The backsplash--that vertical space between your countertop and the bottom of your cabinets--plays an important role in protecting your kitchen walls from water damage. In cooking areas, the backsplash protects against food and oil splatter, which can become a fire hazard.
But functional doesn't have to mean boring. "Built with care and an eye toward aesthetics, backsplashes can be a beautiful addition," says Lee Wallender, home renovations expert at About Home. "Almost like a permanent picture on the wall."
1. From sky-blue tiles to sleek rock mosaic
The Miano family had recently moved into their home and completed a few home improvement projects. Next on their list was replacing the blue tile backsplash with something that better suited the black countertops and overall style of the home.
They chose a mosaic tile that included black glass to match the countertop, stone and slate to complement the stonework on the exterior of the home, and stainless steel to match the appliances and lend a modern feel. See installation details and tips at South Cypress.
2. Chalkboard subway tile backsplash for $20
Inspired by chalkboard subway tile seen on a fireplace, Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea decided to apply the same technique for her backsplash. She used some chalkboard paint that she already had then went out in a snowstorm to get chalk markers! Her dedication really paid off... what a difference!
3. Vinyl tile backsplash upgrade
Christine Brennan is planning on a complete kitchen remodel in a few years but just couldn't stand the green painted wall anymore, so she opted for vinyl adhesive "tiles." They were easy to put on, will be easy to remove when the time comes to remodel, and now she can stand to be in the kitchen! See how she did it at Pinspiration Mommy.
4. Painted tile backsplash (it's possible!)
"Bright" was what Jordan wanted for her kitchen. Painting the cabinets was easy enough, but neither she nor her husband was excited about the hassle of pulling out the existing backsplash tiles.
After some research, Jordan--the daughter half of the mother-daughter blog The 2 Seasons--confirmed that tile can, in fact, be painted. She went to work right away, using the same paint she'd applied to the cabinets and was thrilled with the result.
Whether it extends a few inches or up the entire length of the wall, your kitchen needs a backsplash. "Even if you can control the water, your walls will quickly get damaged from items being accidentally pushed up against them: knives, cutting boards, food," and so on, said Wallender.
These do-it-yourselfers ask, why not make them beautiful, too?