Backsplashes For Any Modern Kitchen

Once purely functional, backsplashes are now integral to kitchen design.
(Bojan Bjedov/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Backsplashes have come a long way from their early days when they had a plain, functional look and were installed simply to protect the walls near the sink and stove from water and oil splatters.

Today’s varieties are still functional but also decorative and come in just about every shape, material, and color you can imagine. Why not make it even more inviting with a new, trendy backsplash?

Brass, silver, and copper are a few of the shining stars in the metal family of backsplashes. “We love to use an antique brass finish,” says Cecily Mendell of Cecy J Interiors. “It’s transitional” (a mix of traditional and modern) “to withstand trends but bright enough to add warmth.”

Instead of individual tiles, slab backsplashes use only a single piece of marble or metal for a clean, refined look. “Typically, slabs will be more expensive,” says Mendell, “but the labor to install individual tiles can tip the scale on the overall costs.”

A more affordable alternative to ultra-pricey marble or other natural stone, acrylic materials are becoming a popular to use in faux stone backsplashes because they’re easy to clean and don’t retain moisture. Glass tiles can add such an interesting dimension to a space,” says Mendell. They feature a smooth surface, can withstand high temperatures from the oven, and are easy to clean.

For a bold look, go mirrored. What are the advantages of a mirrored tile backsplash? “It’s perfect for a home that lacks ceiling height or an open floor plan,” says Mendell. This reflective tile also adds a touch of glamour. Mendell’s pick: Davlin Field by Ann Sacks, a tile with a gold leaf finish.

Classic subway tile, which dates back to 1904, is still so enormously popular that it has a well-deserved place on any trends list. If you love the look but want to give it a modern tweak, stack the cement tiles vertically or in a herringbone pattern instead of the familiar horizontal style.

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