Backsplash for Modern Kitchen

aloha2009January 22, 2012

I've been trying to narrow my search for a backsplash in a modern setting but it's HARD.

Many have none, but so much character can be put in a backsplash. With the modern characteristics, I don't want it to come off too cold.

I would at least need something behind my range. I think marble would look modern but sofisticated (what do you think). The possiblility of splatters in the back of the range are guaranteed, plus I'm reading that even 2cm thickness can be an issue.

I thought of glass mosaics may look pretty too but may give off to wimsical feel for my taste.

I thought of putting wallpaper up with glass over it. Though wimsical, it could easily be changed out.

Do I just keep looking and looking? We haven't even started the demolition but this BS is really frustrating the total image in my mind.

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Could you post your finishes again?

I know someone who has no backsplash at all and keeps a big metal tray propped behind the range. (Its a nice metal tray).

I have back-painted glass, and I did a single piece of back painted glass only behind the range in another project.

If you want minimal #s of materials you could use the same material as on the counter.

If your range is stainless you could do matching stainless between it and the hood.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:32PM
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I don't know how to post pics from the internet but my finishes are pretty basic.

IKEA brown/black Nexus cabinets
SS frig/wall oven
Glacier white corian & sink
Hardwood floors (likely finished in cherry stain)

Lots of natural light.

I've never seen back painted glass (or at least I didn't know it when I saw it).

I though of carrying the corian up behind the range but thought it might be too boring. The rest of the main kitchen wall will be a neutral color to blend with the open layout. IF I put any punch into the room it will have to be with the backsplash or accessories.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Our kitchen will also be more on the modern side, so I am wondering the same thing. Back painted glass is an option, but is probably not within our budget. Currently I am considering thermoplastic panels (Fasade's contemporary line or MirroFlex) or acrylic panels. Check out LuxCore acrylic panels. Neither of these can be placed directly behind our gas range, but they come in a number of colors or, in the case of the thermoplastic panels, you can get the paintable ones and do any color you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: LuxCore image library

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Do you have a cooktop separate from the wall oven? Is it gas, electric?

From your description you have three colours/surfaces happening: brown/black white and SS. A bit of colour perhaps? Back painted glass is pretty modern. You can also paint the wall instead of the glass, a little cheaper. Here is a picture of a kitchen with the wall painted and glass mounter overtop.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I decided to try just one more time for posting a pic and I did it for the first time. I love the back painted glass. Now I have to here the ugly truth as to how much this would set me back. The minimum piece size I would need is a 24 x 36" piece. I found this pic that I really like from Glasspaint.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:20PM
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We faced the same dilemma. All the BS tile we liked was almost as much as the granite ,so we just ended up doing the BS in granite as well. This was the toughest decision for me by far because I liked quartz just as much as granite. But not being able to find a BS tile we liked that went with either, swayed us to just use granite. If you know what cabs and appliances you want but this is your stumbling block, then dont start remodel until you figure it out. Our contractor got a little frustrated with us because I couldnt decide and held things up, but fortunately, he had numerous other clients and was able to work around my "poky ness."

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:29PM
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If you are doing just one piece of tempered glass and it doesn't have any cutouts for outlets, it shouldn't be too expensive. It is location specific though because it is not always easy to find someone who deals with the back-painting.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:30PM
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I'm pretty sure that painting the wall and just buying the tempered glass is cheaper, at least it was a few years ago.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Did some research on DIY back painting. It sounds like we could do it as several have. Some say you need tempered glass and others not (since it has the wall as backing when installed). I'll have to get a definitive answer for that. Certain paint, application etc to take into consideration.

I think I'll practice on some cheap glass, to see how it would work. If we can pull it off, I'd prefer to have the glass go to the ceiling needing a 3' x 6' piece. If we can't get it to look right, I'll settle for the professionally done 2' x 3'.

Thanks Palimpsest for your idea. You always have great suggestions. I guess I've been waiting to be introduced to back painted glass to find the right backsplash.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I backpainted mine myself. I used a roller and about 7 thin coats of paint.

When we tried it in place (unpainted), it cast weird shadows on the painted wall underneath I thought--but the wall was not perfectly flat either.

You will need to get Starphire or Starfire low iron glass to prevent the green color of the thick glass from changing the color of the paint.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Palimpsest - do you mind posting a pic of your DIY backpainted glass. I think I have made some decisions which may make the backsplash challenging so this is something that I have been considering. I have no idea of cost though, or installation.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Sochi, we'll have an electric cooktop. Thanks for posting the wall painted with the glass over it. That would keep the wall protected but I really like the luminious look of the back painted glass. This backsplash will be a high profile throughout the main area. I either want it to be very discreet or WOW (I think).

Palimpsest, I read that it is best to smooth out the wall before applying the glass to help prevent any scratches to the paint. I've heard it can be difficult to get the right color with the green tinting. I don't know how much the Starphire glass is though.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Well, it sounds like you've decided on glass, which will look wonderful! I did find some tile pictures, which I'll go ahead and post :)

Aqua tile, with white kitchens... From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans

Closer to your choices, but with green tile. From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Here it is with the old undercabinet lighting.

The splash stops at the change in cabinet level and you can see that it is the same color as without glass:

And a far shot, unlit

I think mine was about $700, and the small one below about $150.
And by contrast, a small non Starfire backsplash backpainted the off-white, looking pale-blue green. This did not bother the client because this color appears elsewhere as paint. (And she did not want to pay the extra $50-75 bucks for the Starfire :/

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:52PM
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Palimpsest, thanks for posting your pics. Though I've seen them before, I never realized, like others that I've seen, that I was looking at back painted glass. It gives off such a clean look that IMO can't be duplicated. The one for your client, looks great too since I was contemplating bringing a clear aqua into the living area.

It's great that I now have a clear vision as to the entire kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Hi Aloha,
Here are a few ideas.
Your kitchen elements sound wonderful.

Painted wall with glass (cooking safe)

some other ideas...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Boxerpups- Beautiful pictures, as always :)

Aloha- I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but I'd look for non-reflective glass. It will probably be more expensive, but a lot easier on the eyes.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Boxer, exciting and fun pics! I think I'm going to try a DIY. My range backsplash could go to the ceiling and really make a dramatic focal point (4' x 6'). Both my daughters are very artistic and I could have them paint me a one of kind. The options are limitless but all so awesome!

Lavender, with all the other surfaces being dull, I wouldn't want to go with yet another dull service.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:04PM
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I love the look of stainless steel pennyround.

Check the cook lighting fixture!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I know you're looking hard at sheet glass, but wanted to throw in the idea of very small glass mosaic. Ours is from Lunada Bay and the individual tiles are 1" x 1/2" in a stacked brick pattern. Lunada Bay has a lot of color options that provide subtle contrast rather than the louder contrast typically seen in the 1"-square mosaics. Also, we did ours in the "silk" finish, which is a matte finish rather than a gloss.

I must have looked at more than 1,000 BS options before finally settling on what we chose, and I am still very happy with t two years later.

And I have somehow locked myself out of my photo bucket account, so can't put a photo here . . . so I've linked to the dusty thread of my kitchen reveal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lunada Bay Sumi-e tile

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:07PM
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The idea of a six-foot tall pane of non-tempered glass does not fill me with warm cuddles, for some reason.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:15PM
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We just wrapped up a kitchen remodel, and went with a single stainless steel sheet.

It ties in well with our stainless steel appliances. We avoided any tile, as we've come to loathe grout, and wanted to make cleaning easy.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Jakebody I love your kitchen (and house)!

Lease, I love the look of the SS and it's definately been a contender.

Marcolo, you have a way of making sure you get your point across. How would this be any different then a vanity mirror in a bathroom? I don't think they are tempered. Obsviously there is a greater chance for breaking it when you have a cooktop and pots in front then a sink and a toothbrush. I'm not against tempered glass, just I don't want to pay the extra $ if it's unnecessary...still laughing about the blond leading the blond comment.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 6:18PM
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I just found this on GW as I am interested in a glass bs. I think I prefer color but an option...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:48PM
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lcase - I decided on stainless behind the range also and tile for the rest. I was worried about grout and keeping my new kitchen looking nice long term. And, my backsplash tile is 1"x2" multicolored glass subway tiles that includes a piece of natural stone. I really didn't want to think about grease splatter on grout and natural stone.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:01AM
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