Adding a backsplash is one of the best ways to update the look and feel of your kitchen. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to buy your new kitchen backsplash. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of various backsplash retailers so you can find the perfect product for your needs.
Purchasing Backsplash at Big Box Home Improvement Stores
Home improvement mega-stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer an extensive selection of backsplash tiles and panels. The variety of styles, colors, materials like ceramic, glass, and stone make these retailers a one-stop shop. You can easily view samples in-store and get help from knowledgeable sales associates.
The key advantage of big box stores is the convenience of purchasing everything for your project in one place. You can buy tiles, grout, adhesive and tools all under one roof. Their buying power also allows competitive pricing, and many run frequent sales and clearance events.
However, the inventory may be limited compared to tile specialty stores. You also may not find more unique or high-end tiles. Delivery and installation are typically not included unless you hire a store-recommended contractor.
Shopping at Local Tile Showrooms
For a wider selection of backsplash tiles, visit local tile showrooms. These specialty retailers have a much broader array of colors, designs, materials, sizes, and shapes. Their staff is highly knowledgeable to help you match existing elements like countertops and cabinets.
Tile showrooms also offer custom ordering if you can’t find what you want in-store inventory. Many provide design services to create a backsplash layout and suggest creative patterns. You’ll also find more high-end, luxury tile choices.
The biggest downside is potentially higher prices than home improvement chains. You may also need to visit multiple showrooms to view all the styles that interest you. And you’ll still need to purchase grout, tools, adhesive elsewhere.
Buying Backsplash Tile Online
Online tile stores have exploded in popularity in recent years. Retailers like Wayfair, TileBar, and Backsplash.com offer an astounding array of backsplash tile at affordable pricing. You can filter selections by color, material, finish, mosaic, size, etc. to quickly hone in on products matching your backsplash vision.
Buying tile online provides flexibility by having samples or entire orders shipped to your home. You can take your time reviewing options without feeling sales pressure. Many ecommerce sites also offer design ideas and excellent customer service.
However, you miss out on the ability to see tiles in person before purchasing. There’s also the hassle of having to return any selections that end up looking different than expected. And no guidance from expert design staff like at showrooms.
Purchasing Backsplash at Kitchen & Bath Showrooms
Kitchen and bath showrooms offer an amazing selection of backsplashes purpose-designed for these important living spaces. You’ll find materials like granite, marble, and quartz alongside glass, ceramic, and metal tiles. Their backsplash options are designed to perfectly complement their cabinetry and countertops.
The ability to see full kitchen displays allows you to visualize how a backsplash will look in your final design. Many kitchen showrooms also offer professional design services and installation. You can get everything – cabinets, countertops, flooring, and backsplash – fully coordinated.
The tradeoff is typically paying higher prices at these showrooms compared to big box stores. You’ll also likely need to hire their team for design and installation rather than DIY. Lead times for custom orders may be longer as well.
DIY Backsplash Options
If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, consider using backsplash panels or smart tiles for a quick, budget-friendly upgrade. Peel-and-stick backsplash panels from big retailers like Lowe’s and Amazon can be installed directly over existing surfaces. Smart tiles attach to each other via magnets or adhesive strips, no grout or tools needed.
DIY backsplash products can be installed in a fraction of the time versus tile. Many feature waterproof, durable materials that resist stains, mold and mildew. The variety of colors and patterns give you lots of design flexibility too.
The biggest tradeoffs with DIY panels or smart tiles are having fewer design, color and shape options versus tile. They also offer a more temporary solution if you plan to later replace with a permanent backsplash. Adhesives may also damage walls when removing.
How to Choose Where to Buy Your Backsplash
When deciding where to purchase your new backsplash, consider the following:
- Style – If you want popular subway, mosaic, or ceramic styles, home improvement stores are ideal. For stone, glass, or metal, visit tile showrooms. Kitchen showrooms offer backsplashes made for high-end finishes.
- Budget – Big box stores typically offer the most cost-effective backsplash tile options and sales. But kitchen showrooms allow bundling cabinets, countertops and backsplash into one package.
- Convenience – Home improvement stores allow fast, one-stop shopping. Online retailers ship samples and orders to your home. Showrooms provide full-service design and installation.
- Quality – Local tile showrooms provide highest-quality artisan, luxury or custom backsplash tile options. Big box DIY panels compromise quality for convenience.
No matter which option you choose, always review product specifications like ratings for durability, stain resistance, color consistency and more. Examine grout color options, installation methods, and any warranties offered. With the wide diversity of backsplash retailers, you’re sure to find the perfect product to make your kitchen shine within your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions on Where to Buy Kitchen Backsplash
Where can I buy affordable backsplash tile?
Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer the most affordable selection of quality backsplash tile. Their buying power allows competitive pricing on ceramic, glass and stone tile. Always watch for sales and clearance items to maximize value.
What backsplash materials are best for the kitchen?
Ceramic, glass and porcelain tiles are ideal for kitchen backsplashes thanks to their water and stain resistance. Subway tile, mosaics, and stone like granite are also popular options that create a timeless, elegant look. Metal backsplashes also make a contemporary, industrial statement.
Where can I find unique kitchen backsplash ideas?
Local tile showrooms offer the most unique kitchen backsplash options you won’t find at big box retailers. Many also provide design services to help customize creative patterns and layouts combining different tiles. Social media and home blogs are great for discovering backsplash design inspiration too.
Should I install the backsplash myself or hire a pro?
Basic subway tile layouts are often DIY-friendly if you’re comfortable with the process. More complex patterns, large format tiles, or natural stone are best left to tile installation pros to ensure it’s done correctly. Many retailers also offer installation services.
Where can I buy discontinued or clearance backsplash tile?
Check big box home improvement stores for discontinued or clearance tile – you can find great deals on these backsplash materials. Online retailers like Wayfair and Overstock also often have backsplash tile on clearance to make room for new inventory.
The ideal backsplash brings your dream kitchen design together, while also protecting walls from splatters and spills. With many factors to weigh like style, cost, quality, and installation considerations, take your time researching the many backsplash buying options. Finding the perfect product for your needs can make cooking and entertaining in your kitchen a true joy.