SIZE MATTERSWith the continuing trend of larger, open concept kitchens, many people forget that a slab comes in a finite size. With that in mind, Kevin always suggests designing a space around the slab size, with particular attention paid to where a seam may be placed based on the material and dimensions. Seam placements should be a key point of discussion with the fabricator, who will know best where they can be placed to be as inconspicuous as possible.
HOLDING PATTERNCarefully consider the pattern, veining or featured element in the slab and its position in the room. For example, to showcase the dynamic veins of Statuario Maximus, you may want them to be centered in your full height backsplash. Or perhaps you’ll want the veining to run left to right, or right to left. Either way, make sure that the slab size allows for it and that the desired look is communicated and mapped out with your fabricator before any work begins.
THROUGH THICK AND THINAnother thing to consider is the thickness of the material and the proximity to other elements such as the faucet. Caesarstone is available in a variety of thicknesses from 1.2cm to 3cm. However, 1.2cm and 2cm thicknesses are recommended for full height backsplashes. Any thicker can leave you with less overall countertop space and room for the faucet.
INSTALLATION PREPARATIONBefore your full height backsplash is measured, plan your cutouts for electrical receptacles, plumbing lines for pot filler faucets or any other custom cutouts. Have window sills, ledges and trim in place before the backsplash template. Remove any valences from the bottom of the upper cabinetry and leave them off until the backsplash is installed.
ISLANDS IN THE THEMEA growing trend sees designers pairing a stunning feature island countertop, in colours such as Calacatta Nuvo or Statuario Maximus, with a matching full height backsplash in the same material. Designers then choose a complementary colour for the perimeter countertops. The interplay between the island and the matching material echoed on the backsplash wall creates a visual cohesion that delights the eye.
FREE RANGEWe also see a strong trend of full height backsplashes extending from behind a range all the way up to the ceiling, instead of a traditional upper stove cabinet with a suspended hood fan.
ALL THE WAY UPAnother trend on the rise is an entire wall, from lower cabinetry to ceiling, clad in a full height backsplash with no upper cabinets. These layouts truly showcase the beautiful patterns in nearly a full slab of material on the wall, creating a stunning statement in a space.
STEP BY STEP
- Select a colour and determine whether or not it is available in an extra-large slab size (for larger applications).
- Measure area where backsplash will be as precisely as possible for accurate quoting purposes.
- Determine where you would like patterns and seams (in consultation with the designer or fabricator).
- Arrange for a template.
- Have valences removed and all cutouts for electrical receptacles planned and in place, or designated on a prepared drywall surface; remove existing tile if present and ensure window trim and ledges are in place (for precise measurement).
- If one is getting new countertops and backsplash, the backsplash will be professionally measured after the countertop installation to be as precise as possible.
- Prepare for installation.
- Have receptacles on-site to test fit.
- Some dry grinding may be required on-site—for best fit, some pieces may need to be slightly adjusted during installation. (This happens due to walls not being exactly straight and flush, especially with more mature homes).
- Have an open and clear path into the space, free of debris.
- Remove any objects from existing countertops.
- Get ready to enjoy an inspiring new backsplash.