Designing a kitchen isn’t just about picking what materials should be used for which part. You always have to look at the design as a whole and ask yourself, “Do these materials work well together or are they going to end up as an uncoordinated, jumbled mishmash?”
This issue can come to a head when you’re selecting materials for your kitchen countertop and backsplash. It’s easy enough to select the same material for both, but for some that option is way too limiting. Playing around with different materials for each kitchen element can be fun and liberating, but it can also cause quite a few headaches – one reason being the sheer amount of choices that you have.
Sometimes you end up with two materials that you absolutely love separately but loathe together. Other times, the reverse is true: you get different countertop and backsplash materials that you don’t like separately on their own but fall in love with when together they form a whole.
So, how do you make choosing countertop and backsplash materials less of an ordeal? Take these tips to heart.
Tackle one first
Focusing on just one element first can help you narrow down your choices for the other. Your choices of countertop color and patterns are relatively limited compared to backsplash options, meaning you don’t end up overwhelmed right off the bat. You can also choose to tackle the wider selection of backsplash designs first. Once you get it out of the way, selecting a design for your countertop should be way easier.
Research, research, research
When choosing a design, the Internet is your best friend. Look for photos showing the color and patterns that you like and how they work with different kitchen designs. Don’t just stick to online viewing, though. Drop by your local showrooms and home improvement stores to check out different countertop and backsplash materials, colors, and patterns.
Complement, not compete
Once you’ve chosen a color or pattern for your countertop or backsplash, remember that you don’t necessarily have to choose the exact same match for the other element. A countertop with a lot of movement or an unusual color scheme will look better with a more subdued, neutral backsplash, for example. You want these two elements to complement each other, not fight for attention. It’s also easier to choose when you have one element as the star of the show and the other in a more supporting role.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have both countertop and backsplash be bold and eye-catching. You just need to make sure that they still go together harmoniously. One way to do this is by sticking to one overriding color palette for both materials in order to make their designs more cohesive.
If you want to keep the process as simple as possible, you can also just choose the same exact materials for both the countertop and the backsplash. You can easily extend your countertop material to run up the wall and serve as the backsplash.
Aside from eliminating the headaches associated with choosing a backsplash material and design, this can even be a more cost-effective alternative especially if you have a lot of countertop material left over. To add a more personal touch to your backsplash, consider using a different tile pattern instead of the simple slab format used in your countertop.
Always remember to bring a sample of your chosen material for one element when you go shopping for the other to get an instant feel of how they will work together. If you don’t feel confident in your color-choosing skills, get a professional to help you if only for a couple of hours.
Finally, as we mentioned above, enlisting the aid of a professional is one of the quickest ways to ease the pains of choosing the perfect countertop and backsplash options for your kitchen. A pro is especially useful when you’re having trouble visualizing your kitchen as a whole before it is finished. It might cost you a bit more (unless you have a design-savvy friend who’s willing to help you out), but you’ll be thanking yourself for it in the long run.