever your tastes, choosing a backsplash for a kitchen remodel should not be a last minute decision.
Standard Backsplash or The Whole Shebang? What Makes the Most Sense?
One of the decisions you’ll have to make in regards to your kitchen backsplash is whether or not you should tile the entire wall or go with a standard height version. Typically, a “standard” backsplash is about 4-inches high, although you are free to go a little higher. Often, clients who opt for this style will use 6-inch or 8-inch high options, so keep those heights in mind when reading “standard” or “partial” in the considerations listed below.
There are a few considerations that come into play when choosing a full or partial backsplash for your kitchen remodel:
Budget. Not surprisingly, the more materials you use in a remodel, the higher the price tag. Thus, a full backsplash will cost more than a partial version. If you have splurged on your cabinet and countertop materials and want to save a little, choosing a partial backsplash will help, especially if you want to match your backsplash to expensive countertop materials. You can meet a little in the middle by putting a full backsplash in a section or two and leaving the rest at standard height (more on that below).
Aesthetics. What look at your going for? If you have a formal kitchen design, or a very modern kitchen design, a full backsplash might be the best look for your overall presentation. It creates a very regal and clean aesthetic, streamlining the finished design.
Kitchen wear and tear. How much do you use your kitchen? Who uses the kitchen and what’s their cooking style? If you have a busy kitchen, filled with boisterous chefs and/or assistants who aren’t always careful about where the sauces, dish water, pot splatter, etc., lands, a full backsplash might be in order – particularly behind the stove top. You will appreciate cleaning last night’s dried marinara sauce off of smooth tile surface rather than a textured wall surface. Plus, you’ll mitigate potential long-term damage to the wall, which may eventually need to be resurfaced or replaced if cumulative damage causes dents or a cave-in.
You can have both! Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick one or the other. In some households, full backsplash areas are installed behind the stove, sink or any major food prep areas where food or liquids are more likely to infiltrate the permeable wall surface. The remainder of the kitchen can have a standard backsplash height.
How often do you change your color palette? This can be an important factor. If you are someone who really enjoys changing your interior color scheme every few years or so, I recommend going with a standard backsplash height. That will allow you the freedom to paint, paper, stencil or generally get creative on the wall space between the countertop and upper cabinetry. This is much, much simpler, not to mention more cost efficient, than ripping out and reinstalling new tile work. It is also preferable to living with tile work you wish you could change.
Working with an professional interior designer ensures you think about every aspect of your interior design – even the seemingly insignificant details – so you can enjoy a completed remodel that balances function and aesthetics for your household.