Upgrading your kitchen with a new backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of the space. When chosen thoughtfully, a backsplash not only provides an eye-catching focal point but also serves practical protective purposes. Granite has become a highly popular backsplash material for kitchen remodels thanks to its versatility, durability, and elegant visual appeal. This complete guide covers everything you need to know about implementing granite backsplashes in your own kitchen.
What Are Granite Backsplashes?
Backsplashes are vertical surfaces along countertops, ranges, and sinks that protect the walls from moisture, stains, and damage. They commonly consist of 4-inch strips of material but can also extend continuously from countertops to cabinets for a seamless look.
Granite is a highly durable natural stone valued for its hardness, stain resistance, and luxurious appearance. It has become a go-to material for backsplashes, complementing granite countertops beautifully while providing an impervious guard between your workspace and walls.
Definition and Purpose of Backsplashes in Kitchens
Backsplashes serve both aesthetic and functional roles in kitchen design. Visually, they act as an eye-catching focal point and opportunity to infuse color, texture and personality. Practically, backsplashes safeguard walls from inevitable splatters, drips, and stains that result from cooking and cleaning. They protect susceptible wall materials like paint and wallpaper from damage.
Typically positioned between countertops and cabinets, backsplashes prevent food, water, grease, and liquids from seeping onto walls and down to baseboards. Their water-resistant surface makes them easy to wipe down and keep sanitized.
Types of Materials Used for Kitchen Backsplashes
Some popular backsplash materials include:
- Ceramic or porcelain tile
- Natural stone like granite, marble, travertine
- Glass, metal, and acrylic sheets
- Mosaics made from stone, glass, or ceramic
The choice comes down to factors like budget, durability, ease of cleaning, and style preferences. Granite is one of the higher end options, valued for its elegance and protective qualities.
Overview of Granite as a Backsplash Material
Granite is an igneous rock formed from cooled magma, made up of quartz, feldspar, and various other minerals. It is an extremely hard, durable, and nonporous material. As a backsplash, granite’s key advantages include:
- Stain, scratch, and heat resistance
- Low water absorption and impervious to liquids
- Resists growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria
- Easy to clean and keep sanitized
- Matches granite countertops seamlessly
- Visually appealing polished or rough finishes
Granite must be professionally installed and requires yearly sealing for stain protection. Costs are higher than materials like tile or laminate.
Benefits of Using Granite for Kitchen Backsplashes
Let’s look closer at what makes granite an exceptional choice for backsplashes:
Durability and Strength
As one of the toughest natural stones, granite is almost impossible to scratch, chip or crack. It holds up to heavy impacts remarkably well. The high silica content of granite makes it heat resistant as well, so hot pans can be placed directly on it.
Granite backsplashes are built to handle the messiest cooking endeavors flawlessly for years. Spills and stains wipe off easily without etching or discoloring the surface. You can cook comfortably knowing granite has your walls covered.
Stylish, Elegant Visual Appeal
Beyond being incredibly durable, granite is valued for its sophisticated aesthetic. The polished or honed stone finish brings an upscale, timeless elegance to kitchens.
With colors ranging from solid neutrals to bold multicolored patterns, granite provides endless design options. It complements granite countertops seamlessly while introducing eye-catching detail.
Granite backsplashes blend beautifully in traditional, modern, or eclectic kitchens. The natural stone texture adds instant sophistication.
Practical Protective Qualities
The nonporous, stain-resistant surface of granite makes it easy to keep backsplashes looking pristine. Water, grease, and grime simply bead up and wipe away with minimal effort.
Granite prevents food particles and liquids from being absorbed into the walls and causing permanent damage. Baked on messes can be chiseled off and stains from spices or sauces are easily removed.
In addition, granite resists the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. For sanitary reasons, granite backsplashes are far superior to porous options where germs can take hold.
Choosing the Right Granite Backsplash
Selecting the perfect granite backsplash involves decisions regarding size, color, pattern, and overall styling.
Backsplash Height and Coverage Area
Full height backsplashes provide a seamless transition from countertops to cabinets, offering a sleek unified look. However, the size and cost may be prohibitive.
The 4 inch standard size offers a good compromise, protecting the immediate wall area while leaving upper walls open for contrasting paint or wallpaper.
Determine how much wall space needs coverage. If you frequently cook sauces or children in the home make messes, a larger backsplash can be wise.
Selecting a Color and Pattern
Granite backsplash slabs come in a diverse range of colors and patterns. Cool-toned grays, warm beiges, striking black, sleek white, and vivid colorful granite can all complement different decors.
Pair a dramatic bold granite with more subdued cabinets and floors to let it shine. For a subtle statement, soft neutral granite blends in while adding depth.
Granite can be uniform or exhibit sweeping veins, speckles, and movement. Busy granite pairs well with plain cabinets, while solid backsplashes allow ornate cabinetry to take center stage.
Complementing the Overall Kitchen Design
Match your kitchen’s design aesthetic when selecting a granite backsplash style. Contemporary spaces suit modern polished granite in solid hues or clean patterns. Classic granite patterns work for traditional spaces.
Your chosen granite can match elements like countertops and floors or provide contrast to add interest. Just ensure the scale of the pattern suits the size of your kitchen so it doesn’t overwhelm.
Getting the Most Value for Your Budget
Exotic, rare granites can be pricey, while more common types keep costs in check. Quality also impacts price; commercial quality granite costs less but has more flaws. Savings can be achieved by limiting backsplash size.
Factor in professional installation and any custom cutting or special edging needed. An experienced installer will get the job done quickly with minimal waste and optimum results.
Installation and Maintenance Tips
Proper installation and care are key to maximizing the longevity of your granite backsplash.
Hiring a Professional Installer
Due to the weight of slabs, specialized cutting, and precision bonding involved, installing granite backsplashes is best left to seasoned professionals.
Be sure to hire a reputable installer who surveys your kitchen first and specializes in granite. They should outline all needed materials and final costs, providing a transparent quote.
Caring for and Cleaning Granite
For regular cleaning, wipe down granite backsplashes using a mild detergent, warm water, and soft cloth. A thorough clean can be done annually using a granite-safe cleaner and nonabrasive scrubbing pad.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning agents to avoid residue buildup. Check manufacturer guidelines before using any chemical cleaners on granite.
Sealing granite every 10 to 15 months will maintain its water resistance and prevent stains. Use a granite-specific commercial grade sealant, applying a thin even layer.
For small chips or cracks, color-matched epoxy can fill in the flaws for a seamless appearance. Larger damages may necessitate slab replacement.
To remove stubborn stains, start with a poultice drawing agent to pull out the stain before attempting other chemicals. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
With proper care and maintenance, your granite backsplash should stay in excellent shape for decades before needing replacement. Be sure to address any damage promptly to avoid bigger issues.
Introducing a granite backsplash is one of the most effective ways to elevate your kitchen’s functionality and visual appeal. With the right granite choice, professional installation, and regular upkeep, you can enjoy this striking and practical upgrade for years on end.
If our complete guide has inspired you to implement a granite backsplash in your own kitchen, the next step is to engage with stone suppliers and installers. They can help tailor the perfect solution to match your precise space, needs and style.
A well-chosen granite backsplash harmoniously brings together aesthetics and practicality – safeguarding your walls while providing a luxurious focal point. With proper planning and care, your new granite backsplash can handle anything your busy kitchen dishes out while retaining its enduring elegance.