Important Kitchen Interior Design Components, Part 3: To Backsplash or Not to Backsplash

As discussed this week on the Pete and Brenda radio show.  Catch us on Wednesday at 12:40 and Tuesday at 2:40.  You can stream it from your computer.   This article is the third in a series that address kitchen interior design components that are important to consider if you are planning to remodel/update or build a new kitchen.    In this week’s article and radio spot the focus is on backsplashes.  However before  I talk about backsplashes, I need to briefly bring up vent hoods, because they are closely tied to your backsplash choices, and they are another key area for adding pizzaz to your kitchen…  

Vent Hoods:  There are a lot more options out there for vent hoods these days, and they can add a great design element to your kitchen as well, whether they’re out-of-the-box or custom-built.  If you need to cut costs, use out-of-the-box items.  Customization will add to your expenses…
Click on photos for a large view

Contrasting kitchen vent hood    

Also you can make your range hood stand out even more with a special backsplash treatment directly below the range hood.  (More backsplash photos in next section.)
Custom Kitchen Vent Hood Making a Strong Statement
Out of the box vent hood as shown in Sarah Richardson’s house

Backsplashes:  Another great area to make a “splash” in the kitchen, and create a unique look is the backsplash area.  You can be more creative with a backsplash since you don’t have to worry about function-ability as much as counter tops.   My favorite backsplash material is tile and mosaics of tiles made out of many material options including ceramic, stone, glass, wood and metal.  Typically the highest costs from tile come from the labor costs, but if you do it yourself, you can save a bit.  Here is a link to a great instructional 3 minute video.  

Backsplashes that go from countertop to cabinets provide the most drama and help to keep kitchens from looking too cluttered.  This effect can work in all kitchen design styles, whether modern, traditional, Tuscan, contemporary, etc…     

Modern kitchen design by Scott Keller
Contemporary sleek kitchen by Sarah Richardson


Unique backsplash above stove


Glass tile back splash



Updated mid century kitchen
Granite back splash


Stone mosaic is great for wall applications


Metal mosaic backsplash, great for a modern kitchen


Glass tile backsplash


Lower cost alternatives for backsplash areas: 
  • Press-and-stick-tile:  Here is a great looking, green metal tile alternative made from recycled materials that is easy to install….




  • Pressed tin backsplash…

Pressed tin backsplash. Photo courtesy of American Tin Ceilings.


Pressed tin backsplash. Photo courtesy of American Tin Ceilings.


  • Plastered wall surface:   A great plaster for textured walls that holds up well to moisture is sheet rock paste.  Just be sure to paint it with a water-resistant paint as well…

Plastered wall surface


Peel and Stick Vinyl Appliques for Tile:  Here’s a quick easy way to add some pizzazz to existing tile backsplashes… 

Do it yourself tile tatoos from




Next week we’ll discuss:  Tying it all together for a cohesive look  

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