A new quartz or granite countertop offers a stylish, modern appearance that dramatically improves the appeal of any kitchen space. Coupled with refaced cabinets, you can transform the appearance of your kitchen. But one thing that many people neglect when renovating their kitchens are backsplashes.

Many people choose to keep the existing backsplash, which can clash with their new countertops or cabinets. Other decide to remove them entirely and instead repaint the walls. While these certainly are valid options for some homeowners, a solid stone backsplash can provide protection against wall damage, while lending a fantastic finishing touch to any kitchen remodel.

Solid stone backsplashes are easy to maintain and will last a long time.

There are different options for backsplashes, depending on how you want them to look and what materials you want to use. At Express Reface, we specialize in creating backsplashes from quartz and granite, the same materials we use for countertops.

We’ve discussed the advantages of quartz and granite as countertop materials, and they still apply when used as solid stone backsplashes. They can be easily cut for use on wall spaces of any size or shape, allowing for smooth surfaces that are easy to wipe clean. In addition, quartz and granite are tougher and more impact resistant than most other backsplash material alternatives, making them an excellent choice for kitchen spaces.

This durability means that with regular care, a solid stone backsplash can last for nearly as long as the home itself. Quartz is nonporous and inherently resistant to staining, while a properly finished and sealed granite backsplash will resist staining as well as quartz. Darker varieties of granite are also naturally more resistant to staining and moisture absorption.

Why granite or quartz over tile?

Glass and ceramic tiles, while no longer as popular as they once were thanks to alternative backsplash materials like laminate veneer or engineered stone, are still regularly used as both countertop and backsplash materials. For homeowners who want very specific designs, tile can offer intricate visual patterns that solid slabs of stone or metal generally cannot.

Unfortunately, tile backsplashes are generally nowhere near as tough as stone or metal. Cracks can occur if something strikes a tile too hard, and cracks in the tile or grout can cause cracking in adjacent tiles. It can be quite difficult to repair broken tiles in a backsplash without potentially damaging others.

Cleaning tile can also be a problem. While the tiles themselves are often sealed and water and stain resistant, the seal on the grout between tiles is much weaker. Using the wrong cleaning solution on the grout can weaken the seal, leaving it vulnerable to moisture absorption or staining.

A good backsplash provides additional protection to walls in kitchen spaces, particularly near cooking appliances.

Exposed walls in a kitchen naturally are more vulnerable to heat or moisture, which can lead to expensive repairs if left unaddressed for too long. This can be a problem near sinks, where water can splash up while washing or rinsing dishes. Alternatively, cooking appliance like stoves give off a lot of heat that can damage paint on the walls over time. Backsplashes not only help a kitchen look great, they provide necessary protection to the walls, or small sections of walls depending on the homeowner’s preference.

In the past, it was common to have a short backsplash, no taller than four or five inches. Oftentimes, these short backsplashes were made from tile. Today, using a solid material like metal or stone slab to cover the entire wall next to a countertop has become popular.

With engineered stone like quartz, you can pick from striking colors and patterns, or use granite for a more natural touch. In either case, you’re getting a material that is capable of enduring everyday kitchen life.

What solid stone material should you use for your backsplash?

Granite and quartz are both excellent material choices, but you do want to consider where in the kitchen you’re putting this backsplash.

If you’re considering a backsplash behind a sink, then quartz may be the best choice. The adhesives used to form a quartz slab make it incredibly resistant to moisture. Unlike granite, you will not have to worry about sealing the quartz surface again over the course of its life. So long as you keep it clean and as dry as possible, you can use any color quartz slab for a backsplash without issues.

But if your backsplash is going behind a stove and you do a lot of cooking, granite is probably the better choice. Granite is naturally superior to quartz in terms of heat resistance and will not discolor or burn as quartz potentially can when something hot makes direct contact with the surface. Heat damage to quartz is especially noticeable with lighter colored slabs, and is also very difficult to repair.

This isn’t to say that you can’t use quartz near cooking appliances, or granite near the sink. Both are tough materials that can put up with a lot of abuse as a countertop or backsplash, but it’s important to understand their weaknesses so you can take better care of them.

Backsplashes can be more than just something to protect walls—they are part of your kitchen’s aesthetic.

If you’ve just put in a new countertop or refaced your cabinets, solid stone backsplashes can be the perfect finishing touch to your newly revitalized kitchen. There are many varieties of granite for homeowners who are looking for a more earthy or natural aesthetic, and at Express Reface, we can help you select granite backsplashes whose patterns match up as closely as possible to your new countertops.

But some homeowners want a backsplash that contrasts with certain aspects of their kitchen, or they want very specific patterns that granite doesn’t offer naturally. In this case, quartz slabs can be engineered to have patterns and tones that aren’t found in nature. If you want a striking display to compliment your countertops and cabinets, there’s probably a quartz pattern to your liking somewhere out there. It’s a simple matter for us to install matching countertops and backsplashes made from the same materials.

If you’re looking to give your kitchen eye-catching appeal while also providing some necessary protection to the walls near appliances or sinks, a solid stone backsplash can be the perfect addition to your kitchen remodel! If you want to learn more about what you can have done for your backsplash, your countertops, and your cabinets, contact the pros at Express Reface today!