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Tile School: How to Choose the Right Material for your Backsplash

Posted by: Kali • Oct 16

Tile School: How to Choose the Right Material for your Backsplash

If you're working on designing your kitchen backsplash, you know that you've got a lot of options. If you're going for tile, we've got you covered. All of our materials, Glazed Thin Brick, Handpainted and Tile, are suitable for a backsplash application. You just have to decide which one best suits your style! We'll go over a few things that are good to consider (along with design tips and ideas) below:

1. Don't Be Afraid to Mix Materials
Perhaps you've fallen in love with two of our materials and cannot decide between them...maybe you don't have to? If you have opposing walls in your kitchen, two materials can really complement each other, while adding texture to your space. A lot of people want to use handpainted tiles, but find it's out of their budget, but you can always just create a focal point and pair with one of our Foundations Collection colors and sizes at $15/SF.

The founder of Fireclay Tile, Paul Burns, chose to feature handpainted tiles behind his stove top and then used 4x4s in Gardenia in the rest of his kitchen:

Tile Shown: Custom Madrid handpainted tiles and 4x4s in Gardenia

2. A little tile can go a long way
On a budget? Don't underestimate how far a bit of tile can go. If you really love our handpainted tiles, you can opt for just a focal point, like they have done in the kitchen below:

Tile Shown: Kasbah Trellis in Neutral Motif.

3. Gloss vs. Matte
Within each of our materials, we offer different finishes (more on that here). It's important to consider what finish, Gloss, Matte or Satin, will work best in your space. Consider both the natural and artificial light that will exist in your kitchen and make sure to look at your color samples at different times of day and under lights to make sure the color and finish is the one you want.

The kitchen below uses a mix of gloss and matte finishes (which we love). You can see here how much more the gloss tiles will reflect light.

Tile Shown: 3x6 Subway tiles in Raven and Carbon.

The kitchen below features a matte glaze, Sea Glass. You can see how the tile doesn't reflect as much light and has a slightly softer look.

Tile Shown: 2x8s in Sea Glass.

4. Myths about Brick
Some people worry that our Glazed Thin Brick will be difficult to clean, but it actually cleans just as easily as our other materials! Also, sometimes the thickness of of our Brick concerns people, but this really doesn't pose an issue for your space or during installation. The width of the brick can actually be a blessing if you are doing a lipped marble countertop. These two materials are roughly the same width, making for a seamless transition between the materials!

Brick Shown: Snow Brick.

5. Your Grout
Your grout is an important material for backplash too, both as an installation and design element. (Grout 101 here). We always recommend sanded grout for most installations, but If you are using our Tile or Brick consider investing in Epoxy grout, it's a real game changer. Tile is easy to clean, but your grout will show wear. Epoxy grout requires very little maintenance, so even if you've tiled behind your stove top (the area that will ultimately get the dirtiest), you're looking at a lot less cleaning. Note: Unfortunately, you cannot use Epoxy grout with glass tile.

Tile Shown: Paseo tiles in Tusk with a bold grout color.

Like any of the featured colors? Order samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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