Cool Backsplash Ideas
If you're looking to update an existing backsplash or install a new one, and your goal is to create a unique, eye-catching design for your kitchen, you'll want to explore a wide range of cool backsplash ideas for inspiration.
Give It Some Shimmer
To create a sharp contrast against her modern white-lacquer cabinetry and Calcutta countertops, design blogger Nicole Cohen chose miniature stainless steel tiles for her kitchen backsplash. The metal tiles add an industrial edge and luminescent backdrop to the crisp white surroundings. Stainless steel backsplashes are eco-friendly, easy to keep clean and look especially gorgeous in contemporary settings like this.
Go Up the Wall
Nothing is more eye-catching than a sparkling mosaic backsplash. Designer Linda Woodrum created this kitchen's focal point by combining reclaimed stained-glass tiles in gray, white and yellow to create a stunning, detailed backsplash against the entire back wall. The colorful glass tiles complement the dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen's overall urban edge, while also integrating a bold dose of color to match the golden-yellow work island.
Make It an Illusion
To add some visual eye candy to her brand-new kitchen, HGTV fan cc_insidearch used gold glassed-curved tile to create a basket weave-patterned backsplash in the cut-out of her back wall cabinet unit. With bright backlighting and a reflective granite countertop, the glass tiles' iridescent finish appears especially sleek and shiny.
Use an Artist's Touch
To prevent this Mediterranean kitchen from feeling ancient Old World, designer Sarah Barnard used a modern backsplash technique, embossed concrete, to add a contemporary edge. A wide range of imprinting tools and embossing skins can be used to stain, stamp or add texture to concrete, creating a variety of classic appearances. This particular patterned backsplash suits the rich wood cabinetry surrounding it, and it also blends well with the other hues and materials within the room.
Create a Focal Point
The first thing you notice upon entering HGTV Dream Home 2010's kitchen is the dramatic floor-to-ceiling backsplash in soothing hues of aqua and turquoise. Designer Linda Woodrum wanted to ensure that the backsplash was the star of the kitchen by keeping the cabinetry low and by using soft, subtle neutrals in the surrounding decor. Inlaid in recycled aluminum, the sleek glass tiles coordinate well with the contemporary stainless steel furnishings, while also lending a colorful and artistic element to the space.
Give It a Uniform
To create a rich and natural look in this country-style kitchen, designer Joel Snayd used Carrera marble with a stunning pattern for the backsplash and countertops. The veins in the marble prevent the kitchen's all-white elements from appearing washed out. Considered a "living surface," marble can easily chip, crack and will acquire a patina over time, so proper care is essential to keep it looking beautiful.
Soften the Edges
The look of this industrial modern kitchen is softened by designer Randy Weinstein with an ivory subway-tiled backsplash and contrasting rich wooden cabinetry around it. Four open shelves allow the backsplash more function by providing visible storage space, while adding a decorative quality with eclectic dishware and accessories.
Warm It Up
To add visual warmth to this urban kitchen, designer Tina Muller used tumbled natural stone along the walls for the backsplash. When paired with stainless steel appliances, white fusion granite countertops and dark-chocolate maple cabinetry, the backsplash instantly appears clean and contemporary.
Unify Your Design
In this contemporary kitchen, designer Erinn Valencich takes the glossy blue-gray backsplash all around the room to create a unified design with elegant and romantic appeal. The mosaic glass border, with hues of brown and blue, provides a sufficient dose of color and pulls in the scheme from the adjacent dining room for a consistent look that appears subtle yet captivating.
Share Color Schemes
This stunning gray backsplash makes a colorful statement against crisp white-lacquer cabinets and countertops. "The backsplash is so highly reflective that it looks wet and reflects so much light around the room," says designer Samantha Pynn. To further play up the backsplash, she coordinated the gray tiles with gray living room decor, such as the sofa and other accessories, for an open and cohesive look.
Luckily, many homeowners have trod this path already and installed cool and creative kitchen backsplashes you can source ideas from, to ensure that your kitchen backsplash will be a visually stunning conversation piece for years to come.
When it comes to cool backsplash ideas, the first step is to consider whether you want your backsplash design to match your overall kitchen design or offer a style departure of sorts. If you're considering a unique design, there may be elements of the backsplash that connect to the overall kitchen design—for example, colors and textures that can be found elsewhere in the space—but it's likely that the overall style will be a singular expression of style within the kitchen.
There are almost infinite options when it comes to creating a cool kitchen backsplash (and of course, every homeowner's definition of "cool" will be different). Many homeowners seeking a creative design will focus on the backsplash as an opportunity for artistic expression. If this approach appeals to you, there are several ways to approach the design, from a collection of found objects (examples include everything from bottle caps to old gift cards—basically anything durable that can stick to the wall and wipe clean easily) to a mural of tiles depicting anything from a street scene to a classic video game level to a renaissance-style painting.
If artistic expression doesn't line up with your idea of a cool backsplash, you may want to consider some non-traditional materials, or even traditional ones in unique textures and colors. For example, stainless steel, copper and tin backsplashes can be found in colors and patterns that can lend a truly stunning visual aspect to any kitchen design. Granite or even ceramic tile can be scored, manipulated and colored to your exact specifications via tile specialty retailers. And some homeowners even opt for wood backsplashes, which can of course be stained and painted to reflect exactly the right amount of cool to suit your style.
When you've decided on the style for your cool kitchen backsplash, it's time to figure out how much material you'll need. You can do this by measuring the surface area you want to cover—likely anywhere from a small portion to the entirety of the walls between your kitchen's countertops and cabinets—and then sourcing the square footage of material needed to cover that surface area. For almost any type of tile, wood or metal backsplash, your local home improvement store or tile specialty store should offer a wide range of options.
After settling on the scope of the backsplash, you'll just need to decide if you're going to install it yourself (this will require considerable home improvement expertise, time and elbow grease), or have a professional install your cool new kitchen backsplash.
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