The Modern, Minimalist Allure of White Washed Brick Backsplashes

White washed brick backsplashes offer the perfect blend of rustic and refined for today’s contemporary kitchens. With their distressed finishes that look straight from a chic farmhouse, whitewashed brick brings textural contrast and vintage character to sleek, modern spaces.

From covering up existing tile to sprucing up boring drywall, a whitewashed brick backsplash can transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Keep reading to discover the technique’s rise in popularity and why designers and homeowners can’t get enough of this interior trend.

White Washed Brick Basics

So what exactly constitutes a white washed brick backsplash? At its core, the term refers to brick that has undergone a whitewashing treatment to achieve a lighter, more neutral color palette.

Real Reclaimed Brick vs Faux Panels

When planning a whitewashed backsplash, the first decision is whether to use real reclaimed brick or faux panels designed to mimic the look of brick. Here’s an overview of each:

  • Genuine Reclaimed Brick: Using secondhand brick from old buildings or demolition sites offers unmatched authenticity. The bricks develop a true aged patina over decades. However, working with reclaimed brick costs more and requires precise masonry skills.
  • Faux Panels: Brick veneer panels offer DIY-friendly convenience, affordability, and uniform sizing. Advanced manufacturing techniques produce surprisingly realistic faux brick finishes.

Achieving the Perfect Whitewashed Look

Whitewashing brick involves using a paint and water mixture to achieve a washed-out, distressed aesthetic. Here are tips for flawless results:

white wash brick backsplash
  • Use white semi-gloss paint for best adhesion and wipeability
  • Dilute paint with equal parts water for ideal whitewash consistency
  • Apply two coats, allowing full drying in between
  • Rub lightly with a damp rag to reveal some underlying brick
  • Seal with a protective coating to prevent moisture damage

This technique leaves subtle brick texture peeking through, with varied amounts of white for an antiqued look.

Designing With White Washed Brick

From traditional to modern spaces, whitewashed brick backsplashes contribute understated texture and dimension. Here’s how to incorporate it elegantly:

Qualities That Make It So Versatile

Whitewashed brick adapts well to many aesthetics because it strikes an artful balance of looking aged yet still crisp and clean. Key advantages include:

  • Softer, lighter appearance than typical red brick
  • Distressed character that adds depth without darkness
  • Neutral base that plays nicely with any color scheme

Matching Decor Styles

With its rustic roots yet refined finish, whitewashed brick aligns seamlessly with several styles:

  • Contemporary: Contrasts sleek lines with organic texture
  • Farmhouse: Embodies the cozy, timeworn charm of authentic farmhouse living
  • Cottage: Light and airy look complements cheery cottage spaces
  • Rustic: Brings dimensional detailing in a brighter, cleaner way than typical rustic materials

Creative Incorporation Tips

Behind ranges or surrounding windows, whitewashed brick backsplashes inject visual interest. Other creative applications include:

  • Use extra panels for a paneled accent wall effect
  • Line the wall behind open shelving for a constructed look
  • Incorporate into an large island for multi-dimensional allure
  • Flank outer edges of a backsplash with different tile down the middle

Consult a designer to discover unique ways to utilize whitewashed brick specifically suited to your kitchen’s footprint.

Installation and Preparation

Tackling a backsplash installation presents a prime DIY opportunity. Here’s how to handle it yourself or assess contractor requirements:

DIY vs Professional Installation

Skill level and project scope impact whether DIY makes sense, or if you’re better off hiring a pro. Compare considerations below:

DIY Backsplash InstallProfessional Backsplash Install
  • Lower overall cost
  • Satisfaction of completing yourself
  • Basic tiling skills needed
  • Time investment of learning & doing all work
  • Hassle-free designer collaboration
  • Perfect results from experts
  • Complex jobscompleted safely & efficiently
  • Higher project cost

Pre-Installation Prep Work

Proper planning prevents problems down the road. Be sure to complete the following before installing your whitewashed brick:

  • Select backsplash area thoroughly cleared of old tile/fixtures
  • Wall surface flattened for seamless adhesion
  • Electrical/plumbing elements moved if in the way
  • Materials purchased – brick, adhesive, grout, tools etc.
  • Backsplash design finalized – layout, cuts, fixtures

Step-By-Step Installation Guide

Once prepped, use this process for DIY success:

  1. Map out planned brick layout with painter’s tape
  2. Apply thinset mortar adhesive using proper trowel technique
  3. Set bricks one-by-one using spacers for consistent grout lines
  4. Allow to fully cure before grouting (at least 48 hours)
  5. Mix and apply grout using grout float for even distribution
  6. Wipe excess grout off bricks smoothly to prevent uneven drying
  7. Remove spacers once grout has cured, usually 72 hours

Note that genuine reclaimed brick weighs significantly more than faux panels. Be sure to use products designed for the weight you’re dealing with.

Maintenance and Protection

The right care regimen keeps your whitewashed brick looking like new. Follow these upkeep tips:

Cleaning Recommendations

Grout lines and brick surfaces require periodic cleaning. Use the gentlest method that effectively lifts dirt and grime:

  • Mild detergent and warm water
  • Grout brush for concentrated grout cleaning
  • pH-neutral cleaner for occasional deep-cleaning

Check manufacturer guidelines before using acidic cleaners. Reseal grout lines after intensive cleaning.

Sealing for Protection

Sealing whitewashed brick backsplashes every 1-2 years prevents staining and moisture damage. Using a sealant formulated for brick and grout provides a protective barrier repelling liquids and debris.

Repairing Chips and Cracks

Despite its durable composition, chips or cracks can still happen. Address promptly to avoid exacerbating damage. For small flaws, whitewash brick paint kits simplify touch-up jobs. Use color-matched caulk to fix slight grout cracks. Extensive damage may require professional patching or full bricks replaced.

Inspiring Whitewashed Brick Backsplash Ideas

Convinced of whitewashed bricks’ charm? The following kitchens demonstrate creative applications of this trend across decor styles:

Modern Rustic Beauty

Contrasting dark wood cabinets, this sleek modern kitchen gains cozy texture from an expansive whitewashed brick backsplash. The distressed brick prevents stainless steel appliances and surfaces from feeling too clinical.

Farmhouse Chic Personified

No design epitomizes farmhouse chic quite like a whitewashed brick backsplash! Paired with classic shaker cabinets, an oversized porcelain farmhouse sink, and antique-inspired lighting, this charming space truly transports owners to pastoral living.

Spa-Inspired Serenity

Bringing the look of a luxurious spa oasis home, this bathroom features whitewashed brick lining the tub niche and vanity backsplash. Accented by marble countertops, sconces, and accent tile, the brick ties the soothing space together.

Rustic Modern Statement

This modern kitchen makes a bold statement by extending whitewashed brick to cover an entire wall, creating focal point texture. The varied white brick shades prevent overwhelming. Keeping surrounding cabinetry simple allows the dynamic brick display to shine.

Costs and Budgeting Factors

Achieving your dream backsplash on budget involves balancing material costs, labor fees if not DIYing, and installation factors requiring extra expenditure. Here’s an overview:

Comparing Brick Panel vs Genuine Brick Costs

Brick TypeTotal Project Cost
Faux Brick Panels$15-$30 per sq. ft. installed
Authentic Reclaimed Brick$30-$50 per sq. ft. installed

Custom cutting, special adhesives for heavy brick, added lighting fixtures, or appliance integration can increase costs in any project.

Saving Money Through DIY

For DIYers, sourcing economical materials and putting in your own elbow grease significantly cuts project spending. Savvy savings tactics include:

  • Order affordable brick paneling online
  • Shop discount outlets for tools/supplies
  • Carefully calculate measurements to minimize wasted materials

Even Kickstarting installation then hiring a pro to finish could balance cost with customization.

Alternatives to Whitewashed Brick

While no material perfectly replicates aged whitewashed brick, several modern alternatives mimic the aesthetic. Consider options below based on your priorities:

MaterialPriceDurabilityEase to Install
White Subway Tile$$********
White Shiplap Planks$********
Poured White Concrete$$$******
Whitewashed Wood$$*******

Consult designers to discover which material aligns best with your kitchen’s existing elements and overall vision.

Defined by supple textures and adaptive coloration, few materials embody both rugged and refined better than whitewashed brick. The technique’s renewed popularity for kitchen backsplashes results from an ability to feel nostalgically weathered yet still clean and contemporary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *