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Jillian Harris


Keep These 5 Things In Mind When Choosing Your Backsplash

As most of you have probably already noticed … I have never been one to select a crazy backsplash which is why you tend to see white, light, or classic backsplashes in my designs. The reason behind this is simple … tile is expensive and so is installing it and it’s even MORE expensive replacing it if you happen to get sick of it!

So, when it comes to getting a little more creative and risky with patterns and colours, I will sometimes opt for a change in color in cabinetry or stick with artwork and accessories! Of course, there have been some circumstances where an exception is made, like entryways, laundry rooms, and powder rooms, but a backsplash in your kitchen is a BIG commitment!

In our old house, I had a white Moroccan backsplash which was beautiful, but I did end up getting tired of it. So when we were renovating this house I knew I had to choose something wisely. I really wanted to do something “special” and classic and I searched for a good 6 months for a backsplash. When it came down to it I knew I wanted something that was ultimately TIMELESS and simple … but I also didn’t just want to pick it up from any ‘ol box store and grab something generic.

This is around the time I discovered Fireclay Tile! All of their products are handmade in California and they are absolutely STUNNING! Fireclay Tiles actually made the tiles to order … I got mine in 4×8!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect BacksplashJillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Backsplash

I ended up going with Frost (in the size 4×8) from Fireclay Tile for our kitchen backsplash. It has a nice crackle finish which gives it some nice texture plus it also has that traditional, timeless look I was striving for … but it’s also unique and specially curated!

We actually loved Fireclay so much that we also ended up using Fireclay’s  Ogee Drop Tile in Leo’s bathtub, and the “Foggy Morning” tile in the downstairs spare bathroom shower! Plus, Tori and Francesca both ended up using it in their homes as well!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Backsplash Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect BacksplashJillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Backsplash

Alright, why don’t we dig into a few of my favourite tips when it comes to selecting the perfect backsplash for your home!

1. It doesn’t have to be white

I know … I can’t believe I’m actually saying this! LOL! However I would suggest going with a neutral backsplash, or even a black or grey backsplash to keep it beautiful and timeless. I would avoid selecting glitzy backsplashes, or too much pattern or color variance, as there are so many other ways to add this sort of personality throughout your home that is less permanent. I also would recommend either a ONE color backsplash or a monochrome (one color, in different shades, like Marble).

Think about what you will like in 5 – 10 years from now, when you go with neutral colours you will be less likely to rip it out 5 years down the road. Not only is renovating costly, but it’s also not the best for the environment either so make sure you choose something that can stick around for a while!

2. Decide on your countertop and cabinet colours first

Make sure you know what colour your countertops and cabinets are going to be and hold everything up together to see if they work well. Try to hold them up in the space that they will be in at different times of the day so you can see it from all angles!!

3. Grout

I never choose a stark white grout because it looks too bright! I always try to go a shade lighter than the tile, or black. I mean, you can’t really go too wrong when it comes to the colour of your grout … unless you did navy blue or red … then that might be a different story!

4. Backsplash Height

Typically you would bring your backsplash up to meet your cabinets or shelving but if you don’t have these, the average height of a backsplash is around 18″ … however, don’t be afraid of bringing it right up to the ceiling either! That’s what we did and I love it! It also gives the illusion that the ceilings are higher!

5. Don’t delay on getting it ordered

If you’re picking up tile from your local tile store than chances are you can probably get it fairly quick. However, if you plan on getting something unique like Fireclay then I would make sure you’re ordering it at least 8-12 weeks in advance to give it enough time to be handmade and shipped!

There you have it! I hope you found this blog useful! Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to selecting backsplashes? If so, share them with us below!



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  1. Megan

    September 11th, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    What colour grout did you do in your kitchen ? Light grey or is it a different shade of white?

  2. Jamie

    September 12th, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Hi Ruby, where did you find the tile? Was it a Canadian distributor? I would like to find something comparable in Canada. Thanks!

  3. Ruby

    September 13th, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Jamie, if you’re in vancouver, it’s at Olympia Tile (I believe they have a Toronto store too). Richmond Tile has it too. It’s not identical to Jillian’s but it’s very close (and probably a fraction of the cost). It’s called Oxford white crackle subway tile. They have a 3 x 12. Hope that helps.

  4. Amy

    September 27th, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Hello! What colour grout did you end up using in your kitchen? Thanks! 🙂

  5. Jenn

    October 29th, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Jillian. I love your style and your home. I have aquestion. ? what color grout did you use in your kitchen.

  6. Ruby

    September 11th, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    That’s almost the identical tile I’ve picked for our kitchen. Great pick ? I was worried (after everyone in my family weighed in) that it was too plain, but I love the subtleness. looks gorgeous

  7. Lindsey Scott

    September 12th, 2018 at 5:16 am

    “Your show and coffee “ every Sunday AM……. our issue is we built in Dec, and the glass tile was installed wrong. You can see spots the trowel missed. “Trowel” should have been buttered on back is that correct. So we are having it replaced again. 8 months later.
    Should we go with a plain stacked look in marble or do glass again.

    Sort of tired of glass to be honest. Sorry cant send a photo of old and new to show you what you think.
    I live in Dieppe, NB. Outside of Moncton. Boy could we use you here. Some homes are pretty scary haha

  8. J

    September 13th, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Can you tell me what color yours cabinets are.

  9. Jillian Harris

    September 14th, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Nimbus by Benjamin Moore! xo

  10. Benjamin Ellison

    October 14th, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Great list. Thanks for sharing this information with us. Keep posting and keep sharing like this.

  11. Cristina

    October 28th, 2018 at 5:17 am

    I just love your home Jillian I’m building a new home I would like Some idea how to make
    Mine like yours it’s so fresh and cosy
    Thank you in advance ?

  12. Denise

    January 21st, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks Jillian! This was very helpful. We will be making our choices for our new condo in the next few months and hope that they give us some lovely choices.

  13. Rachel

    January 28th, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    So beautiful! What are your thoughts on navy and white kitchen cabinets? About to go under a home reno myself!

  14. Jillian

    January 29th, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Love it!!!

  15. Jenny

    February 5th, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Hi there! We have a homeowner who saw a beautiful backsplash that you had designed. It’s a white diamond tile. We’re located in Arizona and have done our best to try and track down the product, however, no luck. Is there any way you could provide a link or the manufacturer? As of right now their build has the cabinets and counters completed. Any help in making her backsplash dreams come true would be greatly appreciated!

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