The stainless-steel backsplash is an option for the homeowner looking to match this kitchen feature to appliances of the same material. The stainless-steel backsplash can be fabricated out of sheet metal to display a variety of surface textures. Stainless steel is easy to clean, but scratches can mar a once pristine surface. A stainless-steel backsplash can also be costly, ranging from $20 per square foot up for material alone.
A kitchen backsplash mosaic by Tile By Design. Photo courtesy of Tile By Design.
Other metals used as backsplash material include copper, tin, brass and nickel. These options can lend a rustic feel to the kitchen, but they also dent and scratch easily, require polishing to maintain their shine and color unevenly over time due to oxidization. Like stainless steel, these metal backsplashes can be fabricated out of sheet metal or come in tile form to use as accents to a stone or ceramic backsplash. Because metal tiles tend to be expensive, using them as accents is often preferred.
The metal laminate backsplash is an inexpensive alternative to metal. Constructed much like plastic laminate, the product is covered with a metallic layer. Options include aluminum, stainless steel, copper and brass. The surface finish, texture and pattern can vary in a metal laminate. Metal laminate products can be found at Home Depot and Lowe’s, sold in sheets of varying size and often install using two-sided adhesive tape or similar adhesive. Manufacturer’s recommendations on installation should be followed.
Glass is an ideal surface for the kitchen backsplash since it is easy to clean and entirely non-porous. Glass tile can be translucent, iridescent, stained or opaque in appearance. It is a popular choice of material for mosaics and adds a luminescence to the space. Glass tiles can come back-painted and in sheet form or as individual tiles.
The Backsplash Mural, Customized The tile mural backsplash is not a new concept. Everything from beach scenes and bowls of fruit to classic Monet and Renaissance artwork is available in stone, porcelain and ceramic tile mural form. Once assembled and installed, these upscale additions to the kitchen wall speak to the homeowner’s artistic tastes. Available in a variety of tile and mural sizes, the backsplash mural can stand alone or be surrounded by “field” tile that serves as the framework for the backsplash focal point.
For homeowners looking for a truly custom kitchen backsplash mural or mosaic, companies like Tile By Design let the consumer turn any image, photo or piece or artwork into a tile mural. “We take a photo of original artwork supplied by the customer and put the image on the tiles,” says Lori Stout, co-owner of Tile by Design of Fort Wayne, Ind. According to Stout, the custom backsplash mural trend is growing. “People are looking for more decorative things to put behind their stove,” she says. To have Tile by Design turn a piece of artwork into a tile mural, customers need a high-resolution image (at least 300 dpi) and permission from the artist. The shipped, finished tiles are lettered and numbered on the back for easy assembly and should be installed using a sandless grout to prevent hairline scratches in the finish.