Backsplash? No backsplash? What kind of backsplash?

mary9915November 13, 2012

We recently updated the kitchen and now I have a backsplash dilemma. Backsplash? What? Where? No backsplash?

Here are a couple pictures of the kitchen (they are not pics of the completed kitchen so please excuse the lack of toekick, some trim and covering on patio door). The kitchen is L shaped with an island. It opens onto the dining area (by the patio door) and beyond that to the living room. The whole area is painted in the green paint that you see.

I like the serenity of the kitchen the way it is, with no backsplash, but I worry that it looks incomplete without some sort of backsplash. I think if I do a backsplash that I will just put in on the small wall that has the stainless uppers and then leave the large wall open.

What would you do with this kitchen? Backsplash or no? If you would put up a backsplash, what would you do it in? I'm thinking of a stainless tile with some sort of pattern in it, but am not sure of that either...

I welcome all ideas!

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fran123

I am struggling with the same issue. Thanks to the brain trust that is GW, I have resolved almost every issue in connection with my kitchen remodel EXCEPT for the question--to backsplash or not to backsplash. My husband and I are splashers--when we are at the sink water goes everywhere...That would be my primary concern--water damage behind the sink. If that doesnt concern you, I wouldn't worry about a backsplash--certainly not on the small wall away from the sink. SS tiles may look nice, and may also brighten, but that wall doesn't look "unfinished" to me. I would just leave it as is. It's very nice and, as you say, serene. Great job!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:34PM
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EAM44

I think glass sheets would be the perfect choice for you - simple, contemporary, clean lines, no grout. They make these sheets clear or in colors with a large array of finishes in custom sizes to fit your space. I your kitchen I'd choose glossy glass either in clear or in an opaque milk-glass color. There are several companies that make them. A link to one is below. Your kitchen is beautiful!


Here is a link that might be useful: Glass

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Iowacommute

I think with the modern influence in your kitchen it looks great with no backsplash. A backsplash may mucky up an otherwise very clean and simple looking pallette.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:47PM
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deedles

This is the third time I've suggested this in as many days but what if you found a few tiles you like, photocopy them and tape them up to the wall so you could get a picture IRL of how it looked? I can't take credit for this great idea, it belongs to Oldbat2be (if my memory serves).

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:48PM
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deedles

EAM's idea is great! That would be perfect and still serene. Forget my tile suggestion... I'm in with the glass.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:51PM
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lisa_wi

If its no splash or just that small wall I think I'd skip it. I think if you just did the small wall it would end up looking unfinished. Another option would be just up to the bottom of the window all the way around, or a full splash under those cabs then just under the window on the other wall.

I briefly considered Hirsch Silhouette glass for my backsplash. I think the XCM224 would be beautiful with your colors.

In any case I'd keep it light.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hirsch Glass

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:12PM
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mary9915

We did talk about a glass backsplash like you suggested EAM...would you put it on both walls or just the short wall?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Angie_DIY

Or how about glass tiles, in a color that is the same tone as the walls? We have some nice examples of modern-looking, largish glass tiles (like 4"x8").

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:14PM
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catbuilder

The first picture does look incomplete, but I don't think a backsplash is the answer. I think a piece of art or floating shelves between the window and the door would do wonders for completing your kitchen. I also agree that tiling only the small wall would be a mismatch.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:28PM
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hags00

I also am a splasher and didn't want a tile backsplash. I chose a 5" tall piece of thin Cambria in the same material as my counters.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:51PM
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a2gemini

I like the idea of back painted glass for your kitchen - I really wanted to do this but couldn't quite get it to make friends with my transitional kitchen - but it does tend to be expensive.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:10PM
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williamsem

I like the idea of shelves to balance the range area. What about adding another stripe of SS on the other side of the sink with a shelf or two, and running a strip at counter height under the window connecting the two vertical stripes? It would be the sink backsplash, but might look just like part of the design.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:06PM
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EAM44

Great question - there is no wrong answer!

I would pick a height and use it everywhere. So, if I were using it under the window wall (is that about 6"?) I would wrap that 6" around the corner from the left of the range to the fridge.

You could use the glass all the way up to upper cabinet height if you want to and keep that height on either side of the window - it'll still be pretty. But I think that 6" height is a perfect height, skims right under the window, under your switch plates, and it will look like a totally modern twist on the 4" bs so many of us grew up with. You know it's going to be cool if Deedles is on board!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:31PM
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badgergal

I think Williamson has a great idea, vertical stainless the same width and height as behind the stove/ hood. Then connect the two pieces with a stainless strip under the window and across. No need for a backsplash on the short wall with the glass front cabinets. And no need to run that stainless strip to the left of the stove.
The tile that lisa_wi posted is another beautiful option but I wouldn't put it on the short wall with glass cabinets. I think it would look better at the height needed to fit under the window and then just run it from the corner across to the the patio door/window

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:42AM
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westsider40

No backsplash for me. Just paint. Easy to clean. I'd get bored with any tile. It's not that easy to remove, I've done that. I don't care for tile of any size.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:55AM
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adel97

I think your kitchen and mine are cousins! I went with a contemporary (random) marble mosaic. It kinda blends in and reads "white" from afar and doesn't detract from the clean look I wanted, but it's beautiful up close and adds some texture I think.

and a close up:

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:14PM
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trailrunnerbiker

didn't have time to read all the answers. I have no backsplash and have never regretted it...been over 6 yrs. It is painted with BM matte...which has ceramic in it. It is as beautiful now as it was when first painted. I love the fact that I can showcase other things ...art etc in my kitchen and no competition. Also if I ever want to change it is as quick as a paint brush...expense is minimal..paint only ! All in all I think it is serene as you point out .

Here is one pick. Since I have a lot of high heat cooking in my kitchen..built in deep fat fryer as well as gas cook top I can definitely speak to the longevity of paint only. c ( more at this album )

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Iowacommute

Sharonite that is a beautiful kitchen. I have to say I am with Trailrunner. I think tile can be beautiful and really finish a kitchen, but my tastes change so often I am dearly afraid I would get sick of my kitchen after a couple of weeks-especially if I did something bold. I'd have to say paint seems to be the way to go for someone like me.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:22PM
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annkathryn

mary we have similar kitchens and I decided to go with no backsplash. I'm thinking it looks a little stark with the white paint but I'm going to live with it for a while and can always pick a different color paint. From Kitchen

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:33PM
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lazy_gardens

I think it looks good as it is.

Paint the wall in a durable enough paint that you can wipe any splashes off it, and caulk between counters and wall so spills don't run down behind it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:43AM
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karin_mt

I'm loving these modern kitchens - thanks for all three gorgeous examples! For Mary, I agree with EAM's idea of a solid pane of glass. I think that is the ultimate backsplash for a contemporary kitchen and would look great in this instance.

Sharonite, your marble backsplash is amazing. I love how it is traditional and soft because its made of marble, yet contemporary and sleek because of the even coloring and narrow rectangles. It definitely enhances the overall look - nice work!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:40AM
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bellajourney

I agree that your kitchen looks beautiful just the way it is! If you love it clean and simple (and it sounds like you do), skip the backsplash, and use the wonderful suggestions on here of simply using a durable paint, or adding glass. Both would look terrific! If you should ever change your mind and want to add tile, I also like the suggestion of using a subtle, contemporary tile (on both walls, like sharonite has). Can't wait to see what you decide!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:41AM
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mary9915

Thanks for all you opinions. I really appreciate all the points of view.

For now I'm going to leave it un-backsplashed and make sure seam between the quartz and the wall is well sealed.

If we tire of that or if we splash too much I believe we'll investigate that glass panels for a backsplash.

It's great to see other modern kitchens. I love your waterfall counter Annkathryn! I wish we had done that with our island.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:15PM
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mary9915

Thanks for all you opinions. I really appreciate all the points of view.

For now I'm going to leave it un-backsplashed and make sure seam between the quartz and the wall is well sealed.

If we tire of that or if we splash too much I believe we'll investigate that glass panels for a backsplash.

It's great to see other modern kitchens. I love your waterfall counter Annkathryn! I wish we had done that with our island.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:16PM
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