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Choosing the right backsplash for your home, rental or investment property does more than protect your kitchen walls—it protects your hard-earned money. 

When you choose to invest in real estate, whether buying a home for yourself or a rental property, one of the responsibilities that comes with it (or should come with it!) is bringing or keeping it up to date. In your own home, regular updates not only make it more enjoyable to live in the space, but also allow you to reflect your personal style. In a rental, it can enhance value, improve the likelihood you will retain quality renters and even protect the property itself.


One such improvement is often relatively inexpensive, but can make a big impact: the installation of a new kitchen backsplash.


What was once simply installed for practical purposes—or sometimes not at all—is now being used as both a design element and a protective shield against damage to plaster and drywall. Best of all, there are a host of options to choose from including tile, metal and stone.


When choosing a backsplash, it’s important to consider a number of factors:


Own vs. Rent or Flip

A highly customized backsplash, such a mosaic made from broken tiles or sea glass, may appeal to you personally and reflect your inner creativity. In a property you’re looking to either rent or flip, however, choosing a backsplash that is more neutral in terms of color and style is probably a better idea. Neutral doesn’t have to be boring, however: a green glass subway tile adds color and can even make a kitchen feel larger or brighter.



Generally installed behind sinks and stoves, a backsplash should be durable enough to withstand water, grease and other items which can potentially damage or stain walls. When choosing a backsplash, think about how easy it will be to clean as well as how it will hold up to repeated scrubbings with soap, water and household cleaners. Pebble backsplashes, which are becoming more common, look great but the uneven surface and wider grouting can make them difficult to maintain. Natural stone tiles are beautiful, but also require frequent sealing. Especially in rental homes, instead consider a ceramic, glass or porcelain tile which are easier to maintain (and replace if damage does occur.)



Part of investing in real estate means understanding what’s expected by those who will buy or rent your property. Installing a lower-end 4 x 4” tile in a high-end property isn’t going to attract or impress. Choosing ultra-expensive custom tiles for a high turnover student rental will generally be both a waste and a frustration. Instead, choose the right backsplash application for the right space—one that will both meet buyer or renter expectations while making the most of your investment.


Choosing the right backsplash for your home, rental or investment property does more than protect your kitchen walls—it protects your hard-earned money. has a great article about current backsplash trends as well as the pros and cons of each of the featured types. Find it here.


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