A backsplash is a vertical surface which is designed to protect against splashed liquids on the wall behind the stove and countertop of kitchen and bathroom. It can be extended a few inches high or go as high as the ceiling. The most important feature of the backsplash is that it must be resistant to any substance that is splashed on the surface. Backsplashes are an ideal canvas for making your dreams come alive with the materials ranging from tiny glass mosaic tiles to traditional subway tiles. Backsplash is a part of the kitchen or bathroom which is the opportunity for the residents to express themselves to a variety of designs, colors, textures, materials and their aesthetic sense can be judged. The material used for backsplash must be easy to clean, look good and effective. It is the part of the house where visual appeal and functionality must come together. It must look good.
Materials Used For Backsplash
Nowadays backsplashes are no longer used just for protecting walls in the kitchen and bathrooms against splashes but are mostly used for the decorative purpose. There is a variety of eye-catching materials available for the backsplashes like glass, tile, stone, wood, metals, marble, travertine and granite, etc.
Limestone is a hard sedimentary rock which is made up of minerals and different crystal forms of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite and aragonite. Limestone is made up of broken up remains of shells of the animals that live in water and the living organisms. Mostly, this sedimentary rock is formed when marine animals such as mussels, forams, clams and oysters extract calcium carbonate from water to make shells and bones. When they die the shells and bones fall down and deposit on the seabed for millions of years and make a hard sedimentary rock. They can also be made by direct crystallization method from the water. This rock is most commonly forms in clear, warm and shallow marine water. About 10% of the sedimentary rocks are limestones.
Most limestones are composed of grains, these grains in the limestone are the skeletal fragments of marine organisms. Limestone often contains variable amounts of silica, clay, silt and sand that are carried in by the rivers. Some limestones does not contain grains at all and are made by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite. Another form of limestone is oolitic limestone which is recognized by its granular appearance.
In the limestone, the impurities like sand, clay, slit, organic remains and other materials can help to exhibit different colors of the limestone. Depending on the methods of formation, limestone may be crystalline, granular, massive or clastic. The crystals of calcite may form small holes in the rock.
Limestones are primarily found in the locations such as Indian Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and islands around the Pacific Ocean. Limestone does not form in deeper waters. They are formed about 3000 meters below the water according to the water pressure and the weather conditions
Limestone is an excellent material that can be used to decorate any space. The trend of limestone tiles is increasing. Its products include tiles, pavers, slabs and mosaic tiles.These tiles can be used in residential as well as commercial areas. They look good in all types of rooms and they are multipurpose. The veining, streaking and speckling on the surface of these tiles create many different designs. Some varieties of limestone have very small specks while others have streaks. They create variety of contrasting colors in the natural appeal of the limestone tiles. The huge range of colors are a result of different elemental impurities that are present in limestone during its formation. Some of the popular limestone tile colors are:
- Light gray, gray
- White, beige, off-white, creamy beige
- Red, plum, burgundy and raspberry
- Jet black, charcoal
- Golden, sandy
- Pink, rose, pastel pink
- Orange, rusty, peachy, copper, terra cotta
- Brown, light brown, tan and cinnamon
Limestone tiles are available in different finishes i.e. honed, tumbled, polished and brushed. The honed finish is the most popular finish in limestone tiles.
There are several natural stones that can be used to produce good quality tiles for residential and commercial areas. Limestone is one of them. These tiles have beautiful textures as they are sedimentary rocks. Limestone tiles are used as a backsplash in kitchens and bathrooms. The light color tones of limestone tiles give an elegant look and design to the kitchen and bathroom. They are easy to match with other materials of the design like cabinets, countertops and floor etc. Limestone backsplash tile designs create a number of ambiances like traditional, modern, vintage, modest and contemporary styles.
Usage: Kitchen, Outdoor Kitchen, Bathroom
These days the use of backsplash is a kind of important in the residential and commercial areas. People try to create unique and beautiful designs with the backsplash in their kitchens, outdoor kitchens and bathrooms that are pleasing and eye-catching. Backsplashes can be used for different purposes.
- The backsplashes can give the aesthetic appeal to the kitchen and bathroom, as they are the true definition of style and function, which increase the overall value of the areas they are used in.
- Backsplashes are important according to their functionality. They are used as a guard for the walls. One of the reasons backsplashes are used is their water-resistant property. They help to protect the walls from water damage, especially in bathrooms and kitchen sink areas. The walls absorb water and this can damage the walls. So they protect the walls from water damage.
- Backsplashes make the cleaning easy. They are mostly used to protect walls from splatters and splashes. They can be cleaned easily with a damp or soapy cloth rather than to rub a painted wall.
- A beautiful backsplash can also add value to the house. They are eye-catching and beautiful. Their textures and designs are very pleasing and attractive. They can reflect the personality and taste of the house owners.
Design Ideas For Kitchen Backsplash
Some kitchen design ideas with limestone backsplash tiles are given below:
- A kitchen with a beige and brown 2 x 6 inches mosaic limestone tile backsplash with contrast of dark brown cabinets. This creates an elegant and modern look of the island kitchen.
- A diamond pattern of 4 x 4 size brown limestone tiles throughout the backsplash above the kitchen counter looks lovely.
- An outdoor kitchen gives an elegant look with a backsplash of brick pattern dark limestone tiles above the countertops and the mosaic pattern behind the grill oven with white flooring and dark brown countertops.
- A subway mosaic backsplash design behind the kitchen stove with 3 x 6 inches tile size gives off the contemporary look in the kitchen.
Design Ideas For Bathroom Backsplash
Some of the design ideas for bathroom limestone backsplash tiles are given below:
- A small bathroom with a beige mosaic style backsplash creates a modern and sophisticated look.
- A bathroom with a combination of yellow, off-white and brown colored limestone tiles create a harmonious look. A backsplash in checkerboard pattern subdues the colors in the bathroom.
- A 2 x 11 inches long modern limestone bathroom backsplash tiles with white floors and walls looks amazing.
Pros and Cons Of Limestone Backsplash
Limestone is a wonderful natural stone and its tiles have some positive and few negative aspects that should be considered while purchasing them.
Limestone backsplash tiles have some advantages which are as follows:
- Durability and resistance: As limestone is high in mineral composition, it is very durable. It is resistant to mold and bacteria. It will last a lifetime if properly installed, sealed and maintained.
- Natural aesthetics: Limestone gives the area a beautiful and elegant look. Its natural design helps to give the elegant and appealing look to the area where its installed. It has been used for centuries in houses because of its natural beauty and elegance. It shows the taste of the owner in designing and decorating the house. It’s available in a wide range of colors.
- Safety: Limestone is non-flammable rock. Just because it does not catch fire, it is good to use in kitchens. This is a major quality of limestone for kitchens. Limestone is good at absorbing heat but it does not break due to heat absorption just like synthetic tiles do.
- Cost: Limestone is cost effective. Its installation cost is cheaper than other natural stones. Anyone can afford it for commercial and residential purpose.
- Environment friendly: One of the advantages of limestone is that it is environment friendly. It does not require long process of manufacturing which is helpful for the clean environment i.e. it does not make any pollution just like synthetic tiles do with the waste material. As per short manufacturing process and natural materials used, limestone conserves energy as well.
- Flexibility: Limestone is a flexible stone. It can be cut easily in any size and shape. This can help in creating small delicate as well as large tile designs on floors as well as on walls.
- Cleaning and maintenance: Its cleaning and maintenance are easy. They require sweeping regularly and mopping occasionally. Limestone will last long with proper care and maintenance.
As limestone has advantages it also has few disadvantages as well. They are as follows:
- Softness: Limestone is a soft stone, that’s why it can be easily damaged or scratched with heavy furniture, high traffic areas and foot activity. So regular sealing is required for reducing any sort of damage.
- Porosity: It is a porous stone as it is sedimentary rock. This causes a little disadvantage of limestone as it should be sealed regularly, otherwise, the contaminant will seep into the pores and this will make the tiles ugly, stained and dirty.
- Regular maintenance: These tiles require regular maintenance like cleaning, sealing etc. More soft limestone requires higher maintenance which is kind of expensive in the long run.
- Weight: Limestone is a heavy natural stone. Special care is required to handle, transport and installation of these tiles because of their weight.
The installation of limestone tiles may vary from site to site because of the different varying conditions of the site or area. The factors or conditions which affect this natural stone are soil conditions, driveways, pool surrounds, wet areas etc. According to the site, one should consult with the contractor and specifier for the suggestions that are suitable for the application or require further adjustment. Some of the guidelines while installing the limestone tiles are as below:
- To install limestone tiles, one should ensure the consideration of what variation he needs in design, color, texture and appearance of the tiles because the natural materials used for the formation of limestone may vary from one another or they may be changed information process due to extreme weather or climate conditions with sand, oxides and minerals from the earth and the sea. So no two pieces of the natural stone is alike. Color, size, shape, texture, and design everything can vary from one another.
- The foundation or base preparation is very important while installing tiles on floors or walls because it is the basic element which helps to protect the tiles.
- For outdoor flooring, it is important to make a sloppy surface of the floor which helps water to run off the floor so that the tiles will not damage due to excess water absorption.
- Use the waterproof membranes on the inner flooring frame. They help to prevent leakage in those spaces below the tiles.
- It is recommended to pre-seal the floor or walls before laying the tiles. It is to ensure that the tiles used are appropriate to work with the adhesive.
- By installing limestone tiles, it is highly recommended that the tiles should dip seal near the pool side and wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- While installing the tiles, consider the extreme weather conditions like heavy rain and temperature above 30 degrees Celsius.
- While installing tiles, select the synthetic tile adhesives for bedding the tiles.
- It is recommended that when the tiles are laid on an area, it should not be loaded for a period of time so that the bedding layer can strengthen. This can be of 2 to 3 days or if on heavy traffic areas 2 to 3 weeks’ time is required.
- It is recommended to cut tiles using a bench saw with a wet diamond blade and the stone should be washed immediately after the cutting.
- It is also recommended to use a good quality grouting compound which is suitable for the application.
- After grouting, the stone should be cleaned so that if there is any sort of grouting residue on the stone, it will be removed.
- Sealing is an essential step after installation of limestone. It will protect the beauty of the stone and will ensure the long life of the stone.
Maintenance is necessary for every limestone product. It is an essential step that is considered for the beauty, elegance as well as the long life of the stone. Some of the maintenance tips are given below:
- Sealing: It is important to seal limestone regularly in a year or two because it is highly porous. Sealing will help to reduce any stains or wear and tear of the stone.
- Vacuum: To avoid the scratches on the tiles due to walking on them with dust on tiles, it is better to vacuum them to clean the dirt and grit.
- Steam: It is better to steam the tiles occasionally. Sometimes the water and dust particles make tiny pockets on the tiles which may discolor or blacken them. Steam will help to avoid such issues. After steam, dry the tiles immediately.
- Wet Mop: Use a wet mop for cleaning in every 2 to 3 days by creating a mild solution made with neutral cleaner and water.
- Spills: Wipe off all the spills and splashes immediately from the tiles as they become the cause of stains on tiles.
- Cleaners: Use neutral cleaners for limestone. As it is made with calcium carbonate so it can react to acids which may damage the stone.
- Stains: Use grout and stone cleaners that are suitable for limestone to remove stubborn stains.