Many homeowners in the process of designing a new kitchen wonder when they should tackle the backsplash. After all, the backsplash is one of the most purely decorative elements in the kitchen, and often the most personal as well. If you find yourself half way done with your new kitchen design and find that you still haven’t picked out the backsplash, don’t worry; this is one area of the kitchen that can wait.
Backsplashes were once considered a functional part of your kitchen designed to keep the walls in good condition by protecting them from splashes and splatters. With the advances in washable paints, however, as well as newer cleaning supplies and wall building technologies, backsplashes no longer need to be functional. Instead, they have become purely decorative.
Think about it for a minute: You couldn’t use your new kitchen without cabinets, counters, flooring, or appliances, right? But you can use it without the backsplash, so if you want to take your time in this one area, it will not affect the kitchen’s use.
In fact, in many cases, the best thing to do is wait. Unless you know exactly what backsplash you plan to install and it’s merely a question of finding the right tile, sometimes waiting lets you live with the kitchen and your choices for a little while. You get to see what it is the kitchen is lacking, such as color, whimsy, light, or movement. For example, a kitchen that turns out too dark would benefit from a glass backsplash that could reflect light, while a kitchen that is a little too neutral would benefit from a pop of color.
Therefore, wait until you have all the other components of the kitchen picked out first before choosing the backsplash. This way you can ensure that the colors and style of the backsplash matches your other choices. You can also wait until the kitchen is installed to pick it out so you can see if there is an element lacking that the backsplash could provide. It isn’t uncommon for new kitchens to go without a backsplash for as long as a year as the homeowners make up their minds. Take your time and don’t rush; the backsplash could end up being the keystone that pulls the whole design together.