The Evolution of the Kitchen Backsplash

Once only functional, kitchen backsplashes are now decorative focal points and key design elements.

Backsplashes used to be a standard 4 inches high and were used primarily behind the stove and sink for protection from moisture and grease. Now they are used anywhere there is a counter and have become an important design feature.

A variety of materials can be used for backsplashes: concrete, natural stone, metals, mosaics, glass and ceramics. Kitchen expert Joan Kohn visits with Peter Lawton of Design Plus Kitchen and Bath to learn about the latest trends for kitchen backsplashes.

The most durable natural stone for backsplashes is granite. However, it should be resealed twice a year to maintain protection from moisture.

Marble is a beautiful, low-maintenance material, but it is very porous and absorbs grease and dirt.

A look that is resurfacing from the 1950s is the textured glass backsplash.

Ceramic tiles offer a huge variety of design possibilities. They come in a vast array of colors, textures and finishes. They give the budget-conscious the opportunity to create a custom look and save on installation. The grout, however, must be cleaned and resealed regularly.

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