Today, you have more options than ever to design your kitchen to be uniquely yours.
Whether you like traditional, transitional, modern, rustic, cottage, or craftsman design, a stone backsplash will add a dramatic look that will stop visitors in their tracks. Stone that can be used for a backsplash is now available in many shapes, colors, patterns, and textures. Colors are earth tones ranging from light to dark. You can find stacked, random, and tile patterns and textures ranging from smooth to rough to rustic.
Stone is unique. It is Mother Nature’s artwork and depending on your choice, you could end up with a look that cannot be duplicated. Also, the range of colors allows you to create a smooth subtle look that blends with the cabinets and counter tops, or create a dramatic contrast and texture that makes a remarkable statement.
The types of stone that are commonly used for backsplashes are marble, granite, travertine, and slate. Today’s technology allows fabricators to slice stone into thin layers that before would have been challenging to use as a backsplash because of the thickness.
Stone comes in tile, panels and sectional panels. You can find all types of natural stone in different sizes of tile. Stone tile installs and grouts just like ceramic tile. Some granite, marble, and travertine is available in larger panels. The panels are thin-cut stone that is backed by a lightweight backer, making it possible for one man to carry. A special saw is required to cut the panels. Because of the size of the panels, you may have to buy a lot more than you need, which would drive the cost up. However, the advantage is that it can be installed without grout giving it a seamless appearance. Sectional panels are smaller and are designed to be easier to install and typically do not require grouting.
In addition to natural stone, manufacturers have found methods to make faux stone that looks and feels like the real deal. And even though these products look high-end, they are very affordable. If you are on a budget, you can use floor tile that looks like stone. It is easy to install and really looks like natural stone. Some even come with an adhesive backing so you won’t have to deal with messy glue.
To give your stone backsplash the most impact remove the existing 4” backsplash. If the 4” backsplash is integral, you’ll have to work around it. A 4” splash detracts from the size and look of a beautiful stone backsplash.
If you have a limited budget, install a stone backsplash just at the stove area. This will give an attractive focal point and keep the budget in check.
Want to get the biggest bang for your stone backsplash? Use under-cabinet lighting to showcase the stone splash. It is always easier to install the lighting before installing the backsplash. Also, if you are using stacked stone, you may want to consider moving switches and receptacles under the wall cabinets because the switch and receptacle cover plates will not lay flush on the stacked stone.
Cleaning stone is easy. Just use a mild dishwashing detergent with a soft-bristled brush, rinse, and dry. For ease of cleaning and to prevent staining, it is recommended to seal your stone backsplash as soon as it is installed and as often as the sealant manufacturer recommends.
The cost of a stone backsplash varies greatly depending on the cost of the stone and the difficulty of the installation. You could spend as little as $250 for a do-it-yourself project or as much as $3,000 or more for a high-end professionally installed stone backsplash.
A stone backsplash will give your kitchen personality and style with a look you’ll enjoy and your friends will envy.