TIPS TO PAIR YOUR KITCHEN BACKSPLASH AND COUNTERTOP
One of the things that can make a big difference in the way your kitchen looks and feels is redoing the countertop and backsplash. If your cabinets, floors and appliances are still in good shape, then an update to these things can make your kitchen feel like new.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you choose the right countertop and backsplash to create the kitchen of your dreams.
HOW TO PICK A COLOR SCHEME AND STYLEAssuming you’re not doing a complete kitchen remodel, you’ll need to consider your existing colors when you shop for a new countertop and backsplash. Here are some pointers to help you.
ContrastAdding contrast is a good option if you want to refresh your kitchen. For example, if most of your kitchen is white, you may want to consider a black or dark gray countertop and a complementary backsplash. Another way to provide contrast is by adding a modern backsplash to a traditional kitchen or vice versa.
If you do prefer a monochromatic kitchen, one way to add some visual interest to the room is to add texture. For example, a white subway tile backsplash could add a bit of texture to a kitchen that’s predominantly white. A black marble countertop with some lighter streaks and veins could do the same for a predominantly dark kitchen.
Sometimes, kitchens can seem a little cold and impersonal, especially if they are mostly decorated in one color or they’re very modern and sleek. You can add a bit of warmth by choosing a more traditional countertop or a backsplash with a touch of color.
Adding a patterned countertop or backsplash can be a good opportunity to provide contrast and make a statement. The pattern could be as simple as a checkerboard or something more complex with flowers and leaves. Either way, the pattern can add visual interest to your kitchen.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COUNTERTOP FOR YOUR HOME
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is about the type of countertop you want. Options include laminate, tile and various types of natural stone.
Considerations that may affect your choice include budget, how you intend to use the countertops, and your personal taste and décor. Entering the natural stone category can be daunting, but we’ve created a free guide to stone countertops to select the option that’s best suited to your kitchen and preferences.
BACKSPLASH GROUT AND GROUT MAINTENANCE
Many homeowners prefer a tile backsplash because tile is easy to clean, and it provides a nice contrast to solid stone countertops. If you opt for tile, one choice you’ll need to make is what type of grout to use.
The two main types of grout are cement and epoxy, and with each, you also have the choice of sanded or unsanded.
Cement grout is usually less expensive than epoxy grout. Epoxy grout costs more but is also more resistant to grease and stains, making it a popular choice for kitchen backsplashes. Both options are available in an array of colors.
The sanded vs. unsanded debate relates to the joint, i.e. the space between tiles. If the joint is an eighth of an inch or smaller, unsanded grout should be fine. If it’s bigger than that, then sanded grout is preferred because it strengthens the grout and prevents it from shrinking.
For the color of grout, there are three considerations. Complementary grout may be the same color as the tile or the same color as your countertop. Contrasting grout is meant to stand out next to the tile you choose. Finally, concealing grout is most often in a neutral color such as gray or beige.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR NEW COUNTERTOP AND BACKSPLASH
After you have installed your new countertop and backsplash, it’s essential to seal them to protect them against scratches, stains and other damage.
Pick a sealer that is multi-purpose and can be used on your new countertops, backsplash and grout. Since you’ll be using it around the food you prepare for yourself and your family, choose a nontoxic product that’s free of noxious odors and harsh chemicals. By applying the right sealant, you can keep your new backsplash and countertop looking their best for years to come.