One of the most creative parts of kitchen remodeling, and one that sets your home apart, are kitchen backsplash and tile designs.
Kitchen backsplashes can add color, texture, movement and personality, as well help tie cabinets in with countertops, and they don't always have to be made of tile either.
We'll share tips, photos, plus some fabulously frugal designs you can do yourself for a fraction of the cost, and at the end of this page, I'll introduce you to an artist named Jonathan Waight who hand paints murals on tile for kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms and indoor pool areas.
When looking for simple ideas for kitchen tile backsplashes, keep in mind that smaller tiles may be easier for the novice to apply.
That's because they typically come attached to a mesh backing in 12 inch by 12 inch squares. All you have to do is line up the edges of each section, which in this example fits together like fingers.
Be careful your backsplash ideas don't clash with your kitchen countertops! Try to balance movement and color in one area with less busy patterns elsewhere.
There's a great example of this in galley kitchen designs, where they paired subway tiles of Calcutta marble with Cesarstone in Buttermilk.
This whole kitchen, including splash backs were done with a rag rolling technique. Here's another article with helpful tips about faux paint finishes on kitchen backsplashes plus another on how to faux paint.
Using Venetian plaster techniques, you can design your own kitchen backsplash and save a small fortune! There's a great example further down this page.
Warm and rustic, 3" x 6" travertine tiles are applied in a brick like pattern. With natural stone, it's advisable to go through your boxes before you start and mark any tiles that have big flaws or are off color. Then put those aside for cutting so you can salvage some.
Here's a kitchen tile backsplash design one of my readers installed herself. She used 4" x 4" tumbled travertine tiles set on the diagonal with glass tile inserts.
She told me that her hands were sore for days afterwards because she had to cut the tiles by hand, Ouch! Cutting ceramic tile yourself is fairly simple and can save a lot of money. You can pay by the day to rent a tile wet saw, but purchasing an inexpensive one ($99 at Home Depot) may be cheaper and less of a hassle.
Cutting porcelain tiles can prove more challenging, so you may want to hire a professional who has the equipment and expertise, especially if the materials are expensive.
I learned this lesson the hard way when tile installers I hired used a wet saw inside my house, spewing highly abrasive dust everywhere! They should have tented the tile cutting area floor to ceiling with plastic, or cut outside. The abrasive stone dust settled in every square inch of the home, including windows, walls, ducts, even the grooves on my hickory plank floors which were covered by rosin paper. All told, that mistake ended up costing me hundreds of dollars in cleanup, including a complete duct cleaning.
"Before" Kitchen Remodel Photo
We knew we couldn't live with the old backsplash tile designs, so I searched for materials fitting of a Tuscan kitchen design. I also kept a notebook, with photos, to compare costs of various materials.
"After" kitchen remodel photo with Venetian plaster backsplashes and travertine tile surrounding the cooktop for a Tuscan brick oven feel.
The red wall was removed to open up the space and create room for a decorative range hood, making it the focal point of the room. Now we're cooking outside the box, literally!
To change kitchen color schemes, we decided to paint kitchen cabinets a butternut squash color and added antiquing.
Fabulously frugal kitchen backsplash ideas Venetian plaster walls can complement just about any style, but for this Tuscan decorating theme, we opted for a three color technique that mimics the look of stone.
Are you going from store to store searching for unique ideas for kitchen tile backsplashes and not seeing quite what you had in mind?
Why not have a scene from one of your favorite places hand painted on tiles? Not only is it a great focal point, it's art you can enjoy everyday!
Here's an example how one homeowner got the perfect kitchen backsplash without ever leaving home.
Jonathan Waight of Art on Tiles hand painted the Tuscan scene above and below is a photo of the artist working in his studio.
After emailing Jonathan a photo of her backsplash ideas, kitchen cabinets and dimensions he came up with several variations, one of which is the beautiful relief tiles you see at the base of the mural. Painted the same color as the wood corbels under the range hood, they balance, as well as frame the composition.
Now, they have a kitchen that fondly reminds them of their travels through Italy and a beautiful piece of art that will last generations.
See their finished kitchen remodel for more backsplash ideas kitchen cabinet ideas, as well as ways to brighten up a kitchen with no windows.