Backsplashes are a canvas for making your ideas come alive with materials ranging from tiny glass mosaic tile to traditional subway tile.
A backsplash is a vertical extension to a counter–typically kitchen or bathroom counter–which protects the wall from unintended splashes of water or food. It can extend a few inches high or go as high as the ceiling.
Backsplashes are found typically in kitchens and sometimes in bathrooms, directly behind sinks and usually stretching the entire length of the counter.
Their purpose is primarily functional: to protect the wall behind the sink against water damage from inadvertent splashing. In the kitchen, backsplashes cover other parts of the countertop besides the sink area, so they also help protect the wall against grease splatter when cooking or food splatter during the cooking process. Due to the amount of water and abuse that kitchens get, it is almost unthinkable not to have a backsplash along the back of the countertop. In bathrooms, you can manage without a backsplash in some situations. If you have a sink counter that does not butt up against the wall (a pedestal sink, for example), your need for a backsplash is only aesthetic.
Backsplashes are more than just functional, however. Built with care and an eye towards the creative, backsplashes can be a beautiful addition to your kitchen or bathroom–almost like a permanent picture on the wall.
Usually backsplashes are designed out of tile. Glass mosaic is the most popular form of tile backsplash. However, other materials, such as granite, Corian, Silestone, stainless steel, etc. can also be used. Ceramic tile and stone are more common backsplash materials. Vitreous ceramic tile (slick surfaced) or glass offer great wipe-down ability, preferable when cleaning up grease splatter behind and near stove tops.