How to Design Your Kitchen Counter Backsplash

You have picked out a beautiful Granite kitchen countertop. Now you need a great looking backsplash. What can you do?

You could hire a professional designer, design your backsplash. That could cost a lot of money.

How about the guy at work who installs tile part time. He assures you, "Sure I can do that, trust me"

Having worked with hundreds of people create their very own kitchen  countertop backsplashes, these are some of the ways a few people choose to  have a new backsplash. In this article I will show you how to design your own  backsplash the way you want it to look. It is quite easy.

First, design each backsplash wall individually. By this I mean select a wall  above the countertop and figure out the design you want to attain. Many  older kitchens are shaped like a U. Meaning the window and sink are in the  back of the U and the two sides are cabinets and countertops. Design the window, sink wall last.

Step two. Measure the length of the left wall in inches. Tile sizes are in inches or metric .Makes estimating quantities easier when measuring in inches. A  backsplash with a solid surface stone countertop will generally measure 17 to  18 inches from bottom of cabinet to top of countertop.

Decide what size tile to use. Most common are 4x4, 6x6, 3x6 and 12x12.Go to  a tile store and get various sizes to help determine what sizes you like.

Ask this question of yourself. Do I want the tile set on a diagonal or straight  pattern. Keep in mind, a 6 inch tile on diagonal measures approximately 8 1/2  inches. A 17 inch high backsplash will take 2 six inch tile on diagonal, filling all  or nearly all of the space. A four inch tile on diagonal measures 6 inches, tip to  tip. Therefore for a 17 inch backsplash will require 3 four inch tiles on diagonal.

A six inch tile, installed on a straight pattern, requires 3 tiles for a 17 inch  backsplash. 4 four inch tile are required for a 17 inch backsplash. Most  common grout line is 1/4 inch grout line.

The use of inserts add to the overall look of the backsplash. Generally use a 2  inch insert with a six inch tile. A 1 inch insert with a four inch tile. Placement of inserts is a matter of personal preference. Word of caution. Do not use to many  inserts. Inserts are only used to accent the tile design, not to be the focal point.

Finish measuring the sink wall and other walls. Apply the same tecniques on all  walls except the sink wall . Between the window and the sink, the wall should  have no inserts. Only the tile pattern, be it diagonal or straight. The backsplash on each side of the window can have inserts, but not to many. Extend the same pattern used on the left wall for the remaining backsplash walls.

Using this method of laying out your backsplash helps you determine how many  tiles you will need. Allow 15% over the amount you need for cuts. Example: 44 six inch tile, order 8 additional tiles.

Shopping for tile is now much easier. You have a good idea of the amount of tile needed and how much the tile will cost. You are now the design master of your  countertop tile backsplash.
Alan Grundemeier has planned, designed and completed many tile and stone projects to enhance the beauty of customer's homes. By designing each  backsplash wall individually, selecting the size tile you like, deciding if the tile is  to installed on a diagonal or straight pattern and what type of inserts will  compliment the design, you will have a kitchen countertop backsplash of your dreams. Designed by YOU!
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