8 Signs You Need a New Kitchen Backsplash

by Sam Ferris
When it comes to your kitchen backsplash, there are some things duct tape, super glue and spit shine can't fix. There's a certain point every homeowner reaches in their kitchen where renovation is the only solution on the table. If you're seeing one of these eight signs, it's time to face the facts: your kitchen backsplash has probably overstayed its welcome.?
Kitchen backsplash with old wallpaper Corpus Christi, Texas
Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy.
1. ?Your current backsplash is wallpaper from 1985
In 1985, Pluto was still a planet, Siri didn?t exist, and you actually had a home phone line (maybe you still do if your kitchen backsplash is wallpaper from 1985). A lot has changed in the last 30 years; your kitchen backsplash should be no exception.

Glass mosaics and subway tile are today?s go-to choices. Natural stone, whether it?s tumbled or splitface travertine, is also a nice replacement for dated wallpaper. All it takes is light prep work to install tile over your wallpaper.

If you?re fond of wallpaper, there?s good news for you: it?s making a comeback in kitchen design (and by comeback, I mean it should have left your home years ago, ahem). Choose a contemporary pattern for a quick spruce-up.?
2. ?You're hosting Christmas dinner this year
October is the Sunday night of home remodeling. These 31 days are crunch time for DIY touch-ups and last-minute renos before family arrives in town.

If it?s been more than a decade since you last hosted a holiday dinner, you might as well change your kitchen backsplash along with your place mats and yard lights. Backsplashes are quick fixes and don?t cause a lot of dust and dirt. You can even buy a new backsplash and have a professional install it for less than $5,000.?
3. ?You want your home to sell
I won?t mince words: kitchens sell homes. Buyers expect an up-to-date backsplash along with stylish cabinetry and durable countertops such as granite or quartz.

Before you mount a ?For Sale? sign in your front yard, put a new kitchen backsplash on your home improvement to-do list (unless you?ve recently remodeled). It?s a small renovation that can boost your home?s value, especially if your kitchen cabinets and countertops are market ready.?

Unsure whether to get a new backsplash or not? Here?s a good rule of thumb: if you wouldn?t buy it as is, replace it.?
Outdated kitchen backsplash
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
4. ?Your twentysomething doesn't like your style
So your twentysomething says you?re stuck in the past. Join the club. (Admittedly, I?m that twentysomething.)?

It?s annoying to hear, sure, but we may have a point. We grew up in an era where trends are literally at our fingertips. If you find yourself agreeing after the initial sting wears off, a new kitchen backsplash is the perfect way to change your kitchen?s style.

So what kind of backsplash suits your design style? The science is definitely debatable, but here?s a list of what?s what in interior design:
  • Contemporary: Mixed glass mosaics, herringbone patterns
  • Modern: Subway tile, pristine marble finishes
  • Rustic/Farmhouse: Subway tile or natural stone, including splitface and tumbled travertine
  • Industrial: Any type of grungy or metallic textures
  • Traditional: Porcelain or ceramic tile, or natural stone

?*Don?t forget to consult with your twentysomething before you decide on a new style.?

5. ?Your current backsplash is scarier than Halloween
If guests think your kitchen backsplash is part of a haunted house getup, it?s time to buy a new one. Chips, cracks, duct tape, and missing tiles don?t belong in ordinary homes.
But before you head to your local flooring store, evaluate why your backsplash is in shambles. Did you fail to care for it properly? If so, read up on maintenance for the type of material you have. Is it cracked? If so, you may have foundation issues or need to have your cabinets leveled. Is a piece or two missing? Well, let?s hope there aren?t any unwanted visitors in your home.?
6. ?The Joneses did it
Backsplashes are like babies and cars. As soon as the Joneses sport a new one, you wonder if you should, too.

The answer is ?yes,? but not because we want to spark a passive-aggressive game of one-upmanship. It?s because the improvements your neighbors make to their homes also affect the value of your home.
Think about it. Your home probably costs around the same as your neighbors, give or take several thousand dollars. But they?ll have the upper hand on the market with a freshly renovated home. Buyers like move in-ready houses. Make sure your kitchen backsplash is ready to roll.?
7. ?Mom wants a new one
Need I say more? What mom wants, mom gets ? and that includes home improvements.?
New kitchen backsplash and countertops Tukasa Creations in Corpus Christi, Texas
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
8. ?You're changing your countertops
The downside to new home improvements is that they make the rest of your home?s features look and feel, well, older. ?This is especially true of kitchen backsplashes.

Upgrading your laminate counters to granite or quartz is good reason to shop for a new backsplash. You?re already one step ahead in the design process: it?s always easier to match materials with your countertops than vice versa.

Granite and quartz countertops each pair well with glass mosaics, subway tiles, ceramic and porcelain tiles, and natural stone such as travertine and marble. The choice is solely a matter of personal preference.?

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