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How to Design a Kitchen Tile Backsplash

By Edited Sep 16, 2015 1 1

Tile backsplashes have made a huge comeback in decorating and designing the modern kitchens of today.

Kitchen Tile Backsplash

A backsplash is the area between the kitchen countertop and the bottom of the upper cabinets.  Using ceramic tile for a backsplash not only adds a lot of personality to the kitchen décor but also is a cleaner solution to many of the other backsplashes available.  By designing and creating your backsplash your kitchen will reflect your personality.

Whether you are remodeling and updating your current kitchen or planning and building your dream home having a beautiful backsplash design can add not only pizzazz but also extra value to your home.  You will want to make sure you spend a lot of time on your custom design for your backsplash so that you will have exactly the look you want in your kitchen. When it comes to options, you are only limited by your own imagination.

If you aren’t sure what you want you will need to get some ideas.  I suggest that you visit model homes, open houses, show homes, and attended some Parade of Homes or local home shows to get an idea of new and current styles.  Visit local design centers as they often have kitchens staged in their showrooms.  If allowed, take pictures or jot down sketches of designs that are attractive to you. 

Shopping for tile may become a bit overwhelming because kitchen tile comes in a huge variety of color, styles, textures and sizes.   It is wise to spend some time visiting your local tile stores and home do-it-yourself centers looking at all of your options and what's available before you make any decisions.   To begin with you will need to take complete measurements of the area that needs to be covered with the tile.  It’s important to be very precise in measuring each wall. Use a tape measure for accuracy and never guess at the size. Once you have all of the accurate measurement, using graph paper draw all of the area out to scale.

Once you have the drawing of your area make several copies.  This will make it so you can sketch out several different designs while you are planning what you want.  Take a copy of this diagram with you to the tile store and begin using your imagination in combining different tiles to create a pattern or design. Lay out the tiles in the store to get an idea of some of the designs that you like.  Sketch out all of your ideas and make notes on the colors and names of the tiles that you are considering. 

When choosing your tile you need to consider the colors in your cabinetry, paint, granite or other counter tops, and flooring. Take samples home to see how it will look. Many stores will allow you to just borrow the samples to take home to get a clear picture of how it will look in your kitchen.  Lighting, paint, size of the area, and many other things can affect how it will look at your home in comparison to how it looks in the store.

If you already have tile flooring or you are planning on installing new tile floors then you might want to use some of the same type of tile but in a smaller size for your backsplash to keep a coordinated look throughout the kitchen. It’s nice to combine different colors of the same tile for nice effect.

Tile Backsplash

There is such a wide variety of tiles that can be used for your design.  You will find a wide same color of tile in a wide variety of sizes to help you in creating a design.  The manufacturers have made it pretty easy to create designs all within the same tile color and style.  It is a good idea to use decorative pieces for borders or accents. It can become almost overwhelming when choosing tile because there is such a huge variety to chose from. 

Use your imagination when you are looking at the tile and get creative not only in the sizes and shapes but in the way you lay the tile.  You can lay your tile in different directions to create a unique pattern.  Again, you are only limited by your own imagination.  You will also find the salespeople can give you some great design and decorating ideas and assistance.  Make sure you ask for their opinion but don’t feel pressured that you have to go with them.  You know your budget and the effect you want to create.  You will find that decorative and accent tile pieces can be very costly and can add a lot of money to your tiling costs.  Even in do-it-yourself centers you can spend well over $10 or even more on a single small tile so make sure you keep these costs in mind if you are trying to maintain a budget.  If you find a decorative tile you absolutely love but don’t have a big budget, consider using it in random areas throughout your design.  Also make sure that the tile you choose is a quality that is good to use in a kitchen. 

Once you have your tile picked out and have decided on a basic design, you will need to graph it out to exact measurements. When you are measuring the tile sizes and putting your design together make sure you allow for grout spacing in your measurements.  Typically, you will have to have tile cut in most designs and a good tile installer will not have a problem doing this, but you will encounter some waste.

Make sure you purchase all of the tiles you will need to complete the job.  You will not want to run out of tile or accent pieces and then find that the store has also sold out or the new lot is different in color.  Almost all stores will allow you to return unused tiles for a refund.  When choosing your tile you will also need to consider the color of grout that you want between your tiles.  It might not seem to important at the time but will make a big difference in your kitchen.

Once you have your kitchen backsplash designed you can be proud of the fact that it is an expression of your tastes and décor. 



Aug 17, 2011 10:01am
Great tile back splash tips.
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