“But I feel an Olean tile would look best”, argued my friend, who seemed quite overwhelmed by her rather ostentatious kitchen remodel project. I don’t really blame her; after all, with so many creative ideas, it’s quite a herculean task making a clear choice.
Tiling the floor with marble mosaic or installing some other decorative patterns that can inject a dose of freshness, can be as tedious as making a unanimous choice for the kitchen countertop. What kind of countertop could really bring out the true essence of an Italian country kitchen- granite, travertine or limestone? Just hope the same alternatives don’t blight the pure rustic pleasure derived from a Mexican-styled kitchen? Now that’s something that would have even an interior designer stumped.
But if there’s a decision that results in more than just a token import on the overall décor of the kitchen space, it has to be the kitchen backsplash. If your first reaction borders on scorn, then look for no discounts in the catastrophe that will wreck havoc on this hot-spot of your home. The backsplash may seem rather miniscule, but its impact is more than cosmic.
So you’re among the growing breed of disconcerted home owners that views such designs with a great deal of trepidation. Believe me, it’s not your fault. Glass, terracotta, ceramic, porcelain- it’s a virtual slugfest among glazed and unglazed tiles out there. Add to this the manner in which we are bludgeoned by the competition among brightly painted tile murals in fabulous colors.
If all this sounds rather trite, here’s something to pep you up – choosing perfect design is serious business, but the scores of choices make this onerous task anything but banal. So grab that hot piping cup of coffee and get ready for an insightful journey into the fascinating realms of design.
Why is this important?
Most of us harbor this rather myopic view that a backsplash is no more than a functional requirement. But the raison d’etre of its installation extends much beyond the protection provided to the walls behind the cooktop and sink from those invidious food spatters and splashes of water. It is credited with the arduous task of bringing about a sense of harmony in the kitchen décor.
Let’s suppose there’s this fabulous painting in your living area that really is the stuff that purple-hued dreams are made of. Its makes a dramatic statement in the living room, but since there’s a conspicuous merger between the kitchen and the swanky living room, you want the masterpiece to become a conscious presence in the kitchen as well. Your distressed oak cabinets, granite countertops and array of sleek appliances don’t really create that kind of a flutter. This is where a unique design comes in to bail you out. Just install a tile backsplash pattern in colors that compliment the painting, and watch your kitchen metamorphose in to a stunning work of art.
So you’re firm in your opinion that a ceramic tile design for the living area is perfect. But it would be fallacious to assume that the same would work for the backsplash. If tumbled marble tiles have created an uproar, ideas for mosaic tile designs are no less. Here’s the kind of choice you’re likely to be inundated by on your visit to the local home improvement store:
• Metal tiles: A metal backsplash is an irresistible combination of style and versatility. Regardless of the kitchen décor- retro, modern or country- such a design is sure to fit perfectly. Deck up the entire wall with these tiles or just a small part, the choice is entirely yours. But make sure the metal tiles are in sync with all the other metallic members of the kitchen- faucets, cabinet handles, and the like. Copper or tin has a sheen that’s hard to gloss over.
• Stainless steel: If your kitchen décor redefines chic and contemporary, only a stainless steel backsplash can really burnish its aura. The tiles make a prolific combination with other stainless steel appliances like the cooktop and dishwasher. Cleaning is a breeze, but watch out for those intractable stains.
• Stone tiles: ‘Stone cold’ is certainly not the way to describe backsplash tiles created from natural stone like marble, travertine, limestone, etc. These tiles have the innate ability to warm the cockles of the onlooker’s heart. Watch them come in to their element when combined with granite countertops and floors. Easy to install, but certainly not easy on the pocket. Also, maintenance calls for copious amounts of time and effort. Despite this, their presence on the backsplash tile design scene remains rock solid as ever.
• Glass tiles: Always promiscuously flirted with the idea of a kitchen inspired by the sun sand and surf? Then add dollops of oomph to it with glass tiles. The staggering array of sizes and colors are sure to make even a mosaic-inspired kitchen remodel project come alive. Glass tiles are easy to install and clean, but you’re in a soup if you break a tile during installation.
There’s something about ceramics
Is it their pocket-friendly demeanor that is really the reason for their ubiquity? There’s plenty to crow about when it comes to ceramic tile layout and designs. These tiles come in a multitude of sizes, designs and some very vibrant colors. Plain tiles look too pallid for the décor? Throw in a few ceramic tiles that radiate effervescence.
The installation of a tile mural, which is essentially a single design created by a sequence of tiles, is another great design idea. Single tiles interspersed with field tiles look nothing short of spectacular. The backsplash-cabinet relation is spiced up with a combination of tile murals above the cooktop and single tiles under the kitchen cabinets. Your friends are sure to be envious of the way a tile top or bistro mosaic tile top table matches the simply sublime mosaic tile.
Creating a tile design inspired by a mosaic floor design is another interesting way to add spunk to the kitchen. Be it central tiles, border tiles or corners, there are limitless ways to create a focal point in the kitchen space. If creating depth and beauty is your credo, install a ceramic tile design that combines inky blue and pristine white on one ethereally beautiful canvas.
Let the design enliven the theme
Themes can weave magic on celluloid, just like in mundane kitchen environs. So it’s important that the tile adds an element of intrigue to the same. See which one fits your theme:
• Old world: This kind of kitchen oozes class and style from every pore. The comfort level in the place gets accentuated with these designs in natural stone- marble, cobblestone, and their ilk, in rich, earthy tones. You may even like to sail into uncharted territory by trying tin or copper for a change.
• Contemporary: For those living in the real world where functionality rules the roost. It’s all about those neat, clean and uncomplicated lines. So use glass, metal and stainless steel backsplash tiles and let the kitchen be chic and stylish.
• Mediterranean: Open your world to a riot of sea side colors- sparkling blues and vivacious greens. Let a couple of vibrant hand painted tiles do all the talking here. Just ensure that you go a bit easy on the kitchen cabinets and countertops.
Tile design made simple
If I were entrusted with the rather ponderous task of designing a layout for a tile, I wouldn’t be particularly ecstatic. Are similar reactions in the offing when it comes to DIY tile design? No, thankfully life’s a whole lot simpler for those besieged by the trappings of a Versailles tile pattern or even a Wainscott tile pattern.
Coming up with a great design is not that tough a nut to crack provided you ensure the following:
• Form a concrete idea: Before the installation of a tile design, make sure you have an absolutely clear picture in mind. Visit stores, and check out the styles, designs and colors that are making waves. View the tile design photo gallery on the Internet in right earnest and get the lowdown on the different types of materials that can be used.
• Make a splash with software: For homeowners that find it hard to spot the difference between Trellis tile patterns and a dolphin tile mosaic pattern, the tile design software is a God send. This simple and extremely innovative technological marvel helps you understand the nuances of materials, tile design, patterns and color schemes. You can select the material and design patterns. From brick to bistro, serpentine to tradition, creating your own pattern can make you delirious with joy. So whether it is medallions, field tiles or liners, your creative genius gets unleashed with just a few clicks.
• Color and textures: Choose the color, textures and patterns of the kitchen backsplash with care and consideration. Your backsplash tile design should exude the benign grace of Chinese Buddha, so make sure the tile design compliments the kitchen countertops and cabinets in terms of color and texture. Avoid a cacophony of intricate designs and styles. Remember, there’s a very fine dividing line that separates the delectable from the dreadful.
There are scores of ideas that can help you create a backsplash with a subtle yet smoldering appeal. So get ready for a little hard work and a lot of adulation.