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I want to update my backsplash – what material should I choose? Add to ...

The question

I want to update my backsplash, but I am overwhelmed by all the options. Do you have any suggestions?

The answer

Since there are so many materials to choose from, it might help to decide first what look you want to achieve; the materials might then become obvious. I’ll give you a few examples.

Industrial: Stainless steel has a crisp commercial-kitchen feel, especially if the counter is also stainless.

Sparkly: You could install mirror, but be sure to keep lots of Windex on hand and carefully plan your seams and electrical outlets.

Quietly luxurious: A simple slab of stone in a honed finish is clean and practical – but not inexpensive. (A more affordable facsimile could involve installing a four-inch stone border where the counter hits the wall and, above that, tile, vinyl wallpaper or even durable high-gloss paint.)

Modern: Back-painted glass works well and has the advantage of being a snap to wipe up.

Classic: I love the timeless look of a honed black granite countertop paired with a matte white marble backsplash. Whatever material you choose, it should fade away and not be too fussy. In other words, you don’t want your backsplash to make too much of a splash.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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