Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tile Backsplashes: Kitchen and Bathroom Showpieces

An increasing amount of people are cooking made-from-scratch meals. Whether it includes a personalized breakfast granola mix, a lunchtime sandwich that incorporates heirloom tomatoes, dinners that include the use of a tagine, or desserts that urge the food connoisseur to wander the garden for a sprig or two of lavender, growing your own food and using fresh, organic ingredients has seen a resurgence.

Murphy mosaic backsplash by Appomattox Tile Art
Murphy Mosaic Backsplash by Appomattox Tile Art

With this renewed back-to-basics philosophy, homeowners have found the need to refresh the look of their kitchens, be it with new, energy-conserving appliances or a fresh coat of paint, the need for a soothing, yet workable environment trumps even the most prudent of budgets.

Staal stainless steel mosaics by Ann Sacks Tile & Stone
Stainless Steel Mosaic Tile by Ann Sacks

Happily, along with this desire for something new and different, tile backsplashes have seen an uptick in updated kitchen designs. Not only is a tile backsplash functional with its easily cleaned surface, but I tend to think of it as a showpiece or focal point of the cooking area.

Fired Earth’s Metropolitan subway tile collection
Fired Earth's Metropolitan Tile collection, Queensway series

Further, the increased awareness of tile’s long-lasting beauty has not only made kitchen backsplashes a showpiece, but the same theory has held true for bathroom walls as well. With a surge in home remodeling projects and newly built homes, homeowners are looking for something different and more personalized to their taste, character and lifestyle. Designers, bloggers, and design-oriented publications have dutifully observed this trend, and have embraced the use of decorative tile backsplashes. Here are several examples:

Classic patterns with white subway tile
Stone tiles with metal insets
Metallic tiles
Delft patterns accented with solid white ceramic tiles
Geographical tiles (Cuban, Spanish, Moroccan, Moorish, etc.)
Water-jet cut mosaic tile and stone panels
Glass tiles
Textured tiles
Mosaic tiles (stone, glass, and mixed)
Geometric tiles (linear, bubbles, Arabesque)
Large-format tiles
And so much more!

Cuban Heritage Design 110 2B by Avente Tile
Kitchen backsplash featuring Cuban Heritage Design 110-2B by Avente Tile

Even though I’m partial to the Moorish look, I seem to be drawn to mixed mosaics each and every time. Perhaps when we finally we remodel our kitchen, my love for Moorish and Spanish tile will have its overdue moment in the spotlight.

Brilliante 267 Superior glass mosaic tesserae by Trend Group
Brilliante 267 Superior glass mosaic tesserae by Trend Group

Lastly, thanks to the technological advances within the tile industry, no design, pattern or material is out of reach or impossible to mimic. I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more advances in the coming months with Cersaie, the Italian tile exhibition held in Bologna, Italy September 23-27, 2013; Cevisama, the Spanish tile exhibition held in Valencia, Spain, February 11-14, 2014); and Coverings 2014, set for April 29-May 2, in Las Vegas.

Which pattern, color, or material of tile would you choose to serve as the culinary inspiration for your kitchen, or to create a spa-like surrounding in your bathroom?

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