Backplash Tiles 101

During the old days, backsplash tiles, whether for a kitchen or bathroom, served the purpose of protecting walls from water and other substances that caused stains and the growth of mold and mildew. With their relatively warm and humid environments, bathrooms and kitchens are particularly prone to these problems. Backsplash tiles provide a protective waterproof surface, which, depending on the how well you take care of them, can practically last for a lifetime.

Added Purpose

However, backsplash tiles go beyond their obvious practical applications, giving homeowners the opportunity to provide a nice decorative touch to kitchens and bathrooms. And it’s amazing what something as simple as installing backsplash tiles can do to your bathroom and kitchen. Depending on your taste and design goals, the right tiles can help you can create an industrial effect, a minimalist feel or even intricate designs in your very own home. Again, you also give the added benefit of protection.

Types

Backsplash tiles come in many varieties to choose from, but the most popular choices would have to be the classic ceramic tile, stainless steel, and glass. Here’s a quick overview of these tile varieties.

Ceramic – Ceramic tiles give you plenty of freedom for creative design, which is probably why they’re the most popular choice for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. Symmetrical ceramic tiles cut in the same size and coming in the same color are great for patterns designs.

Stainless Steel – Stainless steel tiles are definitely more expensive, but they’re a superb choice if you want to create a sleek, contemporary look for your kitchen or bathroom. Stainless steel is stainless and is easy to clean with just a soft cloth and warm water.

Glass – Glass tiles are cheap and thus a practical choice for beautification projects for your kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. Glass tiles are best paired with great mood lighting to create a soft, relaxing glow. Glass mosaic tiles are by far the most popular, coming in mesh-backed or face-mounted sheets.

A Closer Look at Glass Tiles

Glass tiles have recently gained traction as far as popularity is concerned due to the reduced costs in manufacturing the material and new technologies that allow for a glass to be recycled. Glass comes in a wide variety of finishes to boot, with each one having its own distinct feel. These include tumbled, iridescent, frosted, clear and stained. Note that special considerations have to be made when installing glass tiles for backsplashes. For instance, mesh-backed glass mosaic tiles are always more natural to plaster. Loose tiles, as well as paper face-mounted tiles, require more care during installation.

Buying Tiles

If you don’t know the first thing about backsplash tiles, then go to where everyone goes: the nearest home depot. Aside from seeing the backsplash tiles yourself, the people there can give you advice on installation and other tile work issues. Local tile stores also offer the same convenience, plus it’s their specialty, so you can be assured that know what they’re talking about.

However, if you really want to save money, going online is the best option. Online stores offer a wide assortment of backsplash tiles, coming in nearly every type, shape, color and finish that you can think of. Just place your order and have it shipped to your home.

Installation of Tiles: DIY or Specialist?

Having a specialist to lay the tiles for you is safe, but not cheap. You also get to benefit from their experience and ideas, but again, you’ll have to shell out the money. Remember that larger kitchens or bathrooms will cost a lot more to work on.

Going DIY, on the other hand, can be fun and terrifying, but at least you gain invaluable insight into how the tile is laid. You get to decide how your kitchen or bathroom looks and more importantly, you save hundreds of dollars. The key here is to plan, plan and plan some more.

As for last tips, here’s one you may want to remember: be mindful of your family’s habits in the bathroom or kitchen when installing backsplash tiles. Each type has its own level of durability and ability to resist stains, so be aware of your family’s activities in the bathroom or kitchen when choosing tile.