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Remodeling Wisdom: 10 Budget Backsplash Hacks


Remodeling Wisdom: 10 Budget Backsplash Hacks

March 7, 2024

When the kitchen remodeling budget is tight: 10 ideas for finessing the backsplash issue.

1. Glass

an artist&#8\2\17;s studio kitchen is full of creative and inexpensive remo 17
Above: An artist’s studio kitchen is full of creative and inexpensive remodeling ideas: The backsplash is a sheet of painted glass, salvaged from an old project and glued in place. A round industrial magnet serves as a utensil holder. Photograph by Kim Lightbody, from Kitchen of the Week: A Glassmaker’s Imaginative Studio Kitchen in London, DIY Ikea Hacks Included.

2. Chalkboard Paint

designer c.s. valentin&#8\2\17;s apartment features a kitchen backsplash fa 18
Above: Designer C.S. Valentin’s apartment features a kitchen backsplash fashioned from slabs of wood painted with chalkboard paint. Photograph by Jonathan Hökklo, from At Home with C. S. Valentin: French Eclecticism in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

3. Painted Plywood

norwegian blogger nina holst of stylizmo created a backsplash using birch plywo 19
Above: Norwegian blogger Nina Holst of Stylizmo created a backsplash using birch plywood stained black. Photograph by Nina Holst for Stylizimo, from Kitchen Upgrade: The Low-Cost DIY Backsplash.

4. Selective Tiling

a trend we&#8\2\17;re seeing everywhere lately: instead of tiling the entir 20
Above: A trend we’re seeing everywhere lately: Instead of tiling the entire wall above the kitchen counter, consider the cost-effective strategy of using tiles just where you most need them: above the sink and stove. Photograph by Ruby Woodhouse, from A Vintage-Inspired Apartment in Hackney from Abel Sloane and Ruby Woodhouse of 1934. (See more examples in DIY Idea: Tiny Tiled Backsplashes That Pack a Punch.)

5. Marble Scrap

in fabr studio’s office kitchen, a slab of marble, left over from a kitc 21
Above: In Fabr Studio’s office kitchen, a slab of marble, left over from a kitchen project, serves as oversized backsplash. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, from Kitchen of the Week: An Architecture Firm’s Own DIY Kitchen in Williamsburg, Ikea Hacks Included.

6. Metal Sheet

at riverside house: a normandy guesthouse from an upstart american restaur 22
Above: At Riverside House: A Normandy Guesthouse from an Upstart American Restaurateur, a brass sheet—sourced from the longstanding Paris metal store Tartaix—serves as backsplash. Photograph courtesy of Riverside House. (See also: Trend Alert: Metallic Sheets in the Kitchen.)
and brass sheet as backsplash, as seen in the catskills farmhouse of two brookl 23
Above: And brass sheet as backsplash, as seen in The Catskills Farmhouse of Two Brooklyn Creatives, Weekend DIY Edition. Photograph by April Valencia, courtesy of Rip & Tan.

7. Stick-Up Tiles

smart tile backsplash
Above: Canadian company Smart Tiles offers peel-and-stick embossed Gel-O tile look-alikes; shown is the Hexago pattern. Photograph via Atelier de Curiosite.

8. Colorblocking

Remodeling Wisdom 10 Budget Backsplash Hacks portrait 7
Above: Color-blocking the wall can create the illusion of a backsplash. Photograph courtesy of British Standard, from Kitchen of the Week: Stardust in Northwest London.
another example of paint as backsplash, from a kitchen for the people, courtesy 26
Above: Another example of paint-as-backsplash, from A Kitchen for the People, Courtesy of Prince Charles.

9. Beadboard

abbey hendrickson of aesthetic outburst installed a diy beadboard backspla 27
Above: Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst installed a DIY beadboard backsplash over the old yellow linoleum and contact paper. “We picked up two sheets of cheapo beadboard paneling from our local hardware store, nailed it horizontally, caulked it, painted it, and voilà. A solution in less than two hours and for less than $60.” Photograph by Abbey Hendrickson, from Kitchen of the Week: A DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500.

10. Waterproof Wallpaper

 kitchen walls, a company out of the netherlands, has developed a hea 28
Above: Kitchen Walls, a company out of the Netherlands, has developed a heat- and stain-resistant wallpaper that can be applied to almost any surface, creating an instant kitchen backsplash. Made of PVC, the wallpaper is impermeable to water, “so it’s usable behind your stove. It can be cleaned with warm water and even the most terrible stains, such as grease or tomato sauce, will disappear without effort.” The Designers Collection by Kirath Ghundoo; €145 ($159) a roll. See more at The Instant Backsplash: Stain-Resistant Wallpaper from the Netherlands.

N.B. This post is a favorite from our archives; the original story ran on June 27, 2019 and has been updated with new ideas and images.

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Frequently asked questions

What are backsplash hacks for an urban edition?

Backsplash hacks for an urban edition refer to creative and practical ideas for enhancing the backsplash in urban kitchens or urban-inspired spaces. These hacks are aimed at adding style, functionality, and personality to the backsplash area. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers related to urban backsplash hacks.

How can I make my urban backsplash stand out?

You can make your urban backsplash stand out by incorporating the following ideas:
Unique materials: Consider using unconventional materials like reclaimed wood, metal tiles, or patterned cement tiles to add an urban-industrial vibe.
Bold colors: Opt for vibrant or contrasting colors to create a focal point and add a touch of urban flair.
Graphic patterns: Choose backsplash tiles with bold graphic patterns or geometric designs for a modern and urban look.
Artistic touches: Incorporate artwork, murals, or custom-designed tiles to make your backsplash a unique and visually appealing feature.

How can I add functionality to my urban backsplash?

You can add functionality to your urban backsplash in several ways:
Open shelving: Install open shelves on the backsplash to provide additional storage for commonly used items or display decorative accessories.
Magnetic panels: Use magnetic panels on the backsplash to attach knives, utensils, or metal spice containers for easy access and organization.
Hanging hooks: Install hooks or racks on the backsplash to hang kitchen tools, pots, or mugs, maximizing vertical space and keeping items within reach.
Built-in storage: Consider integrating recessed niches or cubbies into the backsplash design to store spices, oils, or cooking essentials.

How can I create an urban-industrial look with my backsplash?

To create an urban-industrial look with your backsplash, you can try the following:
Exposed brick: Expose and showcase the brickwork behind your walls to add a raw and urban feel to the kitchen.
Subway tiles: Install subway tiles in a herringbone pattern or use darker grout to give a nod to the classic urban subway stations.
Concrete finishes: Consider using concrete tiles or a concrete-like finish on the backsplash for an industrial and urban appeal.
Metal accents: Incorporate metal accents like stainless steel, copper, or brushed brass tiles or sheets to add a touch of urban sophistication.

Are there budget-friendly options for an urban backsplash?

Yes, there are budget-friendly options for creating an urban backsplash. Some ideas include:
Painted backsplash: Use paint to create a faux backsplash in a solid color or experiment with stencils or geometric patterns for an urban-inspired look.
Vinyl decals: Apply removable vinyl decals or stickers in a variety of designs to achieve an urban aesthetic without the commitment or expense of permanent materials.
Reclaimed materials: Utilize salvaged or repurposed materials such as reclaimed wood, old tin ceiling tiles, or salvaged bricks for an affordable and eco-friendly backsplash.

How can I personalize my urban backsplash?

Personalizing your urban backsplash can be achieved through the following methods:
Custom artwork or murals: Commission an artist or create your own artwork or mural to be installed as a backsplash, adding a personal and artistic touch.
Photographic tiles: Use custom-printed ceramic or glass tiles featuring personal photographs or images that reflect your urban lifestyle.
Display collections: Showcase your collection of vintage plates, antique tiles, or unique ceramic pieces as a backsplash focal point, reflecting your personal style and interests.

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