Two weeks ago we kicked off this blog series on backsplash design in celebration of September, otherwise known as National Backsplash Month!

In part 2 we toured the different backsplash materials, including natural stone, glazed tile, and glass and metallic tile .

In this, our 3rd part of this series, we’ll explore backsplash design, including the simplicity of a monochromatic design, using a monochromatic field tile with a accent tile, installing an accent frame at the cooktop and the intensity of an all-mosaic design.

Monochromatic

What is it:  A monochromatic design is the simple, elegant use of a single tile color and style on the entire backsplash.  At times the orientation of the tile, such as a brick-pattern, is used to offer some visual interest.  This design is common when trying to replicate a classic design style.

Advantages:  Due to its simplicity, a monochromatic design is the most cost effective.  It also allows the focus to be put on other elements of the kitchen, such as a unique cabinet finish or countertop material.

Disadvantages:  At times a monochromatic design can looked washed out or boring, especially if the color is too close to the countertop color or the cabinet color.

7b

This Backsplash: Daltile Urban Putty 3 X 6 semi-gloss tiles in a brick set pattern.

After kC Windermere - 27

This backsplash: Bedrosians Hampton Pelican 3 X 6 glass tiles in a brick set pattern.

After - kC Rivergate 26

This backsplash: Emser Belgio Avori 3 X 7 glazed porcelain tiles in a brick set pattern.

Field Tile with Accent Tile

What is it:  Using a standard field tile with an accent tile is the next level of design.  Imagine the monochromatic design except with the introduction of an accent strip or even sporadic accent tile.  The accents add just a little bit of flavor to the design while not detracting from the other finishes.

Advantages:  Using a field tile with accent tiles allows for additional design interest while not blowing the budget.  The accent tile can also help tie the entire design of the kitchen together by introducing a unique color or material.

Disadvantages:  The installation of accent tile requires additional labor by the installer, and this commands a slightly higher price point.  In addition, accent tiles tend to be a higher end tile, and thus the cost per square foot if fairly high, albeit for a relatively small amount of square footage.

After kC Lakeshore 25

This backsplash: Emser Ancient Tumbled Beige 4 x 8 travertine tiles in a brick-set pattern with an accent strip of Confetti Oval Mosaic blend metal blend tiles.

Bradley

This backsplash: Daltile Urban Putty 3 X 6 gloss subway tiles in a brick set pattern with an accent strip of MSI Ibiza glass and stone blend 1 X 1 mosaic tiles.

After kC Oak 25

This backsplash: Bedrosians Torreon 3 X 6 travertines tiles with an accent of Bedrosians Eclipse Espresso Linear Glass and Stone Blend mosaic tiles.

Complete - kB Laurant 10

This backsplash: Daltile Arctic White 3 x 6 matte tiles with glass accent tiles in a brick-set pattern with Emser Lucente Morning Fog 3 X 6 glass accent tiles.

Accent Frame at Cooktop

What is it:  As the name implies, it’s the introduction of a decorative tile frame (using different materials or even a different tile orientation) above the cooktop.

Advantages:  Installing an accent frame provides visual interest above the cooktop, typically an area of the kitchen that naturally draws attention.  Using this design feature is a cost-effective way to give the kitchen a more “custom” look.

Disadvantages:  As with the installation of accent tile, an accent frame at the cooktop requires additional labor for the tile setter and material for the accent.  Thus, there is a moderate price increase for installing such a feature.

After - kC Trellis 22

This backsplash: Bedrosians Manhattan Pearl 2 X 8 glass tiles with Bedrosians decorative rhomboid blended mosaic tiles framed by a metallic bullnose trim.

After - kC Valdapena 25

This backsplash: Bedrosians Manhattan Platinum 2 X 8 glass tiles with an accent of Bedrosians Manhattan Tribeca random interlocking stone and glass blend tiles framed by a metallic bullnose trim.

After kC Santa Paula 21

This backsplash: Bedrosians Torreon 6 X 6 tumbled travertine tiles with an accent of Arizona Tile Melange Listelle and Rhodes Listelle tiles.

After Oak Knoll 26

This backsplash: Bedrosians Mediterranean Beige 6 X 6 travertine tiles with Mediterranean Beige rope around the diagonally set tiles.

Mosaic

What is it:  A mosaic tile design is using a high number of smaller tile pieces for the backsplash.  Mosaic tile can be either linear (long, skinny rectangles) or non-linear (small square shapes).

Advantages:  Mosaic tile certainly offers a high degree of design interest.  There’s no way you’re going to miss a mosaic tile backsplash!

Disadvantages:  Mosaic tiles tend to have a high cost per square foot.  Thus, when using it as the entire backsplash, the cost of the overall backsplash is typically quite high.

Samples:

After kC Eilers 20

This backsplash: Bedrosians Interlude Falsetto random interlocking glass and stone blend mosaic tiles.

Double Eagle

This backsplash: MSI Royal Oaks Blend random interlocking glass and stone blend tiles.

Mt. Airy

This backsplash: Bedrosians Manhattan Fifth Avenue random interlocking glass blends tiles.

Conclusion

Thank you for joining us on a journey through four of the more common backsplash designs.  Click here to view our 4th and final part of this series, where we focus on tile backsplash installation best practices.

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Scott Monday is co-founder and CEO of kitchenCRATE and bathCRATE.  Follow him on FacebookGoogle+ or Linked-In.