Our Favorite Backsplashes

We are always on the hunt for the perfect backsplash tile. Recently, we have been remodeling a lot of kitchens. Right now we have seven active kitchen redesigns or full gut-remodels (like this in-progress one)! We will be photographing a couple projects over the next couple of months and we're excited to show you. It is always a pleasure helping families remodel the heart of their home.

When it comes to backsplash tile, it is important that the tile enhances the countertop and cabinetry, while adding some contrast and texture to create a dynamic design. There are so many options out there that clients can sometimes get overwhelmed. That's where JZID comes in to narrow the focus and choose the needle in the haystack. Here is a look inside a few of our current favorites:

1 | Classic Moroccan Arabesque  

I'm a sucker for an arabesque tile. The shape gives a nod to historic Morocco while still easily translating into a contemporary design. The tile really works well with kitchens that already have clean lines through simple hardware and shaker doors. When clients have a more traditional or transitional aesthetic preference, having too many straight lines can come off cold and contemporary. The interplay of curved lines adds a touch of femininity, movement and elegance. The shapely arabesque comes in so many finishes and material. We've seen them made of natural stone, concrete, glass, ceramic... there is no shortage of arabesques right now! For a client's lake house on Pretty Lake in Dousman, WI, we chose a crackle ceramic arabesque mosaic in polished dove gray from MSI's Highland Park collection. We paired this with a stunning Calcutta marble quartz and white shaker cabinets.  

2 | Bold Mosaics

A kitchen backsplash isn’t only a practical feature that adds durability to your walls, it’s also a décor detail and a way to make a statement. If you're looking for a not-so-subtle design feature, then a graphic mosaic tile is for you. There are endless options out there from feminine flowers to metallic geometric shapes to this awesome showgirl waterjet mosaic...

If you decide to go bold, then you can't do it half-way. You need to fearlessly install the tile all the way to the ceiling for a big impact. When you find a tile you fall in love with, there can never be too much! We used the tile to the right in a bathroom remodel that we will be photographing in early September It has a nice balance between contemporary high-contrast and traditional shapes. You can find this marble mosaic at Glazzio Tile.  

3 | Natural Stone

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There is nothing more luxurious than a beautiful natural stone tile, particularly marble and travertine. I'm obsessed! Not only is this material timeless, but natural stone tile is universally loved by homeowners and designers, which gives the look top-notch staying power. If done right, a natural stone backsplash will still be a big hit with potential buyers, whether you’re selling in five, 10 or 15 years. Natural stone works best when installed on an entire wall to give the illusion that you have a slab running from countertops to ceiling. If you don't have any breaks in your cabinets, then try a natural stone mosaic like the one pictured to the right (from DalTile). We just put this tile in a Thiensville kitchen remodel and it adds so much texture to the space!

Natural stone isn't without it's maintenance - you have to seal it like you would stone countertops and it's not impervious to water. If you like the look, but aren't keen on the up-keep then there are plenty of porcelain tiles out there that look very close to natural stone. This tile from DalTile is one of my go-to porcelain tiles for bathroom flooring. The only downside about the porcelain versions is that it doesn't quite have the same variation you get tile to tile with natural stone where no one piece is the same. 

4| Contemporary Metallics 

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In my opinion, every room needs a some degree of metal accents to add texture and drama.  In the last 5 years, metal tiles have come a long way. Metal tiles were once thought of as too clinical and cold for residential spaces. But like concrete floors and cage pendant lights, metal tiles can be seen in homes of all styles today due to the increasing variety of tile created; stainless steel, copper, bronze, gold and nickel backsplashes have become a hot trend for kitchens and bathrooms. 

Aside from its good looks, metallic backsplashes have incredible durability and protective qualities when it comes to handling water and grease. These metal tiles really are just as easy to keep clean as your stainless steel appliances. We are proposing the tile pictured for a kitchen backsplash we're doing in Muskego, WI next month! You can find metallic tiles from all of the large manufacturers, but his tile is from TileBar.

5 | Subway Tile

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Subway tile will always have its own place in design. It's just about as classic as you can get!  When in doubt, DIY'ers seem to default to the 3x6" white ceramic Subway tile, but there is so much more out there. Each tile manufacturer has it's own spin on the subway tile, whether it's an elongated shape, hand glazing, made of glass of crafted from luxury material (like this gorgeous marble subway tile I put in the Lilly Road kitchen). With all of the options out there, no two houses with subway tile should look the same! Another trick to make your subway tile look more special is to install it on the ceiling as well like we did in this charming house's bathrooms. 

With so many options out there, we'd understand if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed! We're here to help - whether it's just adding in a new splash to your kitchen or totally remodeling your kitchen.  Are you ready to discuss updating your kitchen? Contact us today to get started!