Kitchens today are fully loaded, highly versatile and extremely stylish. A lot of importance is given to the layout design, the cabinetry, and the countertops as well as the perfect backsplash. One of the most recent trends is using kitchen backsplash to increase the aesthetic quotient of the space besides the obvious functional benefits.
SURAFCES REPORTER looks at the usefulness of kitchen backsplashes and offers information on available materials and palettes. At the same time, we invited Ar. Milind Pai, Founder of Milind Pai Architects & Interior Designers, Mumbai, a multi-specialty, dynamic and energetic interiors solution firm targeting designs with a holistic approach, to talk about the creative use of Kitchen Backsplashes in his projects.
Use Kitchen Backsplash Materials creatively for
For decades, the backsplash has been an important part of any kitchen designing. In addition to protecting walls above the work area, it complements the countertop. The tiles you choose to spruce up the wall space between the countertop and cabinets and above the range, should showcase the color scheme and theme of your kitchen, whether contemporary or traditional. Ultimately, backsplash is a focal point.
“Countertops often dictate the backsplash color and style, and it’s an opportunity to be creative”, says Ar. Milind Pai. In the early years, backsplashes were often colorful with graphics adorning 4×4 ceramic or mosaic tiles. With time, they have undergone many changes. Other options such as edging profile were used to finish these tile edges of the backsplash to enhance the ceramic pattern. These profile edges were used to create a smooth transition between the counter and backsplash. Matching PVC corners were also used to finish the countertop trim and tile edges of the backsplash for having a seamless continuation.
“In our projects, we implement a design that covers 25% to 75% of the wall above the countertops. Well, while considering the backsplash aspects like cooking, whether average, medium or heavy, the backsplash is the area which gets affected immediately during the cooking process.”
1) Seamless look where in the counter material turns into a backsplash.
2) Putting a slate board or writing board gives an interesting contrast to jot down daily menus.
3) Use of mirrors as backsplash is creating very innovative look.
4) Playing with lighting brings out dramatic effect and creates an interesting visual appeal.
He further contibued, in the latest trends of backsplash, you will find a mixture of traditional and European or contemporary simple classic backsplash designs. Mainly we have moved to a seamless look where in the counter material turns into a backsplash.The latest designs available in several pricing and material tiers by installing stone, back painted glass, Corian, mirror or metal tile backsplashes, we can go with a more artful design and incorporate textures to make it more creative.
Wrapping the backsplash around the entire room gives a sense of visual continuity, which can help a small space seem larger. Changing the orientation of tile can create an expensive look, adds Ar. Milind Pai.
Ideas like putting a slate board or a writing board in one of the areas in the kitchen to give it an interesting contrast and making it innovative to jot down daily diet menus or to do lists, add personal touch to the design. Lately use of mirrors as backsplash is creating a very innovative look and feel to modern kitchens. This includes using full height backsplashes and alternative materials and also being a bit bold with color and patterns. At the higher end of the backsplash pricing spectrum are natural materials like stone or travertine and lately we have even seen a new deep ingress of new synthetic materials like Ceaserstone and quartz. These are significantly more expensive than the traditional materials, in general.
Playing with lighting to bring out a dramatic effect is something that turns heads and creates an interesting visual appeal for the eyes. Use of reflected light really brightens up the kitchen, and can create a dramatic look.
“Primarily, you can apply any type of dado to a backsplash as long as porous materials are sealed. There are building codes that require a clearance between the range and the wall to protect any material. Because of clearances and sealants, if anything gets splashed on the tile you can wipe it off. Each of the material that is used corresponds to an ascending level of quality for kitchen designing” concludes Ar. Milind Pai.
Ceramic Tile: Ceramic tiles as a backsplash can be a good choice since the material is typically durable, easy to clean, inexpensive, and comes in a variety of colours and sizes. However, grouting can be a challenge. The spaces between tiles should be equal or not visible at all. For visible grout lines, it is necessary to ensure proper sealing to avoid water absorption and staining.
Solid Surface : One of the main advantages of choosing a solid surface as a backsplash is its easy maintenance and durability - this material is not susceptible to water, spills and stains and if it gets scratched, you can have it easily sanded and buffed to make it look new again. Solid surface options come in plain colours as well as a simulation of stone finishes. Using a solid surface backsplash can be a good choice if your countertop is of the same material, which will provide a sleek and seamless appearance.
WallPaper : Wallpaper backsplash is an inexpensive solution to improve the aesthetics of the kitchen. These days, there is a multitude of options for durable wallpapers with beautiful, intricate patterns. One can even opt for customized wallpaper backsplashes to make it unique and highly personalized. A wallpaper backsplash can be chosen to be on-trend.
And, when the trends change, it can be easily and inexpensively replaced. However, the availability of durable and easy to remove wallpaper in the market is a concern.
Back Painted Glass : A painted glass panel backsplash can make the kitchen wall look modern and sleek, especially if paired with covered or hidden LED lighting in the overhead cabinet. Aside from its neat look, it is a preferred choice since the glass surface is very durable, non-porous, and very easy to clean. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to glass backsplashes. First, the glass panels are pre-cut in modular sizes, meaning if you want to use this material and have an entirely smooth look, devoid of any edges, you will need to have the glass panel customized.
Stainless Steel: A stainless steel backsplash can give the kitchen a modern, urban look. Even with less variety in colour and finish, stainless steel can blend well with almost any colour scheme. Its popularity as a backsplash material stems not only from its aesthetic appeal but also how durable and easy to clean they are, not requiring constant polishing to maintain a shiny quality.
Natural Stone: Over the years, natural stone has become more affordable and available as a countertop and backsplash material, with the most common choice being granite. Aside from its elegant appeal, granite is known for its strength, making it an aesthetically pleasing and durable choice.
According to Ar. Chirag Swain, “Kitchen backsplashes have moved from a utilitarian necessity to acting as an attractive design element in interiors now.” Kitchens in today’s world with the new generation is no more just a space for cooking and utility but a space for entertainment, display and family interactions too. Kitchens have moved from the traditionally cornered space reserved for the lady of the house or to the domestic helps to an area that is now open to guests with its Island settings, impressive gadgets, high-end accessories, detailed lighting effects and latest modular units. More space and budget is being allocated for the execution of the kitchens and creating an innovative and beautiful kitchen.
Kitchen backsplashes were traditionally designed or treated with Tiles, Granites or Marbles to protect the wall behind the kitchen counter from food and liquid spillages from the sink or from the grease and spilling of food products from the stove while cooking or food preparation of the food on the counter top. It is now being designed keeping in mind the theme and concept of the entire house. Materials that complement the existing decor or highlight the interiors are being chosen instead of the traditional backsplash materials.
As Kitchen has become a very important space in the house, Kitchen backsplashes have gained a sudden importance in the design element for its aesthetic requirements apart from its utility.
The newer innovative Kitchen Backsplash materials being used are
Lacquered Glass: Opaque in appearance and available in many colors is easy to maintain and adds elegance to the interiors.
Mirrors: Use of mirrors on kitchen backsplashes doubles up space and reflects natural light from the windows or artificial lights used. It is widely available and is inexpensive to use.
Copper, Brass and Steel mosaics: Metal tiles in a variety of finishes like steel, brass, and copper are now being used as a material for backsplashes as metals are easy to maintain and clean. The shiny or matt effects of the metals add brilliance to the decor. Available in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes they have become a material of sophistication and are stylish.
Glass mosaics: Available in a variety of colors, patterns and designs, glass mosaics are a favorite with designers for its vibrancy that its adds to space and the ability to customize it as per the concept and needs. Any pattern or design can be created whether modern, traditional or art deco with it. Easy to install and maintain it is being widely used as a material for kitchen backsplashes.
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