A sink backsplash is a protective panel created with ceramic tiles, stone, or glass to reduce the damage to the walls due to the splashing of water. It is normally a vertical extension to a counter in the kitchens or bathrooms. Some people prefer to put the sink backsplash a few inches high from the kitchen countertop and some people cover the entire wall using ceramic tiles.
In kitchens, they are placed behind a hob to protect the walls from inadvertent splashing of oil, spices, and other materials while cooking. It also protects the walls from heat damage in the kitchens.
In the bathrooms, backsplashes are erected behind the sinks to protect the paint on the walls. They are also placed around the bathtubs to protect the walls from steam damage. If a backsplash is not placed in a bathroom, often, mold, fungi, and mildew will grow due to excessive moisture accumulation.
In the last few years, backsplashes have become a decorative item in the kitchens and bathrooms which add some color and aesthetic appeal to the area.
The qualities of a sink backsplash for a kitchen or bathroom
While buying a sink backsplash, these are the few things you need to keep into consideration.
1. Durable- Always choose a material that is durable, as replacing the backsplash again and again will make your kitchen or bathroom unusable for those number of days. It is extremely inconvenient in a regular household to have a non-functional kitchen or bathroom.
2. Non-toxic- Check the material composition before installing it. Tiles with asbestos dust should be completely avoided as it is a known substance that causes cancer. Even nickel-plated stainless steel sheets should be avoided as they cause allergies in some individuals and are harmful in case it comes in contact with the food particles.
3. Budget-friendly- Constructing your dream home can be very expensive in today’s world, and one needs to keep the budget in mind while choosing a sink backsplash. Vitreous tiles are one of the most cost-effective, eco-friendly, easy-to-maintain options which most homeowners like to go for.
4. Easy to install– You can often install backsplashes yourself. Make sure that it is easy to do so. Small elements can be hard to install and break easily.
5. Visually appealing- Be creative with your sink backsplash. Add some color to your kitchen or bathroom, by choosing colorful ceramic tiles and creating different patterns with them.
You can bring out the painter within you by choosing a sheet glass material and painting the backside of it. This panel will surely add some visual appeal to your white or pastel-colored walls for sure.
6. Water-repellant- Ensure that the material you are choosing is water-repellant and easy to clean. Always go for external water-proofing for stone or granite backsplashes as they are porous in nature and might soak water. That might give birth to molds and other micro-organisms which might turn out to be harmful to your family.
Types of backsplash materials
Ceramic or porcelain tiles
This is the most common material used in modern households to erect a sink backsplash. Since they are water-repellent and easy to clean, the vitreous tiles are the obvious choice for the most preferred material as a backsplash. No amount of grease or watermarks stays on the ceramic tiles once they are cleaned with a good quality cleaner.
Ceramic tiles are also very affordable and last for years together if not pounded with a hammer or heavy material.
Some people love the sleek look of glass tiles in their kitchens. They make the space look bigger, and it never goes out of style. Glass might be trickier to cut to fit into sink backsplashes compared to ceramic tiles, however, some modern homeowners prefer this material to others.
Some people love the sheet glass material as the backside can be painted. Some homeowners want to exhibit their own painting skills by painting the same, and they are reminded of their own creativity while they are cooking a happy meal in the kitchen.
People who are looking for a very long life of the sink backsplashes, go for stainless steel backsplashes. A flat sheet of stainless steel will be affixed to the wall using screws or super glue, and the work is done. It is extremely easy to clean just like your stainless steel utensils, and it lasts for two decades or more. It might develop minor scratches due to regular wiping and scrubbing, however, stainless steel always looks shiny and inviting.
Engineered stone is created from crushed quartz and resin, and hence the material is extremely tough and durable. This material does not stain and can be easily cleaned. One can choose from a huge selection of color options. It is an expensive material compared to ceramic tiles or glass, however, the fact that it can be supplied in large panels makes them desirable to many.
So if you are looking for a joint-free single sheet backsplash panel, you can think about going for this.
Granite or Marble Slabs
Some people like to go for the theme of stonewalling and prefer to install a heavy granite or marble slab as a backsplash. They are not very easy to install due to the weight and need experts to do the job. However, since they are extremely durable, many people in the countryside prefer this material. It is an expensive option and you need to do proper sealing and waterproofing to ensure that water does not seep into the stone backsplash.
Some countertop installers offer to install a backsplash made of the same material which is used in the countertops. They will run a 4-inch high backsplash that looks very sleek and modern. It matches your entire kitchen decor and masks the gaps between the counter and the wall.
If you are one of those people who like uniformity, this is the best choice for you. Please check with your installer if this can be done, as it is often an optional item. They might not have included it while quoting for the price of the countertop.
It is not a popular material for sink backsplashes as it is flammable. It is very affordable and people running co-living spaces sometimes prefer this material due to its cost-effectiveness. It should not be placed behind the gas hob or stove due to its property of catching fire soon.
So now you are aware of the different types of sink and bathroom backsplashes and the features you need to keep in mind while buying them. Go ahead and replace the old backsplash. If you are buying a new home, negotiate with your interior decorator for a visually appealing one that does not cost a bomb.
We have discussed vintage sinks here.