Tried and tested in industrial kitchens for decades, stainless steel has emerged as the staple material for many contemporary, sleek and stylish home backsplashes. While it is one of the easiest to maintain, it can be very pricey. Here, we have listed a few of the pros and cons of choosing steel for your new backsplash.
Why choose stainless steel?
Unlike other metals, stainless steel does not need to be polished and will not corrode, discolour or fade over time. It’s also very easy to wipe away spills so it’s very hygienic, and there are even cleaners on the market that can take care of fingerprints!
The catch… While its malleability makes it good to fit into or around unusual spaces, it’s not as durable as other materials and can scratch and dent easily. If you are worried about marks, you might like to consider textured steel:
This quilted steel from Brooks Custom
(US) is one unique textured option
Or you could try textured or ribbed steel with glass tile insets, like Konstel
(US) has done. Notice how they have also continued the design in line with the bottom kitchen cabinets.
As with other backsplash materials, stainless steel offers a range of design options. With steel, it’s easy to think “sheet metal” and limit your ideas, but there are a range of ways the metal can be shaped, pressed, textured (like the designs above) or cut to suit your tastes and kitchen space. Depending on the theme of your kitchen, you could combine sheets or tiles with coloured countertops, or go for a chic, modern design teaming it with all-stainless appliances – it’s up to you! To read more about kitchen themes, check out our Tips For Selecting The Perfect Backsplash For Your Kitchen.
The catch… The more adventurous you get, the higher the cost. Sheets can start at about $20 per square foot, whereas tiles and textured designs can range anywhere from $40 to $200. However, just like ceramic tiles, you can save on installation costs by doing it yourself with adhesive or screws (as long as you have the sheet made to fit your measurements). Just make sure you plan well so you know where to look for a stainless steel option that suits your budget.
Notice how Metal Masters North West
(US) have added a sharp, contemporary edge to traditional wood-panelled cabinets and ceramic counter tops.
This unique kitchen combines ceramic tile pieces with jagged cuts of stainless steel to create a striking look.
One of the great things about steel and other metallic materials is that it is 100% recyclable - and therefore environmentally friendly! Here, Eco-Friendly Flooring
(US) have combined recycled aluminium to form a chic tiled look.
For more information on how you can make your kitchen renovation more enviro-friendly, check out our "Kitchens with a Conscience" in Kitchen Trends.
Other Options For A Metallic Kitchen Backsplash
If you like the idea of using metal in your kitchen, but want to try something a little different, you could also consider zinc, aluminium, tin or copper for your backsplash. Just remember - copper especially will need to be buffed and polished to maintain its appearance! Or if cost is a major concern, you can pick up imitation metal laminate from your local home renovation store for a quarter of the price!
The catch… If you do decide to go with metal, remember that it is great at conducting heat! As a result, a cooking area hot pots and pans can lead to a very hot backsplash and maybe even burns. Just be careful and allow it to cool – as you would before cleaning your hot stove top – and any risk can be avoided.
This copper backsplash with embedded grapes by Copper Things
(US) gives the kitchen a warm, old-world feel.
This tailored copper design by Griswak
is a great example of how a backsplash can be incorpated into your entire kitchen.
Another option if you want metal tiles is to choose tin. You can get a range of different patterns, like these by Tin Valley Works