Backsplashes for Small Kitchens

Get ideas for backsplashes in small kitchens, and prepare to install an efficient and attractive backsplash in your home.
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Photo by: Nathaniel A. Padilla Bowen

Nathaniel A. Padilla Bowen

By: Sean McEvoy

If your kitchen is an intimate affair and you're in the market for a new or updated backsplash, your first step will be to explore ideas for backsplashes in small kitchens.

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A small kitchen can provide a number of unique design challenges in terms of decorating and optimizing spaces, but there are also several benefits of a smaller space, including efficiency of design and the lower cost involved in refurbishing less square footage.

If you've decided a new or updated backsplash is just what your small kitchen needs, your first step will be to identify the materials you'll use for your backsplash. You'll have myriad choices, from traditional backsplash materials like ceramic tile and glass to more high-end materials like stainless steel and granite. Your material choice will likely have everything to do with two factors: the style you're shooting for via your kitchen design, and your budget. For anyone attempting to install even a small kitchen backsplash while maintaining a budget, high-end materials may be cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, if the design style you're trying to implement absolutely needs a granite backsplash despite a limited budget, there are plenty of synthetic materials you can consider that will approximate the look of just about any natural stone or other material.

Once you've decided on the material you'll use for your small kitchen backsplash, it's time to determine how much of it you'll need. To do so, simply measure the surface area you're looking to cover. This can be anything from the entire wall space between the countertops and cabinets, a smaller portion thereof, or, for a truly grand design, the entire wall space between your countertops and ceiling.

When you've got the scope figured out, it's time to source materials for your small kitchen backsplash. Your local home improvement or tile specialty store is your friend here, and you can also browse countless backsplash material options online. You'll need to decide on the right style for the material as well—most backsplash materials are available in a wide range of colors, textures and patterns. For a small kitchen design, consider a backsplash that adds personality, color and visual interest without overwhelming the small space or making it feel exceedingly cramped.

When you've determined the style you want and purchased the material, it's time to install your new kitchen backsplash. One of the benefits of a small kitchen is that the surface area you'll need to cover with your backsplash is likely not that large—so a self-install may be possible, particularly if you're handy and/or working with self-adhesive backsplash materials that don't require extensive cutting and configuring. If you're not thrilled by the idea of installing your own backsplash or if you lack home improvement chops, a professional installation may be in order. It'll be more expensive than a self-install by a large margin, but you'll be freeing up your time and giving yourself the knowledge that an expert is in charge of the installation.

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