Good lighting is essential to effective kitchen design – but increasing the amount of light might be tough if you’ve got a lot of cabinetry filling the walls. If you’re looking for an innovative way to provide additional lighting underneath kitchen countertops consider two alternatives – (1) an illuminated backsplash or (2) a glass block kitchen backsplash. Both options will not only create a cool look – but will also improve safety when preparing meals and generate a focal point in your design as well. Learn more about these choices below:
Option 1 – Natural Lighting – the glass block kitchen backsplash – Although the use of a glass tile backsplash is quite hot for a contemporary European oriented designs – glass blocks are currently an underutilized building material. With the glass blocks (unlike glass tiles which are adhered to the wall) when you create an opening in the outside wall you get natural light streaming onto your countertops.
These glass block windows can be made with vinyl frames (which makes for a simpler installation in a wood framed opening) or unframed (which is used more frequently in masonry openings). Since the faces of the blocks are tempered and 3/8” thick they are sturdy and nearly impossible to break. You can choose from clear glass blocks or for additional style select from 108 different colored or frosted glass blocks. There are even two blocks (Opal and Silver) made with metallic flecks that sparkle like a granite or quart solid surface countertop.
Option 2 – LED Illuminated Backsplashes – Another way to create a functional and slick design to add illumination is with LED Illuminated backsplashes. These products feature LED’s encased in aluminum frames of glass or acrylic. The light that can be generated from these is similar to a fluorescent under-cabinet fixture. The LED will last at least 60,000 hours and because they are edge lit there is no need to have access to a light box. They are available with single color illumination or full color changing abilities with a mixture of 4,000 available colors. They can be a cool and functional element for a modern European style kitchen.
Traditional Options If you want to explore more traditional options consider the following:
- Mosaic, antique or ceramic tile backsplash – there are lots of tile options to match almost any decorating style.
- Stainless steel backsplash – very sleek and modern appearance originally used in commercial kitchens.
- Wallpaper backsplash – the cheapest option, but also the most prone to getting dirty and needing to be replaced the quickest.
- Beadboard backsplash – creates a warm feeling but it can be difficult to clean.
- Glass tile backsplash – very sleek, contemporary but prices can be high.
- Granite or marble backsplashes – elegant look to match up with many different decors.
Do you have any questions or insights about kitchen backsplashes? If so – please comment below.
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