Backsplashes are an important design element in any kitchen. Not only do they protect your walls from water damage and stains, they also add visual interest and tie the whole kitchen together. If you’re looking to install a backsplash in your cocina (Spanish for kitchen), it helps to know the correct Spanish terminology. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to say backsplash in Spanish.
What is a Backsplash in Spanish?
In Spanish, the most common word for a backsplash is “salpicadero”. This directly translates to “splatterboard” or “splatterback”, referring to the backsplash’s function of protecting the wall from splatters and spills while cooking.
Here are some examples of how to use salpicadero in Spanish:
- Voy a instalar un salpicadero nuevo en la cocina. (I’m going to install a new backsplash in the kitchen.)
- Los azulejos son una buena opción para el salpicadero. (Tile is a good option for the backsplash.)
- Necesito limpiar el salpicadero porque está manchado. (I need to clean the backsplash because it’s stained.)
- ¿De qué color debería pintar el salpicadero? (What color should I paint the backsplash?)
Salpicadero is the most common Spanish word that specifically means “backsplash”. However, there are some other terms you may come across:
- Protector de pared (wall protector)
- Revestimiento de pared (wall covering/lining)
- Chapa de pared (wall plate/sheet)
- Lamina protectora (protective sheet/layer)
While these can refer to any wall lining or covering, in the context of a kitchen, they are often used to mean backsplash.
Spanish Words for Types of Backsplash Materials
Just like in English, there are many different materials that can be used to create a backsplash. Here are some common Spanish words for backsplash materials:
- Azulejo: Glazed ceramic tile
- Baldosa: Ceramic tile
- Mosaico: Mosaic tile
- Ladrillo: Brick
- Piedra: Stone
- Mármol: Marble
- Granito: Granite
- Madera: Wood
- Metal/acero inoxidable: Metal/stainless steel
- Vidrio: Glass
- Quiero poner azulejos en el salpicadero. (I want to put tiles on the backsplash.)
- Un salpicadero de mosaico se vería muy elegante. (A mosaic backsplash would look very elegant.)
- El mármol es una buena opción para el área del salpicadero. (Marble is a good option for the backsplash area.)
Questions and Key Phrases about Backsplashes in Spanish
If you’re having a backsplash installed by a contractor, here are some key Spanish phrases and questions you may need to know:
- ¿Cuánto cuesta instalar un salpicadero? (How much does it cost to install a backsplash?)
- ¿Cuánto tiempo tomará la instalación? (How long will the installation take?)
- ¿Necesita retirar el salpicadero viejo? (Do you need to remove the old backsplash?)
- ¿Qué tipo de salpicadero me recomienda? (What type of backsplash do you recommend?)
- ¿Puede instalar un salpicadero de azulejo/mármol/piedra? (Can you install a tile/marble/stone backsplash?)
Some terminology the contractor may use:
- Retirar el salpicadero anterior (Remove the previous backsplash)
- Preparar la superficie (Prepare the surface)
- Cortar las baldosas/azulejos (Cut the tiles)
- Instalar (Install)
- Aplicar el adhesivo (Apply adhesive)
- Enlechado de las juntas (Grouting the joints)
- Sellado (Sealing)
Tips for Installing a Spanish Backsplash
If you’re installing a backsplash yourself in your Spanish-style kitchen, keep these tips in mind:
- Choose materials that are durable and water-resistant like ceramic tile, metal, or stone. Azulejos (glazed tiles) are a popular traditional choice.
- Make sure the surface is properly prepared by cleaning and evening out the wall. Apply any necessary backerboards or waterproof membranes.
- Lay out your design and make necessary cuts before installing. Plan for outlets and switches.
- Apply a thinset mortar adhesive using a notched trowel to adhere the backsplash pieces.
- Let the adhesive cure fully (at least 24 hours) before grouting joints. Clean excess grout.
- Use a grout sealer to protect porous materials like natural stone. Apply a silicone caulk where the backsplash meets the countertop or other surfaces.
- Clean any grease, dirt, or residue from the finished backsplash with neutral cleaners and avoid abrasive scrubbing. Reseal as needed.
With the proper salpicadero installed, you’ll be able to cook chorizo y papas fritas sin preocupaciones! (without worries)
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Say Backsplash in Spanish
Here are answers to some common questions about Spanish backsplash terminology and installation:
What is the most common Spanish word for backsplash?
The most common Spanish word is “salpicadero”. This directly translates to “splatterboard” or “splatterback”.
What are some other ways to say backsplash in Spanish?
Other terms include “protector de pared” (wall protector), “revestimiento de pared” (wall covering/lining), “chapa de pared” (wall plate/sheet), and “lamina protectora” (protective sheet/layer).
How do you say backsplash materials like tile, marble, or metal in Spanish?
Common backsplash materials include “azulejo” (ceramic tile), “mosaico” (mosaic tile), “mármol” (marble), “granito” (granite), “madera” (wood), “metal/acero inoxidable” (metal/stainless steel), and “vidrio” (glass).
What questions should I ask a contractor in Spanish about installing a backsplash?
Key questions include asking how much it costs, how long it will take, if they need to remove the old backsplash, what type they recommend, and if they can install your desired material like tile or marble.
What important terminology should I know for installing a backsplash myself in Spanish?
Handy installation terms include “retirar” (remove), “preparar la superficie” (prepare the surface), “cortar” (cut), “instalar” (install), “enlechado de las juntas” (grouting the joints), and “sellado” (sealing).
How do I properly care for and clean a backsplash in Spanish?
Use neutral cleaners and avoid abrasives. Reapply grout sealer and other sealants as needed. Check that caulk lines between the backsplash and other surfaces remain intact.
Key Takeaways on How to Say Backsplash in Spanish
- The most common Spanish word for backsplash is “salpicadero”, which literally means “splatterboard”.
- Other phrases like “protector de pared” or “revestimiento de pared” can also be used.
- Know terms for backsplash materials like tile, marble, metal, and glass.
- Ask questions about cost, time, demolition, recommendations, and material capabilities when hiring a contractor.
- Useful installation terms include preparation, cutting, adhesive, grouting, and sealing.
- Maintain any Spanish backsplash by using gentle cleaners, reapplying sealants, and checking caulk lines.
With this Spanish backsplash vocabulary under your cinturón (belt), you’ll be ready to create a cooking space that is both útil y hermoso (useful and beautiful). ¡Buena suerte con tu proyecto de salpicadero! (Good luck with your backsplash project!)
How to Install a Backsplash in Spanish
Installing your own backsplash (salpicadero) can update the look of your cocina (kitchen) while also protecting the walls from splatter and stains. With some planning and the right materials, you can achieve a Spanish-style backsplash that is both bonito (beautiful) and resistente al agua (water-resistant).
Selecting Backsplash Materials
Choosing the right backsplash tiles or sheets is an important first step. Some popular options for an aesthetic that fits Spanish, Mexican, or Southwest décor include:
- Azulejos: These small, glazed ceramic tiles come in colorful geometric patterns. Azulejos are very traditional for Spanish backsplashes and walls.
- Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: Get a rustic Spanish look with terracotta colors. Or choose darker tiles for contrast against white cabinets.
- Talavera Tile: Handmade Mexican ceramic tiles have colorful, hand-painted designs. Use them for a focal backsplash behind the range.
- Adobe or Terracotta: Rustic, earthy backsplash material that references adobe architecture.
- Saltillo Tile: Terracotta-colored clay tiles with an uneven, rough texture. Great for traditional aesthetics.
- Subway Tile: Classic white or colored rectangular tiles arranged in a brick pattern. Affordable and easy to install.
Once you’ve selected your backsplash materials, make sure to buy 10-15% extra in case any tiles get damaged or need to be cut to fit.
Preparing the Backsplash Area
Proper prep trabajo (work) will ensure your backsplash sticks and lasts:
- Remove the old backsplash if there is one using a cincel (chisel) or martillo (hammer).
- Clean the wall area thoroughly to remove polvo (dust), grasa (grease), or suciedad (dirt).
- Make any necessary wall repairs with masilla (spackle) or yeso (drywall compound).
- Apply cinta adhesiva de enmascarar (painter’s tape) around the edges to protect cabinets and countertops.
- Measure and mark the área (area) for things like interruptores de luz (light switches), enchufes (outlets), or tuberías (plumbing).
Installing the Backsplash
Follow these pasos (steps) for proper instalación (installation):
- Spread thinset mortar adhesive on the pared (wall) with a llana dentada (notched trowel). Only cover a small area at one time.
- Coloque (place) the backsplash tiles or sheets and press them into the thinset firmly. Use spacers between for even juntas (joints).
- When the adhesive is secado (dry), apply grout between the tile juntas using a float. Limpie el exceso (wipe off excess).
- Allow the grout to cure fully before continuing to the next steps.
- Apply un sellador o silicona (sealant or caulk) around edges, counters, sinks, or other seams.
- Clean the finished backsplash with a limpiador suave (mild cleaner) and warm water. Avoid abrasivos (abrasives).
¡Ya está! You have successfully installed your propio salpicadero español. Disfruta cocinando con tu nueva pared bonita y resistente. (Enjoy cooking with your beautiful new resistant wall.)
FAQ About Installing a Spanish Backsplash
What kind of tile or material should I choose for a Spanish style backsplash?
Traditional options include azulejos, Talavera, terra cotta, ceramic, porcelain, or subway tiles. Choose colors and patterns inspired by Spanish or Southwest design.
What tools do I need to install a backsplash?
Helpful tools include a notched trowel, grout float, spacers, tape, chisel, hammer, and caulk/sealant. Have a sponge and bucket handy as well.
Can I install a backsplash directly over drywall or do I need a backerboard?
For moisture-prone kitchen backsplash areas, a concrete board or other backerboard is recommended under the tile.
How long does thinset mortar take to dry before grouting?
It depends on the product used, but generally 24-48 hours. Check the adhesive instructions to verify drying time needed.
Should I seal my backsplash after installation?
Sealing is a good idea for porous tiles like terracotta, saltillo, or natural stone. Use a penetrating sealer made for your backsplash material.
Backsplash Design Ideas for a Spanish Kitchen
The backsplash is a great opportunity to add visual interest, color, and Spanish character to any cocina (kitchen). From traditional azulejos to handmade Talavera tiles, creative backsplash designs can make a big impact.
Historic Moorish tiles called azulejos are iconic in Spanish decoration. Available glazed and colorful, azulejos can create stunning backsplash designs:
- Geometric patterns for an authentic touch
- Bold colors like red, yellow, green, or blue
- Random colored patches for a mosaic look
- Border tiles to frame the backsplash area
- Accent tiles behind the stove or sink
Mixing azulejo patches with solid tiles can give you flexibility in the overall design.
Tile Shape and Layout
Beyond the tiles themselves, the layout and shape make a difference:
- Rectangular subway tiles in offset brick or herringbone patterns
- Small hexagons or largers tiles laid in geometric designs
- Mini mosaic tiles arranged in pictures or medallions
- Stacked stone for texture and rustic ambiance
- Horizontal planks paired with vertical accents
Frame decorative sections with basic tiles to give them prominence.
Bold Colors and Patterns
Vivid colors and striking patterns are a hallmark of Spanish style:
- Contrast white cabinets with an intense backsplash like flaming red or deep blue
- Use colors inspired by spices like saffron, paprika, cumin, or chili powder
- Incorporate themes like floral designs, seashells, or Spanish crosses
- Handpainted Talavera tiles with images of birds, landscapes, or people
Don’t be afraid to combine colors in geometric or creative combinations.
For more subtle Spanish styling, consider natural backsplash materials:
- Weathered terracotta or adobe tiles
- Rough stone slate in earth tones
- Clay tiles with uneven surfaces and color variation
- Wood planks with visible grains and knots
- Wrought iron accents with ornate shapes and scrollwork
Mixing modern elements like stainless steel with rustic materials can provide contrast.
Take inspiration from Spanish architecture, textiles, and artworks to design a backsplash that truly refleja tu estilo (reflects your style). Let your creativity shine!
FAQ About Spanish Backsplash Design
What are traditional backsplash materials used in Spanish style kitchens?
Authentic options include ceramic tiles like azulejos, Talavera, or terra cotta. Also popular are colorful mosaics, polished stone, brick, and handpainted tiles.
How can I incorporate Spanish themes or colors into my backsplash design?
Use vivid hues seen in Spanish textiles or ceramics. Add tiles with images of flowers, animals, crosses, or people. Feature bold geometric patterns found in Moorish designs.
Should I arrange Spanish-style backsplash tiles in a special layout?
Offset brick patterns, zig-zag herringbone designs, and mosaics arranged in pictures or medallions all evoke Spanish style. Use decorative borders and accents.
What’s a quick way to get Spanish character without fully tiling a backsplash?
Use strips or medallion shapes of Spanish-style tile as accents against a simple backsplash material. For example, use Talavera tile behind the stove.
Can I match my Spanish backsplash to my countertops?
It’s recommended to use backsplash and countertop materials that coordinate, but don’t try to match colors and patterns exactly. Provide some contrast.
How to Clean and Care for a Spanish Backsplash
To keep your cocina backsplash looking magnífico for years to come, it’s important to clean and care for it properly according to the material. Follow these tips to help maintain your Spanish tile, stone, or other backsplash.
- Use a mild jabón (soap) or detergente (detergent) rather than harsh cleansing chemicals
- For daily cleaning, wipe with warm agua (water) and a small amount of liquid soap
- For deep cleaning, use a specialized tile and grout cleaner or pulidor de piedra (stone polish)
- Avoid abrasive limpiadores (cleaners) like scouring pads or powders that can scratch or damage the surface
- Sweep or dust the backsplash first to remove any loose suciedad (dirt) or residues
- Mix the cleaner with warm water according to directions and apply to the surface
- Allow the cleaner to soak in for several minutes before frotar (scrubbing)
- Use a soft esponja (sponge) or cepillo de cerdas suaves (soft bristle brush) in circular motions
- Enjuague (rinse) thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a lint-free towel