Beautiful tile can add an extraordinary element to the design of your kitchen or bath. The use of rich textures, hand carved designs, and fabulous colors offer unlimited options. Expert kitchen and bath designers are known for creating a dramatic visual impact using color, varying sizes, blending and mixing materials, switching directions, adding a rope detail or border, creating a tile “rug,” tile mural, or intricate mosaic. You can tell a story with tile when applied in an artistic way. You can use slate, marble, limestone, travertine, granite, ceramic, porcelain, glass, metals and metallics, mosaics, and cork. Your backsplash selection can really make an impact in your design and allow you to add your own personality to the space.

There are several ways you can work with your kitchen designer when selecting tile. Kitchen designers are happy assist you in your selections and can approach tile selection in three ways. 1) Sometimes clients pick out what they like and bring it back to show the designer for his/her “blessing.” The designer will help decide if it is all going to work together. 2) Sometimes clients prefer to take their designer with them to the tile store to make selections together. 3) Sometimes the  designer will go and pick the tile themselves and present  recommendations to the client. If the client is also working with an interior decorator, then the decorator works with them on options #2 or #3.

Tile can be purchased by the client or through the designer. The advantage of buying tile through your designer is that you don’t pay anything more for the tile. If the designer is involved, then the designer takes the responsibility for measurements, ordering, coordinating, and delivery.

Installation costs will vary based on the complexity of the backsplash design. At Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, our installers will do the installation. When budgeting for tile, note that more intricate, labor-intensive designs might add additional costs. In addition, certain kinds of materials like marble often need to have sealers, so consider the cost of both buying the sealer and the labor involved to seal the tile. You may also need extra time to let the sealer dry before you can go back and grout it.

Below is a sampling of some of the amazing things our designers have done with tile. (A few have the video links so you can see the entire kitchen. Be warned, there is music I hand selected to represent the feel of each. Feel free to turn sound off by clicking the speaker on the video screen) — If sleep weren’t a requirement, I’d get the videos done for more of our projects! I have some  new photography I’d love to share. 

Tile up wall

Custom tile backsplash murals can offer an artistic focal point. This is actually my own kitchen. I had this glass mosaic made based on a personal painting created for  me by a friend. The dogwood flowers at each side match the two dogwood trees I see from each window at the left and right of the stove.

tile geometric

We achieve different effects by using different sizes of tiles for a “tile rug.” Mario placed this border around the center island. See project details for this kitchen here.

kitchen designs by ken kelly designer tile 3

We sometimes use small tiles and a random color pattern to create colorful visual energy. This floor is all glass (no not slippery). I haven’t made the video yet for this kitchen, but it has had some press. Bubble glass tile surrounds a custom ceramic focal point in recycled bottle caps, buttons, beads and broken pieces of china. See project details for this kitchen here.

kitchen designs by ken kelly kitchen designer don hochheiser tile1

Sometimes we just have plain old fashioned fun with tile.

kitchen designs by ken kelly designing with tile 6

Use of metallics and roping add an interesting elegance.

kitchen designs by ken kelly backsplash tile designs 7

Here Mario created a mediterranean feel with painted tile. See project details for this kitchen here

country charm tile - kitchen designs by ken kelly CKD CBD CR

Adding a touch of country charm. This was one of the coolest projects I ever had the luxury of being a part of. The client had a historic home, and we salvaged old stair bannisters and used them in the kitchen. We also used an old copper pot found in the garage for the kitchen sink. See project details for this kitchen here.

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