How to Get Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Backsplashes protect the walls above your lower fixtures from splatters and splashes, but today’s kitchen backsplashes are more than just functional.

Retail Stores and Kitchen Showrooms

Tile is just one of your backsplash options.Tile is just one of your backsplash options.
Installing a backsplash provides an opportunity to make a design statement. Tile choices alone include glass, stone, porcelain, metal and ceramic -- and tile isn’t your only option. Perhaps you’d rather have mirror, river rock, reproduction tin ceiling tiles or a backsplash covered with chalkboard paint. Explore the wide range of backsplash ideas before making your final selection.

Retailers who sell kitchen backsplash products -- especially high-end kitchen showrooms -- are also some of the best sources for backsplash ideas. Expect to see samples of the various products on display, including mockups of the different ways to use them. The manufacturers whose lines the stores carry may also provide free brochures with additional ideas, as well as inspiration galleries you can view on their websites.

Kitchen and Interior Designers

Designers typically reserve their portfolio pages for photos of their finest completed work. For kitchen designers, as well as other design pros who do lots of kitchen work, those pages are typically full of backsplash ideas. It’s bad form to accept a house call and personalized presentation if there’s no chance you’ll hire the designer for the job. If you’re looking for do-it-yourself ideas, just ask if you can go by and take a look.

Magazines

Decorating magazines -- called shelter magazines by those in the business -- are chock full of backsplash ideas in a range of interior styles. Browse the editorial pages of magazines inclined toward your particular tastes, as well as special interest publications featuring just kitchens or kitchens and baths. Bookmark the pages that interest you rather than tearing them out; the source pages with product information are typically somewhere near the back. You’ll need them once you settle on a design. Publishers may also archive past articles by topic that you can view on the magazine’s website.

Television

If you have cable, you can watch television shows and entire networks devoted to home improvement and interior design. Since kitchen remodeling is a hot topic, you’ll see plenty of backsplash ideas. Television shows offer more than just high-end kitchen design. The shows focused on budget decorating are good sources for alternative and do-it-yourself ideas.

Show House Tours

If you live in a city, watch for decorator show houses you can tour. Show houses are real houses -- existing or new construction -- and they’re frequently available for sale once the tour event ends. Sometimes called idea houses, show houses usually feature the work of local interior decorators and designers who each work on a different room of the house. For rooms with more built-in features than furniture, such as kitchens, product retailers and manufacturers sometimes sponsor the events and offer their latest products for use in the house. Expect to pay a small admission fee to tour a show house. Local service groups often organize show houses annually to raise money for charity.

About the Author

Leah James has been a full-time freelance writer and editor since 2008. With more than a decade of experience in interior decorating, she frequently writes about home design. She studied English literature at Lyon College.