Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer
I have just about everything decided for my kitchen design now…except for the backsplash and walls.
Y’all, I’ve been making myself crazy with this decision. I originally thought I’d use white subway tiles. I really, truly love subway tiles, and I think the bright white would be a beautiful contrast with my green cabinets, but subway tiles are everywhere lately. White subway tiles with dark grout seems to be the popular thing now — a look which I personally can’t stand because it highlights every single spacing imperfection in the grout lines, and the last thing I need is for my grout lines to drive me insane. But white subway tiles just seem to be the “go to” backsplash for DIYers on a budget.
And really, the last thing I want is to have something that everyone else has. (The more popular something becomes, generally the less I like it.) 🙂
So I’ve been looking for other ideas. And last night as I was flipping through my March 2014 issue of House Beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice the unique backsplash in the Kitchen Of The Month.
Kitchen with fabric backsplash, via House Beautiful
Kitchen with fabric backsplash, via House Beautiful
I just assumed that it was a fancy (and very expensive) mosaic tile, but then I read the description and found that it’s actually Lee Jofa fabric underneath glass!
Fabric as a backsplash! Can you even imagine the possibilities? They’re virtually endless!
Okay, the glass could potentially be very expensive, depending on how big your kitchen is and how much backsplash area you have to cover. And of course, you’d have to check your local building codes to see what kind of glass you’re required to use. I read somewhere yesterday that any glass in a kitchen that’s below five feet has to be tempered, but I’m not sure if that’s true everywhere.
But still, don’t you think this is an idea that can easily be DIYed somehow? It just seems like there has to be a low cost way to achieve this look.
Here’s a fabric backsplash in a kitchen by designer Denise McGaha.
Kitchen with fabric backsplash, designed by Denise McGaha
Kitchen with fabric backsplash, designed by Denise McGaha
For that backsplash, Denise used a Trina Turk outdoor fabric from F. Schumacher. I think it looks amazing!
And another fabric backsplash. This one is by Incorporated Architecture & Design.
Eclectic Kitchen by New York Architects & Designers Incorporated
I’m really loving this idea! I honestly don’t know if it’s something that would work in my kitchen (might be too busy, but of course, that would depend on the fabric), but at least it got me thinking outside the box on kitchen backsplashes. This creative idea might lead me to another ingenious idea that will finally get me away from the ubiquitous subway tile.
Or, I might end up with subway tile. 🙂
But it’s fun to think of the possibilities!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
Jo VanNormanApril 22, 2014 at 9:28 am
Have you given any thought to having the fabric laminated? I had that done to fabric for dining room chairs and it lasted for ever and you could just wipe anything off…might be cheaper then glass.
Alicia YoungApril 22, 2014 at 9:35 am
Where or how do you have fabric laminated? Is it expensive? The only thing close to that idea that I’ve had is to use oilcloth.
TraceyApril 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm
Have you thought about trying plexy glass instead of glass.
EllenApril 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm
I thought about Plexiglass too, but I wonder about the scratching.
Kristi LinauerApril 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm
I definitely don’t like how easily plexiglass scratches. It can also become dull and discolored.
Jo VanNormanApril 24, 2014 at 9:43 am
Had mine done at an upholstery shop…this was about 30 yrs ago…back then it only added a few dollars per yard…but those dining room chair seats looked like new even after 20 yrs of daily use
Susan SmeltzerAugust 26, 2015 at 1:50 am
The laminated idea is great! I’m thinking of a fabric under glass backsplash too. I wonder how easy it would be to get laminated cloth to lay flat? glued/mounted on plyboard maybe?
jillApril 22, 2014 at 9:28 am
I have white subway tile we put in about five years ago. At the time everyone was doing white grout too but after we had the tiles up but before the grout, we really liked how the dark lines b/t the tiles gave it much more interest and character. We also went for a tile that looked more handcrafted, not perfect…a bit of a “wave” to it. Anyway, we still love it. I also think the fabric under glass is a great idea, just don’t know if you would want that long term in all the backsplash area. Seems more like something you might use in one area…for example your bank of cabinets
MelissaApril 22, 2014 at 9:29 am
This is such a neat idea, though it sounds like a really scary and involved DIY. I immediately thought about Braemore Fioretto Sprout Fabric for your kitchen though.
Whatever you choose will be lovely I’m sure!
BobsGalApril 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm
Love that fabric…… Lovely, subtle pattern… Great suggestion…..
Melanie FreemanApril 22, 2014 at 9:31 am
It would really depend on the fabric. I love the combination of the green cabinets, white countertop (stone or concrete) with the warm metallic backsplash in your inspiration kitchen. That could be fabric or a faux paint treatment- but it really gives that kitchen a jewel box effect, it’s that counterbalance that will keep the green from weighing it down visually. I can’t wait to see what you do!
MelissaApril 22, 2014 at 9:35 am
I have also seen some really unique DIY mosaic backsplashes in the blogosphere!
Darnell BakerApril 22, 2014 at 9:43 am
Why not put up the white subway tiles and then mount the glass over it so you could have fabric when/if you want it and remove the fabric and glass and just have the subway tile? Win/win !
TessApril 22, 2014 at 9:44 am
I considered subway tiles and even glass tiles but I change my kitchen around so much that when I do I’m really glad I didn’t go with the tile that I though I loved just a couple of years ago. So I’m afraid to commit to anything. I’m not like you, in that I’d just rip it out and do it over again, once its in there I would hope it would stay for a LONG time. I’ve been in the same limbo you are in for ten years now. You are so DIY that you won’t be the scaredy cat that I am so I can’t wait to see what you do!
AlexandraApril 22, 2014 at 9:45 am
It looks lovely in the pictures, but a busy backsplash would drive me crazy very quickly. And I wouldn’t want the backsplash to be the focal point of the kitchen either. I can’t wait to see what you do.
[email protected]://buildingsandcastlesinthewind.blogspot.com/April 22, 2014 at 10:40 am
I’m with you Alexandra. Although I think it is beautiful I don’t think I could deal with the busy quality of it unless the rest of my kitchen was VERY neutral. I like the white subway look although I am partial to the dark grouting which I think gives it a bit more character and modern uptake to it.
JeanApril 22, 2014 at 9:51 am
Just one word from you’re mom:
In each of those pictures I didn’t even notice the kitchen itself. The back splashes are so overpowering. I know you could use something calmer. I also wonder how practical it really is. It would have to be sealed to be sure that liquid can’t seep under it. But I would think you would want it to be easy to change the fabric when you get tired of it. I vote for subway tile!
Kristi LinauerApril 22, 2014 at 10:07 am
Well, darn. Just rain on my parade, why don’t you. 😀
JeanApril 22, 2014 at 10:19 am
You can always depend on me for an honest opinion.
Sue SchlangeApril 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Listen to your Mom! Noooooo! Way too much going on with fabric patterns. That said, I personally don’t care for subway tiles, either. They are everywhere!
GailApril 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm
Hate to rain on your parade, but I don’t like the fabric or subway tiles either! Have you thought about doing another awesome mural like the tree w/birds you did at the condo? That was a true original – shows who you are, and doubles as artwork too! And as you know, easy to paint over if you ever get tired of it! OR you could add a feature to the design to mark milestones in your life/home. Can’t wait to see what you do! You know we chickens are living vicariously through your web site!
KarenApril 22, 2014 at 10:02 am
I second your mom’s advice – just look at how bland the kitchens in the pictures are! And consider how many great and lovely ideas you already accumulated for your cabinets – I guess they would clash with a vivid fabric or the fabric would draw the attention away from all that detail. And if you choose a calm (or bland) fabric, then you might as well go with the white tiles (they are a classic and won’t go out of fashion quickly, I suppose) – as I suppose they are cheaper, easier to install and to clean than the glass/fabric combo… Well, I’m looking forward to what you decide, I sure, you’ll astonish me (yet) again 🙂
StanaApril 22, 2014 at 10:04 am
What a great idea! Looking forward to what you find out about using glass to cover the fabric. These examples are WOWZERs, but I could see a nice gingham in my own kitchen or a pretty floral or the vinyl lace tablecloth fabric at Joann’s. Glue that stuff up and awaaaay we go.
P.S. Your mom is funny.
BeverlyApril 22, 2014 at 10:09 am
You could get acrylic pieces cut to size….probably less expensively than glass..and less breakable. How about covering a piece of thin wood with the fabric and then using a brush on sealer on it–kind of decoupage style. Then when you want to change out the fabric it wouldn’t be as difficult and yet it could still be cleaned. Also I would put some sort of backsplash (countertop material??) so the fabric isn’t touching the counter, but rests a couple inches above it to help keep it cleaner. Can’t wait to see what your creativity leads to !!!
Susan anApril 22, 2014 at 10:15 am
Dare I suggest mirror? Large mirrors, not small. It would help bounce light around and would be easy to change out if you change your mind.
domApril 22, 2014 at 10:18 am
I live in an apartment and could not change the backsplash. I had plexiglass cut to size years ago at home depot and i have fabric behind it. I love it and it is attached with a few brass screws. I change out the fabric with the seasons and love it. so easy to clean. I have the fabric attached with tiny amount of mounting putty and it never shifts. one the glass is on it stays perfectly. when I move i can just spackle the tiny holes where the screws were.
Susan SmeltzerAugust 26, 2015 at 1:52 am
That sounds great, can you post a picture or two? Maybe a close up of how it’s attached?
julieApril 22, 2014 at 10:22 am
Another no vote here. Very cool idea, but with your very colorful cabinets I think it’d be waaaaaay too busy. If everything is a focal point, then nothing is a focal point. I am also in the midst of trying to decide what to use as a back splash. Subway tile is on my list. Sometimes I think I want something more creative and more unique. I thought of encaustic cement tiles. But then every time I see a pic of a kitchen with subway tile I swoon. So, I dunno. Hard to beat classic.
CindyApril 22, 2014 at 10:22 am
I love the idea of the fabric behind glass! It is definitely original and it seems like it could give you more options for making changes over the years without having to completely redo your kitchen. If you find just the right design to complement the green cabinets, I think the total package will be dynamic. I personally hate subway tiles. It reminds me of older style bathrooms and kitchens or public restrooms. Plus it lacks character and most definitely COLOR. I grew up in a house of sterile white walls and I HATED it. Now that I have the chance to incorporate color in to my world, it’s all over the place! I say look in to the glass option. What could it hurt? Right? My only concerns are the expense and the sealing-kitchens are very wet areas.
Carol FApril 22, 2014 at 10:23 am
Why don’t you do something like you did in your fire place. Faux tile, and be unique about shape and color.
PatApril 22, 2014 at 10:26 am
I think the gold/brass colored backsplash is an important element in you inspiration piece. How about using that color in fabric or even wallpaper. You could also think about using plexiglass instead of glass for protection. I have also read about make your own oilcloth. And have you read about using starch to adhere fabric to walls. From what you said you do not cook much so are you going to get your backsplash that dirty? Maybe one type by the sink and stove and something different (gold) on that buffet wall.
I have read your blog for a long time; I love you SPUNK!
stacyehApril 22, 2014 at 10:26 am
I absolutely love it! I’m not a cookie cutter type girl when it comes to decorating. I like bright and different. I don’t want to hurt any feelings but I get so tired of seeing these white on white kitchens and off-white on off white living spaces. I love that the decorating magazines are taking a turn toward bright and cheery. You can always find a fabric that is not real flashy so that it doesn’t compete with the cabinets. I’ve have been just the opposite of the normal thinking for a kitchen backsplash. I am painting my cabinets gray and I didn’t want a backslash that just melted into the background. You have given me inspiration, If you go this route I would be interested in seeing what you come up with to minimize the cost because I do agree that glass would be expensive. Love your blog!
Susan M.April 22, 2014 at 10:29 am
I did something similar for a Xmas Open House as a temporary décor. I applied the fabric to a piece of Sure Ply that was cut to fit the opening and used acrylic rather than glass – much more cost effective.
CarolApril 22, 2014 at 10:30 am
How long b etween times you change things? That busy fabric is very trendy right now, but next year it will be something else and busy patterns get old very fast. I have a lovely 6×6 cream tile and dark grout. Behind my stove I can set pretty plates, baskets or anything that fits my fancy. I have even used decorated charger. Every one thinks it’s very pretty. I know y ou ready for all the mess to be cleaned up and you can get to work using it.
AndreaApril 22, 2014 at 10:31 am
Interesting, very interesting as I look at my kitchen with subway tiles (with white grout), 😉 The fun thing about your fabric idea- is that you could trial run it by mounting it temporary panel and seeing if it does make it too busy. So if it is- you just incorporate that onto a wall panel in that snazzy way you do- or a floor runner or whatever your awesome brain cells tell you to do.
ALISONApril 22, 2014 at 10:33 am
It’s a unique idea, but maybe it’s unique cause it doesn’t look so great.Maybe the right wallpaper would work, but me no like.
EileenApril 22, 2014 at 10:35 am
I vote white subway Tile. They’re classic and never dated. For the unique factor perhaps scour eBay for small inexpensive artwork that can be changed out by theme or season.
Becky ButlerApril 22, 2014 at 10:37 am
I really think that would detract from your kitchen. You have chosen such pretty accents and an unusual color. My neighbor priced having a glass backsplash in her kitchen last year and it was cost prohibitive. I can’t remember the amount, but she was able to have glass tile installed for less. I know whatever you decide, it will be great, but somehow subway tile just seems like it would be better in this case.As always, I’m anxious to see what you decide.
DebApril 22, 2014 at 10:40 am
Kristi, I love the look, but I have to second your Mom’s comment. I think this may be meant to be somewhere else in your house, but I think it would get a little overwhelming as a backsplash. Plus, trying to get grease off of glass. Ugh. Think bathroom glass shower doors. However, thanks for the great idea. Been looking high and low for some art and now I think I’m going to do fabric under glass to get exactly the colors I want. P.S. thanks to your inspiration, just finished upholstering a headboard for my mother-in-law. Have not upholstered in 30 years.
dianeApril 22, 2014 at 10:42 am
You can also put wallpaper under acrylic or glass which could give you the metallic look. It can be changed out as styles change.
LindaApril 22, 2014 at 10:48 am
I think its a great idea! But those are to busy! I like it because you could change so easily!
MarthaApril 22, 2014 at 10:49 am
Have you considered plexi or acrylic and underpainting with spray paint? Ive done this with tables and then glued them down and they look great. I think it would look great as a backsplash. I agree that fabric is too busy.
Kristi LinauerApril 22, 2014 at 10:45 pm
I just tried out this idea (or something similar) today on glass rather than plexiglass. I think I love it. I’m posting on it tomorrow.
TammyApril 22, 2014 at 10:49 am
My inlaws did a pallet wood backslash in their kitchen redo lastyear. Behind the sink and stove they covered it with plexiglass and so far no problems. Plexiglass could be a cost saving and easy fabric changing option for you. I love the idea 🙂
Marty GishApril 22, 2014 at 10:55 am
Yes, its beautiful. But unless the edges are somehow sealed, I can see the edges of the fabric yellowing after time. I had a fabric under acrylic thing on a door (where you push it open) and it discolored after time. Of course, I guess you could just change the fabric when you want or need to!
Lysa ByousApril 22, 2014 at 10:56 am
I am going to agree with Beverly’s suggestion of sealing a fabric on a piece of Luan. That can easily be changed out when the fabric becomes outdated or too much. We adhered a piece of Luan to our basement bar backsplash and then did a diamond checkerboard with 2 different colors of 12×12 cork panels, covered with a ton of poly and it has held up really, really well to teens and mess. If I want to change it out, I just pull the corners, unscrew the luan and change it out. (It also still works as a cork board)
With the focal fabric, I think just doing the long wall of cabinets would work and the heat/cold/grease concerns would not be an issue. Then I’d do your stove wall in brass or glass tiles for ease in cleaning. Better yet – those tiles that have metal accents in them already!
AngelaApril 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
Could you use Plexi as an alternative? They make it in so many thicknesses. I also saw the comment about lamination, that can always be an option, but laminated fabric isn’t like it used to be. It’s very pliable and made more to upholster with than to put on a wall. P.S. I can get you Lee Jofa fabric through where I work @ Design Trade, we only work with designers. http://www.designtrademkt.com =]
Kristi LinauerApril 22, 2014 at 10:47 pm
Thanks for that resource, Angela! I used to have trade accounts with most of the major fabric houses, but I haven’t used then in a couple of years, so I have no idea if I even still have them. I don’t think I ever had an account with Lee Jofa, though! 🙂
AngelaApril 23, 2014 at 10:54 am
If you check out our website we have lots of different companies, we are like a resource showroom for designers to order from so they don’t have to open their own accounts
GuerrinaApril 22, 2014 at 11:14 am
Sorry…agreeing with the Mom! I think the fabric would work only in a very limited space where it will be the focal point. I vote the subway tiles with white grout! I am not a fan of them with dark grout though I love dark grout on a tiled floor!
Mary Anne LoobyApril 22, 2014 at 11:16 am
Hi Kristi, Fabric as a backsplash has been around for a long time. I can remember using it back in the 70’s. We didn’t have all the tile choices that we have now, or too much of anything, especially for the diy’er. No big box stores, etc. There were two ways we did it back then and neither one involved glass. The first way, closest to glass is plexi glass which is much safer, cheaper and easier to work with. You had your pieces cut, or cut them yourself, if you knew how to cut glass, used a very fine diamond file to make sure you didn’t have any sharp burrs or edges. You had to drill a hole in each corner of the piece and if it were a large piece you had to drill about every 12 to 18 inches. By now the fabric would be on the wall, I used wallpaper paste that I mixed myself and made more watery than normal. I brushed it onto the wall and then applied the fabric starting in an upper corner and brushing it out with a wallpaper brush making sure it was smooth and there were no wrinkles. I would let it dry and then put the plexiglass over it. Countersink the screws and and put decorative thingeys over the holes. The thingeys looked like little brass flowers. It was a long time ago so my vocab memory isn’t the greatest. I am sure they had a name. The other way that I have done it with out the plexi glass is to appy the fabric in the same way, and after it is dry, apply three coats of clear sealer. Dry time in between is very important, I would use a day for each. Todays product are so much more advanced you could probably do this with a sprayer. I would stay away from the glass. It will cost a fortune, unless you can salvage some from old doors and windows and cut it to size. As far as the laws go, I have no idea, I do remember when my kids were small the law changed regarding glass in screen doors, it had to go to plexiglass. I think it is a cool idea. You can always change the fabric when you get tired of it. I do love white subway tiles and I think they are timeless. I hate them with dark grout. I hate any white tile with dark grout. That is just my taste. I am sure you will love whatever you do, just don’t go to crazy. You have painted cabinets, painted floor, stained concrete counters, you don’t want to get so busy that it overwhelms you. Green and white are such clean and crisp colors and you can bring so many other colors into the kitchen through the breakfast room. Give it some thought. Good Luck, Mary Anne
LindaApril 22, 2014 at 11:17 am
I haven’t read all the post yet but has anyone suggested mirrors yet? (The tile sized type) Easy to wipe clean and could give some light and create space. Maybe sandblast the mirror with your own ‘theme’?
[email protected]April 22, 2014 at 11:23 am
If you really want the look of fabric, why not use washable wallpaper? Same look. Regarding a tiled backsplash, I like having my wall color between the cabinets so although I’ve though of tiling, I won’t. Currently, my countertops are laminate with a little backsplash and that’s all I would do again. Your drawings yesterday were beautiful–both the drawings themselves and the plans. I favor the crown molding if you don’t need the storage space.
ChristineApril 22, 2014 at 11:23 am
I have never noticed the trend of white subway tiles with dark grout. I guess if that’s your thing then go for it, but I personally hate it. It looks like the grout is dirty or worn. O.o
WinnieApril 22, 2014 at 11:28 am
The cabinet treatment you’ve picked is absolutely stunning and if it were me, I wouldn’t want anything to compete with that. I would keep the back splash (and any other wall treatments) neutral so as not to detract from the gorgeous cabinets.
RayleneApril 22, 2014 at 11:28 am
Definitely doable. I have wallpaper under glass in my kitchen. Well glass behind the stove, and Perspex over the rest.we did it ourselves.
EdithApril 22, 2014 at 11:41 am
LOVE IT!! Many seem to think it is too busy. Just use a “calmer” fabrc. That is the best part – so easy to personalize.
ShirleeApril 22, 2014 at 11:47 am
I think if one found a fabric they absolutely loved, it could work. I really like the first two inspiration pics you posted, especially the one with the bright yellow oven.
I’m currently in the middle of giving our 1948 kitchen an update. It’s in really rough shape and a new kitchen is just not in the budget right now.
I found beadboard planks (8 ft long x 3 1/4″ wide) and used those for the backsplash. I don’t quite have your skills or tools but I was able to cut them with a hand saw and use my nail gun to install the pieces right over the old arbourite. I really like how it turned out. I’m still looking for something interesting and colourful for behind the stove.
KarenApril 22, 2014 at 11:49 am
I think you could use wallpaper or even a beautiful wrapping paper under plexiglass. But instead of the bold and busy patterns that would probably get old to you quickly, I would go with a very low key background type pattern. Could be a very muted plaid, chevron, or any like style. I can’t wait to see what you do!
Gail EbelingApril 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm
I just saw a reposition able wallpaper line at target or just stencil a pattern until you get the final aha decision on what you want.
Brenda PawloskiApril 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm
I didn’t have time to read all the comments (yet) so if someone else has already suggested this I apologize, but it would be very cool if your glass or plexi were installed in such a manner that you could easily take it down and replace the fabric when you are ready for a change. You could give the glass/plexi a really good outside cleaning at that time too.
MaryApril 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm
I love your inspiration kitchen and think the green cupboards a show stopper. The Bach splash needs to be in the background.
I currently have a glass backsplash that was painted in the back and siliconed into place. It is a light coppery color and I absolutely love it.
ConnieApril 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm
Mmmn, I just can’t feel it Kristi. Perhaps if the fabric was a tone-on-tone design but I think a busy pattern would detract from the interest items you will have in the kitchen. With the time you are putting into these interest points, I’d hate for them to be overlooked. As for the subway tile, well, I just shuddered. I am so tired of it and it seems as if it has become the ‘go to’ item so you don’t have to think about it. You see it now in the kitchens of the upscale homes in lots of magazines. My sister used subway tile with a charcoal gray grout when she remodeled her kitchen in the ’90’s. Yes, it still works and there isn’t just one kind of subway tile anymore. Some of the newer styles have different textures or tones, even a slight iridescence to them. So, its just a matter of personal taste. It just doesn’t seem like “Kristi” to me.
I have square white tile in my kitchen, and a lot of white walls in the house, all of which are on their way out. No, I haven’t chosen my back-splash yet either. I’ve seen some beautiful examples but they certainly aren’t in my budget. I’ve seen lots of pretty examples but I will have to consider resale at some point so I don’t want anything that will “date” the decor too much. The only thing I know for certain is that I want a metallic tile included in whatever I finally choose. I can’t wait to see what you choose because I know it will fit the flow of the kitchen perfectly.
Oh, and good luck!
Lou AnnApril 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm
I didn’t read every post, but, did anyone mention plexi glass? Would that work. I love the idea.
Samantha VelezApril 22, 2014 at 1:34 pm
What a clever idea. it’s definitely a lot simpler than creating a complex mosaic out of little pieces of tile. Which fabric would you use if you went this route? I love subway tiles but I agree that your kitchen should reflect your own uniqueness.
Karen calladineApril 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm
My instant thought to go with the beautiful green u are using would be a penny splash back as I think the copper would look amazing.
mom24April 23, 2014 at 7:00 am
Ooooohhhhhh, I like this idea!!!
BonnieApril 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm
Ohhh! I hope you do this! I’ve seen it done on HGTV shows but with clear acrylic and also polyurathaning the fabric. If anyone can do it inexpensively, it is you!
KimApril 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm
How would you possibly seal this to prevent dirt from getting behind the glass and wouldn’t it need to be an extremely “fitted” piece of glass? Not sure about how practical it is and I’m someone who truely “cooks” in her kitchen.
Peggy RApril 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm
Hi Kristi: Another idea, because I think fabric would start to age over time is to stencil the back of the glass with paint and then mount it to the backsplash area. You love paint, easy clean up and endless possibilities.
NataliaApril 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm
I liked copper or metal look to the inspiration room. But if not that, since you really liked marble, why not do that for your backsplash? I don’t think you would have troubles with etching if it was only on the backsplash. Good luck.
NancyApril 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm
I like it and it would be easy to change out and change the look of your kitchen.
Genelle McDanielApril 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm
I’m with your Mom! But if you decide to use fabric under glass anyway, then just dip the fabric in starch and press out on the wall. I’ve made several hanging wall cabinets out of old windows and used starched fabric on Luan for the backing. You wouldn’t need the Luan, just starch the fabric right onto the sheetrock. The glass would be the hardest part, and things will seep under the glass. But if you wanted to change fabrics all you have to do is pull the starched fabric and it comes right off the wall.
I love white subway tile, but it doesn’t seem unique enough for your kitchen. I would go to a tile place and pick out some glass tile similar to your fireplace, except primarily in greens with a little brown/tan. Maybe not little squares, but little strips instead. It would accentuate the green cabinets. Or consider pressed tin like they used to use on kitchen ceilings. It is available for backsplashes now. Whatever you do, it will be amazing.
callaApril 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm
How about using concrete, continue the line from the countertop up the wall, there is a product called ARDEX I am not sure if you could do a board down and then nail it up or if it could be put on in small layers up the wall. Just a thought, then it does not compete with the beautiful green on the cabinets. an idea ??
SueApril 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm
Wow! I guess that’s not anything I’ve ever thought of but I like it! The fabric possibilities are endless and probably could easily be changed out. I like the idea of putting it behind glass or plexiglass (check your building codes) so it would stay cleaner longer. I’m super excited to see what you’ll decide.
For the record: I love the clean lines of subway tiles and I think the white would be a crisp contrast to the pretty green of the cabinets.
SusanApril 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm
Love the idea! Have you given any thought to just decoupaging the fabric? Using Modpodge (or similar product) will make it easy to clean. Probably will be a pain to get off if you ever decide to change it though….
EllenApril 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Neat idea, but a large print just doesn’t work for me, it jumps out but is an ‘IN MY FACE’ kinda deal! LOL Something more suttle and I think glass would be too expensive, plexi glass would be better. In our old house, we used a piece of laminated formica for the backsplash and it was really easy to clean and some kind of a decoration could also be hung up in that area that is easy to clean and be changed out – I will be watching to see what you come up with that is unique to you, You are wise to get different opinions and suggestions, for me, friends and family are always coming up with ideas I hadn’t even thought about as possibilities. Good Luck 🙂
Karen MarchettoApril 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm
I took some material and sprayed it on poster board behind my washer and dryer . I used spray adhesive and a glue gun. It turned out great. I measured the space so the poster board would fit perfectly.
LisaApril 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm
Kristi, I haven’t read all the comments but not a big fan of the fabric idea. I love subway tile and I think green cabinets with white subway tile would be beautiful. What about a herringbone pattern with the tile to make it a little unique? I put a dove gray glass subway tile in my kitchen..my cabinets are white and I love it! Can’t wait to see what you decide!
Becky ButlerApril 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm
Talked to my friend who got the bid for using glass on her backsplash. It was 1,600 for her kitchen, which wasn’t that many running feet, but she said that although they gave her a bid, they would not agree to install it. She wasn’t able to find a glass dealer here in Longview that would take the chance on it. Good Luck with you decision.
SheriApril 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm
I vote no on the fabric. Unless you just do a small focal point behind the stove. That would be much too busy for the whole backsplash. I’ll be using subway tiles either in the bathroom or kitchen or both, partly because I like them and partly because they go with the age of the house. But I will probably use white grout. I know the dark grout is period correct, but I can’t stand it. I suggest you look at pictures of glass tiles. I think you would be happy with them. Some friends of mine used a small tile that looked like old glass – it had a rainbow sheen when you looked at it just right. I think that would look great with the color of your cabinets.
Kelly KimseyApril 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm
OK here is the thing. I love the idea… however not for your kitchen. Here’s why- look at all the examples you showed. The cabinets are all boring, plain, white, gray, etc. YOUR cabinets are going to be the highlight of the room. The fabric/glass back splash will only compete with your gorgeous cabinet treatment. I would do a classic tile back splash. But that is me… no matter what you do, it will look great… b/c your projects ALWAYS look great
mom24April 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm
NOT a fan of the fabric! Looks like wallpaper to me and I hate wallpaper in Kitchens. I was thinking the subway tiles would look really pretty in the kitchen even before you said that you had considered them.
marciaApril 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm
White subway tile – timeless – you can use any color with them-classic. Have in my kitchen rehab and one bath. Always with white grout as thin as possible. Lay them out in diagonal, staggered; and design that suits your heart. All the figured will get old and boring (my humble opinion)
MicheleApril 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm
I love white subway tile too but my cabinets are cream and I couldn’t find something I loved (and matched) both my countertop (jet mist granite) and I finally found it, it’s a crackle glass subway tile! It comes in a variety of neutral colors and it gives so much character to our little cape style kitchen!
I LOVE your idea of fabric but I could never commit to a print or such…I’m to much of a plain jane :/. …I say go for it but if you want something more neutral the crackle subway tile is awesome, I get lots of compliments!
arlene mangoApril 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm
Too many posts to read, but did see one about tiles like in your firesurround. It was what I was thinking, white subway tiles herringbone. maybe glazed or antiqued but much lighter than fireplace. I feel the fabric would look too much like Sanitas. But that’s me and you always do a great job. I can’t wait to see what you decide!!!!!
DebApril 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm
I used a wallpaper that looked like tile and varnished over it. I also did a white embossed wallpaper and painted it copper and varnished over it. I have had this for over 18 years and it still looks great and I still love it.
JJApril 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm
Just thought i would throw out some ideas i had when i saw your post…lexan or plexiglass as an alternative to real glass…maybe plates or glass that you could break for the mosaic look and grout into the area.I do agree that a mosaic print could be a bit busy. i like the idea presented by Michele, crackle subway tile just sounds fun.I can’t wait to see what you come up with as I know it will be original and inspiring !!
SondraApril 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm
I’ve thought about the plexiglass thing myself, but the idea I saw was painting the back of the plexiglass a solid color. In the picture I saw, the plexiglass was painted a mint green, then when flipped and hung, the backsplash looked like jadite. It was gorgeous!
Plexiglass is inexpensive and you could do so many things behind it. Then, if you got tired, you rip it off and throw it away.
JessicaApril 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm
I have had the idea for a while now of doing a backsplash using agate slices, adhered with clear silicone, and using black grout. It comes in all kinds of colors, and they’re pretty cheap if you buy them in bulk online.
Lesley Ann SturgeApril 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm
Hi kristie. Lots of comments today. I haven’t read them all so maybe some of the things I’m saying have been said. I just love your idea for the cabinets themselves. They are bright and different. That being said putting a patterned backsplash would certainly take away from them and be to busy. All I would see is the backsplash like in the pictures you have shown. If you were going with light wood or even white the patterned backsplash would work but then it would be the highlight. I like subway tiles and think they never go out of style especially done with white grout. But I’m not sure if it might be to much of a contrast with the cabinets. Your inspiration picture shows a metal like backsplash. Have you considered doing something with pennies. It would give it a glam look for sure. It’s different and you could do it plain or do patterns. Anyway just my humble thoughts. Cheers
DebbieApril 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm
The material under glass is beautiful!
PS. Recently, I padded my coffee table. Material covering was the map of the world.
I used marine vinyl, clear, as the protective covering. Love it! …. Hmmm…. maybe that is something to consider for a backsplash……hmm…my wheels are turning….
LilyApril 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm
Hi how about a penny wall back splash? I’ve seen people do floors with pennies but not back splash and it would look gorgeous against the green cabinets. Not too expensive either. I guess you can mount directly to wall or make on sheet and then hang
Jeanne in AustinApril 23, 2014 at 12:42 am
When I remodeled my kitchen two years ago, I made a fabric backsplash. With simple cabinets (natural birch), I wanted to add color and pattern. I cut pieces of hardboard to fit the space (11 feet long by 18 inches high), glued fabric to them, and then applied three coats of Polycrylic. I wanted a water-clear finish and polyurethane has an ambering effect. (Mod Podge will NOT work—it is not water resistant.) The pattern I chose was basically black and white, and I added color in spots by using craft paints (before applying the Polycrylic). I considered gluing the fabric directly to the wall, but I wanted it to be removable, hence the hardboard. I just used small nails to attach it to the wall and then added narrow moulding to trim it out.
Two years later, I am still very happy with it. The fabric still looks like new, and the Polycrylic protects it and makes it easy to clean. I think fabric backsplashes are unique, the choice of patterns is endless, and they are easy to make. But the pattern must be carefully considered so as not to overwhelm the other components.
PattiApril 23, 2014 at 1:54 am
We ended up using a 10×20 Brown fabric looking tile. It had metallic that went through it also. We set it like subway tile with a strip of glass squares in between. It is different, but something that we will be able to leave up for a long time. The cost was very inexpensive. The look is amazing.
MaríaApril 23, 2014 at 4:10 am
This is it.. https://ieonline.microsoft.com/#ieslice
MaríaApril 23, 2014 at 4:12 am
Antiqued Mirror Splashback. this is it 🙂
Back Painted Glass Backsplash – My DIY Trial RunApril 23, 2014 at 8:23 am
[…] y’all really had some strong opinions about the fabric-under-glass backsplash idea yesterday! 😀 I’m still not ready to resign myself to subway tile (or any other kind of tile for […]
TammyApril 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm
I could sit here and read each and everyone else’s opinion but that would drive me crazy as well it does you but I am WITH YOU…I love that idea especially if it is mounted to where you can change it out when you get tired of it.. I love color myself and I’m sure you could find many different fabric’s that would work well with your green cabinets….I HOPE YOU GO WITH IT….!!!!
MelissaApril 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm
Ikea sells an acrylic coated fabric:
Here’s a blog post showing how it was used on a closet wall:
JanApril 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm
Apologies if this is a duplicate type reply as I admit I have not read any of the other posts to this. I would think you could adhere fabric with wallpaper adhesive and then cover with the glass.
Great inspiration! I am considering it myself as I CANNOT find a tile backsplash design that I like. Too many options that, IMHO, are more trendy and will fall out of fashion quickly anyway. With fabric and glass – gee, should be fairly easy and budget friendly to ‘re-do’ whenever you wanted a quick change without breaking the bank on labor intensive tile, etc.
My cupboards are fairly plain and I’m considering painting as well although they are only 5 years old. I don’t plan on moving soon and I might as well make them the way I want them. Adding a fabric design as a backsplash could be my ticket as I’m also looking for a non-busy counter top (which is still undecided as well).
TinaAugust 23, 2014 at 9:36 am
Funny, I am going through this exact struggle myself. I also came to the conclusion that if I did tile, it couldn’t be subway because it. is. done. and done. and done. no matter what grout you use.
So I was thinking wood and trying to get my head around that as a diy project when…..hallelujah! Like sun from the sky you shined this endless options possibility right in my sleepy morning eyes!!! Why didn’t I think of this?? I mean, my dad owns a fabric store for crying out loud??!! I know a “glass man” even. I just have to figure out how to safely put it up there. Wonder how they attached it to the wall? Clips? I would want to be able to change the fabric 5-10 years from now so I can safely go crazy with it. I can’t wait to figure this one out!
Joanna CSeptember 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm
whoah….I “feel it” – this is great. I have a 1950’s camper and I was just about to spend $500 on a stainless steel quilted backsplash for the kitchen…..but now I’m thinking fabric under plexi glass that can be changed out at will. Very excited- thanks for the post!
Susan SmeltzerAugust 26, 2015 at 2:04 am
I’m investigating fabric under glass for my backsplash (that’s how I found this page) and I’ve just spent most of my afternoon and evening looking through fabrics at Fabrics.com. OMG. There are literally THOUSANDS of fabrics to choose from, you wouldn’t have any problem finding lots of things that aren’t as loud as the examples you have above (I have those photos in my Houzz ideabooks too!) and the ideas here about plexiglas and changing the fabric from time to time (seasonally!) sound great — because you won’t just one fabric you like, you’ll find a lot. We don’t have to choose just one! 🙂 Do what makes you happy, it’s your kitchen. If it doesn’t turn out, you can always change it, but it might just turn out GREAT.