All Walled Up: Choosing the Right Wall Tiles for Your Kitchen

 In Kitchen Backsplashes and Wall Tiles

Interior designers agree: kitchens are no longer just utilitarian spaces. They are now a living area where the family and guests can stay and celebrate, whereas before, the kitchens are kept separate to conceal the mess. Cooking has become less of a chore and more of a leisure activity.

It’s no surprise that today’s homeowners fuss over the smallest details of their kitchen space: the countertop, the painted cabinets, and even the wall tiles.

Strictly Tile is an advocate of purposefully designed kitchens, which is why we help our clients choose the best tiles for their kitchen walls. Our tile installation services enable Seattle homeowners to elevate the look of their cooking area.

There are three things to consider when choosing wall tiles: moisture absorption, hardness rating, and colors.

Moisture Absorption

The kitchen is a high-moisture environment, so the tiles should have a low water absorption rate. Otherwise, moisture would easily seep in and cause damage. Several tile materials meet this requirement:

  • Porcelain – Porcelain is produced from dense, robust clay fired at a high temperature, creating a tile that absorbs water at a slow rate. Compared to other materials, it is more damage- and moisture-resistant.
  • Glass – The main advantage of glass is it’s not as porous as other materials. Thus, they are less likely to absorb water and other impurities. It’s also one of the easiest to clean, thanks to its smooth surface.
  • Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is naturally resistant to heat and water, so it’s a durable option for kitchen wall tiles. Another selling point is its ability to prevent food contamination. Stainless steel is a hygienic material that prevents bacteria growth in the kitchen.

These are just some of your options. Strictly Tile carries a wide selection of kitchen wall tiles, and we apply solutions when your chosen tile isn’t up to the task.

For instance, many homeowners like the look of natural stone on the backsplash. However, these materials are neither water nor stain-friendly. So we apply a tough seal to protect it from moisture, grime, and grease.

PEI Hardness Ratings

The tiles used on walls are different from the tiles used on floors. Wall tiles are lighter and less dense than their floor counterparts. These characteristics are reflected in their Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) hardness rating, a six-point scale that describes the best applications for each tile.

  • PEI Class 0 – Light-duty tiles used on walls
  • PEI Class 1 – Used on walls in residential and commercial spaces
  • PEI Class 2 – Used on walls and residential floors with light foot traffic
  • PEI Class 3 – Used on walls, countertops, and residential floors with normal foot traffic
  • PEI Class 4 – Used in all residential applications, as well as commercial floors
  • PEI Class 5 – Heavy-duty tiles used for residential and tough commercial environments

You’ll be interested in tiles in classes 0-3, as these are light enough for a kitchen backsplash.

Tile Colors

When in doubt, browse the neutral section of the catalog first. Tiles that come in white, beige, and gray go well with any style of kitchen. They may be simple, but they are a foolproof choice.

Moreover, these colors make the space look bigger — an attractive feature in a modern house. A spacious kitchen is more likely to sell. Light neutral colors also absorb less heat compared with red and terracotta-colored tiles. This comes in handy during the summer months.

If you already have a design in mind, then explore the more colorful sections of the catalog. Today’s trendy designs include geometric patterns and fish-scale tiles. These two combine different colors to create a dazzling image on the kitchen backsplash.

Kitchen tiles may occupy a small section of the kitchen, but they can make or break the look of an important room in the home. The professionals at Strictly Tile will help you choose the best materials for your walls. Call us today to discuss your tile installation needs.

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