By Sunshine Menefee
Kitchen backsplashes are a great way to add instant and amazing style to your home. Upgrading a backsplash can take a room from blah to “wow” in no time. But there are a lot of choices out there and some of them get pretty pricey. We’ll take a look at some more affordable ways to get some much needed style in your kitchen.
A Few Pointers
When shopping for a backsplash material, keep in mind that it’s going to get dirty. Grease, food, and water will constantly be assaulting it, so you’ll want something that is easy to clean. Rough textured tiles may look stunning, but there’s no way you can get all the grime out of every nook and cranny. Everytime you look at it you want to love it, not see a mistake.
Grout will get dirty. Even if it’s properly sealed, grout eventually stains in high traffic areas. This is not a good place for pure white grout. Select a color that is a few shades darker than the wall tile. Even better, just stick with a dark gray. White subway tiles look great when framed in gray or black grout.
Skip the standard countertop backsplash. The trend right now that has definite staying power is the option to remove the backsplash that comes standard with countertops. A backsplash that continues from cabinet to countertop presents a more seamless appearance because it doesn’t create a stopping point for the eye.
All of these options are under $10 a sq.ft. If you have 20 linear feet of wall, you’ll need about 35 sq.ft. of material. You’ll need slightly more if you choose large tile or a pattern that needs to be matched. So without further ado, here a few great budget-friendly choices for a new kitchen backsplash.
1. Square glass tile
This classic 4”x4” wall tile gets an upgrade with a faceted glass surface. In a beautiful shade of slate blue, these tiles are not only gorgeous, but easy to clean. They would look amazing when set in gray grout. Price per sq. ft.: $10
2. Upcycled pallet
Free is the ultimate friend of a tight budget an upcycling can achieve that status. Put old pallets to use by creating a one-of-a-kind backsplash. They can be used in many styles of homes: industrial, transitional, cottage or rustic. Just pick the straightest, smoothest pieces. I would also consider some sort of sealant finish to protect the wood. Price per sq. ft.: Free
3. Washable Wallpaper
Washable wallpaper is another great option! There are a ton of styles out there and you don’t need many rolls. Wallpaper gives you design choices you wouldn’t get anywhere else and the fact that it’s easy to clean is a major plus. Price per roll: $50 (2 rolls for 20 linear feet of wall)
4. Pressed Tin
Pressed tin is an elegant choice. It comes in a variety of patterns, from traditional florals to update geometrics. The slick surface ensures messes won’t stick. Installation is simple, also. Price per sq. ft.: $1.75
5. Classic Subway Tiles
Subway tiles are a classic look for a backsplash. Simple and timeless, they fit in a traditional kitchen or a sleek modern one. Try these for a look that will last decades. Price per sq. ft.: $3.28 (lowes.com)
6. Copper Penny
Put those pennies to a good use. Creating a backsplash by using pennies is genius. It gives a beautiful copper luster that looks upscale, but is super cheap, albeit time consuming. Price per sq. ft.: around $2
Another awesome finish is chalkboard! This unexpected material is forgiving and creative. Fill your space with a shopping list, favorite recipe, or another handcrafted design. The best part? You can change it up. Chalkboard paint also comes is a variety of colors, so black isn’t the only choice. Price per sq. ft.: $10 for 30 oz.
8. Mosaic tile
If you’re looking for something more upscale, these marble tiles have a high-end look but are a fraction of the cost. A classic hexagon pattern goes well with the beautiful soft grays and whites. Price per sq. ft.: $9.97