There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a countertop and backsplash combination for your kitchen, but the most common predicament is usually this: which should you decide on first? Luckily, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it. However, if you’re struggling with getting started, most designers agree that unless you already have your heart set on a certain backsplash, it’s best to begin by narrowing down your countertop options.
Backsplash possibilities are endless and can quickly become overwhelming unless you already have a style of countertop in mind. Although durability isn’t necessarily a primary concern for your backsplash, it’s crucial when selecting a countertop that will last and hold its appearance. Ask yourself which variety of stone has the characteristics that are best suited to your needs, such as resistance to heat, staining, and other damage. Then, whittle down a list of countertop candidates that you find aesthetically appealing. With that done, settling on a backsplash should be far less difficult. The pairing you decide on should not only complement the rest of your kitchen but express your personality and character as well.
If You Love a Relaxed Atmosphere, Earthy Colors & a Breezy Touch
The image in Figure 1 evokes an aesthetic that is both relaxed and informal while simultaneously appearing polished and tastefully cultivated. What makes this design particularly unique is that instead of using the countertops as a major focal point, it’s the backslash which immediately draws your eye. By using a clean, neutral stone like white quartz on the counters, and marble that’s lightly tinted with color for a backsplash, the resulting effect is offbeat in the best possible way. The Fantasy Brown marble backsplash has enough white veining in its pattern to make it a natural pair with the quartz countertops, and its brownish-green striations are a beautiful tie-in with the kitchen’s dark wood paneling.
Figure 2 is interesting because it manages to combine both warm and cool color palettes in such a way that the tones exist in harmony instead of clashing together. Whereas the range of earthy brown shades found throughout the kitchen’s countertops, backsplash and drawers contribute to a warm and inviting atmosphere, the many windows, angular hardware, chrome appliances, simplistic lighting and glass-fronted cabinets are decidedly modern. This combination works so well because the eggshell, pewter, onyx and beige patterns found in the Lennon granite countertops are neutral enough to complement both modern and traditional styles. A backsplash built with large rectangular subway tile in demure brown adds to this theme by appearing rustic and minimalistic all at once.
If You Love Dramatic Contrast, Minimalism & a Contemporary Vibe
Should your personal style relate to any of above adjectives, then it’s likely that the kitchens pictured in Figures 4 and 5 will be right up your alley. The former is every consummate modernist’s dream – completely seamless and clean-cut with sharp lines, zero clutter, and a highly-efficient use of space that gives the room a lovely, airy quality. Using minimalistic white quartz on both the countertops and backsplash enhances the contemporary look, and smooth, black cabinetry combined with chrome accents and appliances pull everything together to create a fresh and spacious feel. Figure 5 has a very similar, albeit slightly different appeal. This kitchen’s Carrara marble counters provide some additional texture, while molded cabinetry and a white subway tile backsplash lend extra depth.
If You Love Traditional Elements & Sophistication with a Twist
At first glance, Figure 3 shows a kitchen with plenty of classical touches that perhaps lean more toward the conventional end of the spectrum, as aesthetics go. The molded ivory cabinetry, rustic wood floors, dark bronze hardware, elegant fixtures and small-scale pattern granite counters all contribute to an aura of refinement that one could expect to find in any upper-class home. If you look closely, however, you’ll see what sets this particular example apart: the backsplash. Just like in the kitchen in Figure 1, here is even more evidence that backsplashes aren’t necessarily meant to blend in with the background. By using tones of cream, black and brown found within the countertop’s Santa Cecilia White granite, the backsplash is allowed to shine with a combination of travertine tiles layered beneath a stunning herringbone mosaic.
Figure 6 is another gorgeous mixture of traditional and eclectic styles. The white beveled drawers, simplistic hardware, and black countertops are clean-cut without appearing too contemporary. While these components are by no means dull, their most important function is to balance out the kitchen’s other, more unique elements to ensure that everything exists in harmony. The Honed Absolute Black granite countertops contrast beautifully with Taj Mahal quartzite on the island, resulting in an incredible focal point for the room. Moreover, the quartzite’s subtle gold veining is enhanced by a metallic hood placed over the stove, providing a cohesive overall effect. Using a counter-to-ceiling white subway tile backsplash instead of upper cabinetry prevents the space from looking cluttered.
If You Love Elegance, Charisma & a Bit of Tasteful Glamour
Should you ever need proof that a largely monochromatic color scheme can be done right, look no further than the kitchens in Figures 7 and 8. Outfitted from top-to-bottom in, for the most part, various shades of white, cream and gray, these kitchens are the epitome of a beauty so pristine that you’d almost rather just look at them than put them to use. The most significant difference between these two is that while Figure 8 seems to embrace a more contemporary, although not exactly modern vibe, Figure 7 displays what could be best described as a bit of vintage flair.
The slight color variations in Figure 7’s Super White quartzite countertops are reflected and magnified in the kitchen’s backsplash using small, iridescent Carrara Marble subway tiles. These tiles help to catch the light and make the room appear even more spacious. Minimal appliances, ornately molded cabinetry, understated hardware and chandelier-style light fixtures all contribute to a bit of old-world charm. Figure 8, however, is a touch more minimalistic without being full-blown contemporary. The expanse of Aria quartzite which stretches seamlessly from countertop to backsplash is undeniably modern, but the caged metal light fixtures and dark bronze faucet offer a touch of antique grandeur. Lastly, darker veining in the quartzite complements the dove gray cabinetry to utter perfection.
After you have an idea for a couple designs, you can browse Home Depot’s tile store to get an idea for general pricing. For more information consider these guides by the designers at Houzz on backsplashes for granite & marble countertop
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