Walls behind kitchen stoves tend to take the brunt of most kitchen stains and dirt. Food spatters, water marks and other unsightly stains are easier to remove from backsplashes than wall surfaces. You can create these protective and decorative protective barriers from a variety of materials normally available at hardware stores and home improvement centres.
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Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
These materials are the least expensive and most readily available backsplash options. The tiles come with peel-and-stick adhesive backings, can be installed by novice do-it-yourselfers, and are durable and easy to clean. Prices vary according to the way they are produced (handmade or machine pressed) as well as the quality of the clay, firing procedures and glazing materials. Look in bargain bins and discontinued-style sections for the best deals.
Mosaic tiles are made from glass or clay and have more depth and character than ceramic or porcelain. They are pricier and can be quite expensive if you choose exotic materials or designs. Installation is trickier and requires hiring a professional tile setter if you are not experienced in the craft, since the procedure involves applying an adhesive backing, grouting the tiles and finishing them with a sealer. Mosaic tiles are sturdy and add a high-end flair to backsplashes.
Glass Backsplash Options
Glass tiles are among the most practical backsplash materials as they are easiest to clean and do not stain. However, they are more expensive than ceramic, porcelain or most mosaic tiles and trickier to install. If your budget permits, custom-made glass backsplashes with various colours and patterns are an attractive alternative.
You can create a dramatic mural on the wall behind your stove with ceramic or fused glass mural tiles that fit together to form images that resemble paintings. The mural can cover the entire space, or you can use plain tiles to frame it and reserve the middle of the wall space for the mural tiles. Prices vary according to manufacturer.
If you prefer a moderately priced, modern, glossy backsplash that goes well with many types of kitchen decor, stainless steel is a good choice. Stainless steel is tough but easily shows water, food and grease spots, a problem that can be minimised by choosing a quilted or brushed finish. Interesting tin backsplashes can be fashioned from old tin tiles on which you press designs of your choice before attaching them to the wall with special adhesives.
Other Backsplash Ideas
For unique, personalised backsplashes, consider making a clear resin backsplash and embedding a collage of small objects and pictures into it. Find laminated squares of favourite cartoon characters to make a whimsical backsplash. If you like to watch yourself as you cook, choose mirrored tiles to cover the exposed wall behind your stove.
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