Unique Kitchen Backsplashes

Get info and ideas on unique kitchen backsplashes, and get ready to install an eye-catching backsplash in your home.
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To keep with the copper theme of the Burt's family kitchen, the Kitchen cousins chose to use a hammered copper backsplash to keep the warm rich tones and bring some texture to this modern kitchen renovation as seen on throughout the kitchen, as seen on HGTV.

Photo by: Emilee Ramsier

Emilee Ramsier

By: Sean McEvoy

Unique kitchen backsplashes are becoming more common in homes, and they can be a great way to add personality and visual interest to your kitchen.

Kitchen Updates for Any Budget

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Update Hardware

A very affordable update is to replace your cabinet's hardware with one of today's popular options: vintage-look glass, burnished bronze, antiqued copper, pewter and shiny or matte nickel. This quick and easy change can make dated cabinets look new. Tip: To ensure that new pulls and knobs match the existing holes, remove one of each type and take them with you when shopping.

Replace Sink Faucets

Sink faucets have come a long way in recent years. Current models offer detachable sprayers, hidden soap or lotion dispensers and touch-sensitive, knob-free operation. Faucets also come in a wide variety of finishes and styles, from formal Victorian to ultra modern, making it easy to coordinate the faucet with your home's decor.

Paint Cabinets

Painting your existing cabinets is an inexpensive update that even a newbie DIYer can handle. Some sandpaper, paintbrushes and a few gallons of primer and paint are all you need to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Design by Beth Haley

Add Hidden Storage

Every kitchen could use more storage. This cleverly concealed drawer, designed by Dave Stimmel, provides the perfect place to keep cooking necessities within easy reach of the stove. Built-in storage like this can be a costly addition. To keep costs down, check your local hardware store for pull-out storage kits and drawer organizers that will fit your existing cabinets.

From: Dave Stimmel

Add Sufficient Lighting

In addition to improving the overall look, the right lighting also makes a kitchen more functional and appear larger. Brighten up by adding under-counter illumination, task lighting above work surfaces and ambient lighting, such as recessed lights. This kitchen, designed by Beth Haley, uses all three to great effect.

DIY Tile Backsplash

Adding a tile backsplash, even trendy glass tile, is a relatively simple DIY project. Many home improvement and tile supply stores offer free, hands-on classes to teach you the basics. Kitchen design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Replace Flooring

New flooring can change the feel of your kitchen. Hardwoods lend a warm, traditional look while natural stone, such as marble or travertine, adds a polished vibe. This kitchen, designed by Kristin Barker, mixes the two for a modern finish.

Add an Island

An island provides additional cabinets, a handy location for a sink or stove and the perfect spot for a casual meal or keeping an eye on the kids while they finish up homework. This cottage-style kitchen, designed by Thomas Conway, beautifully combines vintage-style details with a modern, open-concept layout.

Update Countertops

New countertops will give any kitchen an updated look. Laminate remains the least expensive option while granite and marble are the most desirable. More trendy choices are concrete and metals such as pewter, copper or stainless steel. Design by Trish Beaudet.

From: Trish Beaudet

Upgrade Appliances

Appliances are more than just your kitchen's workhorse, they also add to the overall look. Professional-grade stainless steel continues to be the most desirable. Also hot are retro-look appliances from the '20s - '50s. Design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Replace Cabinets

Replacing the kitchen cabinets offers a great opportunity to customize them based on your lifestyle. This built-in hutch and buffet, designed by Beth Haley, provides an attractive space for displaying treasured dishware in the glass-front cabinets while the countertop below can be used as a buffet when entertaining.

Total Remodel

If your budget allows, a complete kitchen remodel is the way to go. New flooring, electrical, cabinets and plumbing allows the opportunity to create a more functional layout. Although it can be costly, removing walls separating the kitchen from adjacent living spaces is a popular option for those desiring an open floor plan. Design by Gail Drury.

From: Drury Design

The possibilities for creating a unique kitchen backsplash are just about endless, and it's likely that the type of backsplash you ultimately choose to install will have everything to do with your personal design style and creativity.

Before you decide on a theme or materials for your unique kitchen backsplash, you'll want to define the scope of your project. Measuring the surface area of the walls above your kitchen countertops to determine the square footage is a good place to start, but keep in mind that you don't always have to cover the entire wall with the backsplash. Many homeowners choose to cover only the portion that will actually get "splashed" during cooking or cleaning, covering anywhere from 25% to 75% of the wall's surface area.

When you've decided on the scope of your unique backsplash project, it's time to get creative and start thinking about materials. While it's certainly possible to create a unique and eye-catching backsplash design with traditional materials like ceramic tile or stone in styles like mosaic or subway, you may want to explore more out-of-the-box styles for your kitchen. For example, many homeowners have begun repurposing common materials for their backsplashes—things like bottle caps, coasters, used gift cards and even pennies can be used to create a truly unique and visually stunning backsplash in your kitchen. Obviously, any backsplash that you assemble on your own from these types of found materials will require a significant investment of DIY time, as well as some know-how when it comes to the required materials. But if you're contemplating an eye-catching design that incorporates an array of items like these, you can also find great resources online with step-by-step instructions on how to create the unique backsplash in your imagination.

If assembling a backsplash from uniquely repurposed common materials doesn't fit your plans, but you still want to create a fun and funky backsplash design in your kitchen, you may want to consider a backsplash of lacquered paper. Using heavy duty scrapbook paper featuring interesting designs and bold colors can give you an efficient, attractive and unique backsplash at a fraction of the cost for one constructed from tile, metal or stone. If this approach is appealing, all you'll need to do is procure some heavy duty paper, then glue or paste it to the wall. Once it's up, coat it with a finish that will allow you to easily wipe it clean without damaging the paper.

Think Outside the Triangle

Next Up

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Kitchen Counter Backsplashes

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Painting Kitchen Backsplashes

Get tips on painting kitchen backsplashes.

Handpaint a Kitchen Backsplash

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Picking a Kitchen Backsplash

Get tips on how to find a backsplash that meets your needs and expresses your personality

The Evolution of the Kitchen Backsplash

Once only functional, kitchen backsplashes are now decorative focal points and key design elements.

Metal Backsplashes

A metal backsplash works well in a contemporary setting, making it a prime choice for a modern kitchen environment.

Facade Backsplashes

Get all the info you'll need on facade backsplashes, and prepare to install an attractive and economical backsplash in your kitchen.

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