Metal Tile Backsplashes
When it's time to think about a new backsplash for your kitchen, you should consider all available material options, but metal tile kitchen backsplashes may offer the best combination of durability, longevity and attractiveness.
Focus on Function
A small kitchen cannot accommodate homework, mail storage, laundry duties and recipe hunting. Unless you don't cook at all, the small kitchen's main chore is meal prep. So focus first on function, making sure you have the appliances and work areas you need. You may be able to save a bit of space by using scaled-down or innovative appliances, including refrigerator and freezer drawers and pint-sized microwaves, stoves (some with just two burners) and single sinks. If workspace is at a premium, consider a small-scale island or a counter-topped cart that can be rolled into a closet when not in use.
Open Up Cupboards
Tiny kitchens can feel claustrophobic when cabinets are towering overhead. Many cooks can't reach what's in them and the overall feeling is boxy and closed in. Get organized and trade the top cupboards for open storage. Consider shelving, pot racks and magnetic knife or spice holders instead. Your kitchen will look more spacious and serve up display space for your favorite dishes, shiny pots and pans, or artwork.
Mix Up the Materials
Because your kitchen may be short on interesting architectural details, it's up to you to add the all-important style via compelling countertop surfaces, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting and color. To ensure a cohesive look, create a mix board with samples and swatches of materials under consideration. One tip: Using the same color and style of fixtures and cabinet pulls can help unify a look.
Go for Glass
One of the easiest ways to visually expand a kitchen is to incorporate glass. Try a glass counter or tabletop, tile, door cabinets or kitchen doors that lead to the outside world or to the next room. Mirrors, in a backsplash or strategically placed around a room, or pass-through windows into the next room, also lighten up the look.
Visually Expand With Lighting
A small kitchen requires a combination of task and atmospheric lighting. To counteract the bluish cast of fluorescent lighting and add drama, install pendant lights in the eating area, incandescent lighting underneath upper cabinets and incandescent spot lighting above cabinetry. Lighting can also be installed under base cabinetry so it shines down onto the toe plate.
Invest in Flooring
Where does the eye go when one walks into a room? Often it goes down — right to that dust bunny or scuffed floor. That's why flooring in a small kitchen is so important. Linoleum in a checkerboard pattern can be really eye-catching and relatively inexpensive. Since square footage is small, you may be able to afford a beautiful tumbled marble. Marble tends to be cold and hard underfoot, but the impact may be worth it. Or try cork, a beautiful — and eco-friendly — choice.
Go Bold With Color
The color of walls, appliances, counters, stools — even the dishtowels — can change the atmosphere and perceived size of the kitchen. Pastels or light colors, with good doses of white, reflect light and draw the eye up, making ceilings appear higher. Bold colorations can be very effective in smaller kitchens. How about some Porsche red metal cabinets with celery green walls and a banana-colored concrete countertop?
Embrace the Space
Rather than using tricks to visually enlarge the space, consider embracing your kitchen as-is. Instead of going light or sleek, opt for country cozy. Make sure there is a little nook where you can sit with a visitor knee-to-knee. Or choose a rich dark color that creates a sophisticated feeling — and use accessories that emphasize that look. The kitchen is small, yes, but it sure is inviting.
Available in a wide range of materials, styles, colors and budget ranges, metal tile backsplashes can add tremendous visual interest to any kitchen design while also offering a highly durable and low-maintenance backsplash surface.
At the outset of your metal tile backsplash project, you'll want to determine the scope of the project. To estimate the amount of metal tile material you'll need, measure the square footage of the area in your kitchen you want to cover with the backsplash. Figuring out how much tile you'll need will give you a good indication of the overall budget, so it's an essential first step. Before calculating the square footage, you'll need to decide if you want a backsplash that covers the entirety of the wall space between your counters and cabinets or counters and ceiling, or just a portion thereof. The style that's right for you may be a more understated backsplash that only covers enough of the walls to prevent cooking and cleaning spatter, or it may be a grand affair that dramatically stretches from countertops to ceiling. Once you've decided on the amount of coverage, mark the area off and measure the square footage.
Now that the amount of material you'll need has been determined, it's time to consider the type. There are several popular types of metal backsplash tile, and one of the most commonly used these days is stainless steel. A common feature of modern appliances, stainless steel offers a bright and easy-to-maintain surface as well as great durability—and it's even available in a wide range of colors and textures, including shiny or matte finishes.
Tin is another common metal backsplash tile choice. Punched or hammered—or boasting ornate designs—it can add tremendous appeal and visual interest to a kitchen design. Similarly, copper and brass can liven up any kitchen with their unique hues and the added benefit of an "evolving" design; as these metals age, their surfaces will often take on distinct patterns, striations and natural designs that add great style.
When you've decided on the tile material you're going to use for your backsplash, as well as the style, it's time to source the material from your local home improvement or tile specialty store (or their respective online components), and then think about installation. You can choose to install the backsplash yourself if you're particularly handy, but note that metal backsplashes will require more expertise than other, more easily cut and configured materials. Alternatively, you can hire a professional contractor to install the backsplash for you.
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