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Material for Backsplashes


RonC
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We're in the process of working on a new backsplash for the stove. The current two top options are glass or metal tiles. What's been your experience with either of these? Metal laminate is proably also a consideration. It's not a large area, so cost isn't too much of a factor.

Thanks much!

Sidecar Ron

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I don't have either, but my first thought is that glass is a major pain to clean when it gets greasy. If those are your only two choices, I'd go metal.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I don't have either, but my first thought is that glass is a major pain to clean when it gets greasy.  If those are your only two choices, I'd go metal.

Actually, ease of grease cleaning is probably our FIRST priority (I do a fair amount of browning) -- followed by "the look".

Sidecar Ron

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The arrangement we have works really well: our range had the option of a stainless steel 8" backsplash bolted to the back of the unit. This catches most of the grease, looks pretty good and cleans up well (although stainless is harder to keep looking really nice than some folks assume). Behind and above that, we have glazed ceramic tiles. The trick here is not to use white grout. Once you go with gray or any of the darker grout colors, you're fine.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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If using tiles, make sure to seal the grout. If the tiles are non porous then you're fine as long as the grout is protected. I have a friend with a stainless backsplash and she complains that it is a pain to clean and won't fry anything on her stovetop because of it. We just put in a backsplash of porcelain tiles and behind the range top we have these tiles surrounded by cracked tile boarders and a large decorative tile in the middle. As soon as the grout was dry I sealed this area. I was a little timid cooking the first few weeks but last night cooked up some grouper and shrimp in a cast iron skillet and the oil was popping. The tile cleaned up well with a little soap/degrease.

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Thanks for the ideas folks! I, too, am fond of using my ol' cast iron skillet for browning and cooking so I'm all-too-familiar with the grease splatter.

Whatever I wind up doing as a backsplash (glazed tile, metal tile, glass tile, metal laminate, stainless steel sheet, etc.) my leaning is to mount it on 1/4" material and then put that in a metal picture frame that I'll screw to the wall. My crazed thinking is that (1) if I don't like, or get tired of, the look, it'll be easy to change and (2) taking it down to clean well will be pretty simple.

Edited by RonC (log)
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My apartment doesn't have any tiles above the stove. I painted it with a high gloss washable paint that is easy to clean (most of the time). What is a good recommendation of degreaser to remove the grease once it splatters? (I've tried fantastik, windex or clorax spray but am curious if there is a professional or other product that works better than others?).

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When I moved into this apartment, the first thing that I noticed was that the whole wall, under the cabinets, behind the crappy electric range is . . . mirror. :blink: My first thought was that it was about the stupidest thing I had ever seen and would be a pain to clean. Actually, that hasn't been the case. The range does have that raised shelf thing on the back like FG described and that catches most of the flak. I just clean it with Windex.

The good thing about the mirror is that I can see what is going on in the living area when I am at the stove. The bad thing about the mirror is that first thing in the morning I look up and see this really horrifying apparition with a bad case of bed hair.

I have a friend that did stainless steel behind hers. She used that stainless steel quilted looking sheet. She hates it and is going to change it. Every little drop of grease spreads out into a big grease spot and is a pain to clean. I am going with tile, that white "subway tile" with gray grout. I have had tile before, find it easy to keep and it will just look right in that kitchen.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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My apartment doesn't have any tiles above the stove.  I painted it with a high gloss washable paint that is easy to clean (most of the time).  What is a good recommendation of degreaser to remove the grease once it splatters? (I've tried fantastik, windex or clorax spray but am curious if there is a professional or other product that works better than others?).

I just use ammonia. I add 1/2c to a gallon of hot water. You can increase the amount of ammonia for really dirty jobs. It works better than all of the fancy, more expensive degreasers.

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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My apartment doesn't have any tiles above the stove.  I painted it with a high gloss washable paint that is easy to clean (most of the time).  What is a good recommendation of degreaser to remove the grease once it splatters? (I've tried fantastik, windex or clorax spray but am curious if there is a professional or other product that works better than others?).

I know straight ammonia will cut grease very well but I have used Greased Lightning and find it works well on a lot of things. Removes grease and oils quickly and even cuts through grime and dirt in a flash. I use it in the kitchen and even on the patio chairs. Spritz and rinse.

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Thanks for the ideas folks! I, too, am fond of using my ol' cast iron skillet for browning and cooking so I'm all-too-familiar with the grease splatter.

How about searching for a reasonable amount of cast-off cast-iron cookware and have a metal shop cut it into tiles for you? Then you could use a black grout or caulk between the tiles. Then your messes don't show!

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Ah, a topic near and dear to my heart.

My wife and I are nearly finished with a kitchen painting project. This has been a major improvement, but we still have to replace the counters and backsplash. The counters are no problem; we'll just order custom ones from the Depot or Lowe's and install them ourselves. But the backsplash... after this months-long project, I'm more than a little leery of ripping out the existing backsplash and having to re-drywall/repaint or put up tile backer-board and tiles where the old backsplash was.

So, my question is, what can I do about the backsplash without removing the existing one? Can I paint over it? It's a Formica-like laminate with a textured surface. A friend told me I could get a compound to spread over the surface that fills the "valleys" in the surface to smooth it out and then it could be painted. Alternatively, could I tile over it? This extends along two entire walls for probably 12 linear feet or so, so cost is definitely a consideration.

Anybody have any experience with this sort of half-assed remodeling?

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I have a tile backsplash in one house and stainless in a more recently acquired 2nd home. No question about it, as soon as time allows, the stainless is going. What a PITA to get and keep clean. I've reached the point that when I'm doing any heavy browning or frying I go outside and use the side burners on the gas grill.

If you go with tile, follow the tips upthread (darker grout, sealant, etc) and you should be fine.

BTW - Your picture frame idea sounds interesting and quite practical.

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gallery_35908_2551_548663.jpg

I put in a window behind my stovetop and have not regretted using glass as a backsplash at all. The top of the window opens and is screened, but I didn't want the screen getting splattered so the bottom is fixed. It cleans up just fine!

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gallery_35908_2551_548663.jpg

I put in a window behind my stovetop and have not regretted using glass as a backsplash at all.  The top of the window opens and is screened, but I didn't want the screen getting splattered so the bottom is fixed.  It cleans up just fine!

I like your window. Of course for us it would looking into the living room. :)

But, speaking of glass, is there anyone here who has any experience with glass tiles? I'm really interested in them from appearance and ease of cleaning standpoints.

Thanks,

Sidecar Ron

PS - Great looking kitchen!

Edited by RonC (log)
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I put in a window behind my stovetop and have not regretted using glass as a backsplash at all.  The top of the window opens and is screened, but I didn't want the screen getting splattered so the bottom is fixed.  It cleans up just fine!

I LOVE this. I've been struggling with my own backsplash issue and have to solve it soon. In past houses, I've had stainless which is nice, and ceramic tile which drives me nuts. In this house, I really wanted slate but the architect talked me out of it -- looks beautiful, but is not real practical. This is by far the most annoying part of the entire project -- backsplashes.

Persiancook, I've done tiling before and it's not that big a deal. The bad part is having to cut the little sob's to size, and finish them. If I were doing it again, I'd pay the tile store a few bucks extra to cut the tiles on their fancy machines. Neater, more precise, and less time-consuming.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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A local restaurant supply store cut a sheet of stainless steel to size, and we mounted it behind the cook top with high-temperature caulk (available in the fireplace section of your local big box store). Cleans up great!

We did that behind the range in our last house, one of our friends works with sheet metal he just cut a piece for behind our cooktop.

Now I have a 30" metal back that is fitted for our range.

Both clean up very well, but you can see all the little grease splatters/smudges.

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Anybody have any experience with this sort of half-assed remodeling?

Half-assed remodeling should be on my business card. Half-assed is the only way I ever remodel. I am a half-assed expert on the subject.

Tile is extremely forgiving. You can put it over just about anything that will hold it. Were I in your situation I'd definitely tile right over whatever backsplash is there. You may want to prepare the surface by roughing up the laminate with sandpaper and stripping away any hanging or loose pieces. Then spread a thick, smooth layer of tile cement and lay your tiles in there. You'll probably want to use spacers. It's also nice to use a tile with some surface texture so it's not as obvious when your plane isn't perfectly flat. You'll also need a cheap tile cutter if you have a space that doesn't exactly fit a whole number of tiles.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Our backsplash is a combination of stainless steel and tile:

kitchen1.jpg

The steel results in an easy cleanup directly behind the range, and the tile around the rest of the kitchen is for better aesthetics.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Half-assed backsplash renovation Exhibit A. Lord knows what we tiled over there. I don't even want to think about it.

gallery_1_295_2130.jpg

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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