Compare Backsplash Material

A backsplash is a panel designed to protect your kitchen walls from the byproducts of cooking and preparing food, such as splatters, spills, and steam. Backsplashes are created from a durable material — commonly tile or glass — that can be easily cleaned and maintained.

Below is a quick guide to the many different backsplash materials that you can choose from, including mosaic, glass, granite, metal (tin, stainless steel, copper), and cork:


One of the most popular choices, tile is modular and inexpensive and offers nearly limitless options for colors and designs. Tile works with almost any kitchen style, from country to majestic Old World. It holds its own against heat and sharp blades, and resists stains. If one or two tiles chip or crack, they’re fairly easy to replace. Unsealed grout is prone to staining; standing moisture can damage it and contribute to bacterial growth.

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Mosaic Backsplashes

Mosaic backsplashes offer chances to beautifully customize your designs, allowing you to create intricate patterns and motifs. Mosaic backsplashes are typically constructed of tile or glass, though they can be created out of any mixture of materials.

Because mosaic backsplashes are so intricate, they are typically more labor-intensive to install. The materials can also be expensive, depending on the design elements you choose.


Glass Backsplashes

Glass backsplashes have an elegant look that can brighten your kitchen and make the space look professional and clean. Glass is also a less expensive material, making it a good choice for a do-it-yourself project.

However, glass is a much more fragile material, which could make it difficult to work with or limit its life cycle in your kitchen. Glass also dirties more easily, showing dirt and oil smudges more quickly and making it more high-maintenance if you have a busy kitchen.


Granite Backsplashes

Granite is a durable stone that is easy to maintain. It resists staining, scratching, and most other common kitchen wear.

The drawbacks of using granite as a kitchen backsplash material are that it is expensive and is not very versatile. The heavy stone can be hard to handle and difficult to cut without chipping, and the stone comes in only a few different shades.

A multi-colored mosaic tile backsplash in a kitchen. Orange- and black-colored tile backsplash in a kitchen. A cream-colored ceramic tile backsplash in a kitchen. A luxurious and modern black backsplash in a kitchen.


Metal Backsplashes

Metal backsplashes for your kitchen are available in a variety of materials, designs, and colors. They are less expensive than stone or tile backsplashes, and they can be easier to install since you don’t have to cut and grout individual tiles. You can also create interesting textures on the metal with punching and embossing.

There are many potential disadvantages to using metal for your backsplash. Depending on the material you choose, the metal could be vulnerable to rusting or tarnishing. Oil, grease, and other dirt stains will also show up more quickly on metal, making it necessary for you to clean it more often.


Tin Backsplashes

Tin is a heat-resistant metal that is easy to maintain, making it a good choice for your kitchen backsplash. The soft metal is easy to press for eye-catching designs, allowing you to create a unique atmosphere for your kitchen.

The disadvantage to the material is that the metal is soft, so tin backsplashes for the kitchen are prone to scratching, dents, and similar damages. In order to prevent water damages from water and other liquids, a tin backsplash installed for the kitchen must be protectively sealed.


Stainless Steel Backsplashes

Stainless steel is the material of choice for many kitchen appliances for a good reason: it is resistant to heat, stains, and corrosion. It is also easy to maintain and contributes to a more hygienic environment. For these same reasons, stainless steel is a great choice for a kitchen backsplash.

However, like tin, stainless steel backsplashes are susceptible to scratching and dents, which are common problems in the kitchen. Though the material is less expensive than some other metals, it is more expensive than others, such as ceramic.


Copper Backsplashes

Copper is a beautiful finish for a kitchen backsplash, creating a stunning focal point for your kitchen. Copper presents itself as a great choice for a backsplash because it is easy to maintain and conducts heat well, helping it to withstand common kitchen afflictions.

Drawbacks to copper include vulnerability to scratching and denting, which is common in all metal backsplashes. Copper also oxidizes over time and turns green, so you have to polish it and treat it to maintain its beautiful finish.


 Cork Backsplashes

Cork is both flexible and durable, helping to stand the test of time in a busy kitchen. It has a quirky appeal that creates a unique design element, giving your kitchen a focal point that will start a conversation.

As an added bonus, cork helps to absorb sound, muffling the noise from loud appliances and from the banging of pots and pans.

Though cork is generally a very durable material, enabling it to withstand scratching or chipping, it is vulnerable to tears and to fading over time. A bit surprisingly, cork can also be a bit expensive, putting it beyond the budget of some frugal homeowners.

These common backsplash materials all have advantages and disadvantages, with some better holding up against wear and tear over time and others being more budget-friendly or offering more versatility in design. Choose the material that can create the look you want at the price you want.


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