Is Your Backsplash Outdated?

Backsplashes follow design trends just like cabinetry and colors and styles of counter tops. In fact, a striking backsplash can go a long way to perking up a tired old kitchen or creating an interesting focal point in a home. Interestingly, this is one area that often gets neglected and not always included in the planning of a new kitchen.

Here are some of the latest ideas for exciting new backsplashes – who knows, maybe you'll get the urge to make some changes to your own home.

Where Cost is No Object

With the trend towards stainless steel appliances and counter tops, it stands to reason that shiny metal backsplashes would not be far behind. Although easy to clean, stainless steel does show smudges more than other surfaces, but also durable and very elegant. If you're looking for a warmer feel, try cleaning kitchen work areas by combining different mediums. Utilize stainless steel behind the cook-top and sink, and use tile behind the other work areas.

Also in line with the metallic look, is the use of reproduced patterned metal ceiling tiles. They form an interesting pattern under your cupboards and can be painted to suit. Copper is an especially popular choice – adding warmth as well as style.

By far the most chic design approach of late is the use of translucent glass. This can be had in small mosaic sheets or installed in large solid sheets of patterned glass. It's easy to clean, luminous and oh, so dramatic. The tiles are available in clear, frosted, linear or iridescent finishes. The cost is approximately $ 30 / square foot and can be quite tricky to install. Maintenance varies with the complexity of the design.

The solid glass sheets are also available with continuous patterns or blown glass sculpted into its surface. These pieces will turn your kitchen into a show piece – for a price!

Natural stone is extremely elegant and works well with many design styles. It's durable, costly, and needs to be sealed regularly.

For the Budget Minded

Instead of combining various palettes, this variation takes your existing counter top material and continues it right up the wall. This cuts back on the design decisions and creates a nice even, clean look.

Ceramic tile is still a popular choice for a backsplash. The trend is moving toward using a neutral shade of tile set off with a decorative border. Or, try to incorporate items you've collected on trips or special stones or shells you've collected that have significance. These simple accents add interest to an otherwise plain ceramic wall. Ceramic is very reasonable, durable, easy to clean, does not require sealing and is easy to install.

Subway tiles are also emerging as a popular design choice, with either rough or polished surfaces. They have a commercial feel that works exceptionally well with a loft or renovated warehouse style home.

The decorative yet functional backsplash is also making a comeback. Purchase showy stainless steel or colored S-hooks and hang from a long rod to hold everything from measuring cups to small pans and utensils.