HGTV's Christina Hall Can't Get Enough Of This Trendy Kitchen Backsplash

Backsplashes have both a functional and aesthetic purpose in a kitchen. Functionally, the tiles help to prevent water and grease from building up and damaging the walls. But because there are so many options for style, shape, and color, choosing one for your kitchen can be an overwhelming task. It can be an especially difficult choice when trying the balance the style preferences of two people, as Christina Hall had to do on an episode of HGTV's "Christina on the Coast."

In the episode, when designing for a couple, Hall had to balance the wife's desire for an all-white kitchen with the husband's want for a little more "pop and flare." The finished product is an all-white kitchen but with a little more character than the standard contemporary space. Behind the sleek white cabinets and countertops is a stone backsplash instead of the typical tile one.

The stone backsplash has some variation in color with gray, off-white, and beige stones, surrounded by cream-colored grout that helps feature the stone. Adding a little bit of color variation adds more visual interest to the space. The stone also adds a natural texture that helps to break up the crisp white of the sleek surfaces.

Go for stone

Natural stone, as a material, is no stranger to being a backsplash. Most people, however, encounter natural stone tiles or even stone slabs as the typical backsplash. But unlike the typical tiles, the backsplash Christina Hall used resembles stone in a more natural state rather than polished slabs. The added texture from the rough finish and the natural variation in color adds visual interest to the room.

Stone is also a great way to add character to a space. It brings a rustic and old-world feeling to a kitchen without having to lean completely into the style. That charming style juxtaposed against modern cabinetry is what looks so interesting about the backsplash. One way to push the rustic look of this style of stone is to go with an over-grouting method. Over-grouting involves putting more mortar between the stones, essentially overstuffing the lines, so when the mortar is smoothed out, it covers the edges of the stone. This can help create a cozy, lived-in look, and looks beautiful when paired with more modern finishes.

Or go with a cleaner appearance, as Hall did in her client's kitchen, and fill the grout lines just enough so they're even with the edges of the stone without covering it. This creates a more modern look without losing all of the stylish, cozy rusticness.

What to consider with a stone backsplash

When choosing a stone backsplash, even a rough-cut version, you'll have a variety of options, such as granite, slate, soapstone, and limestone. It's important to note that while natural stone can be incredibly durable, there may is also some maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. Unlike the polished versions, the rough-cut stone will be much more difficult to clean because of its texture.

Because of its natural properties, stone can be porous, which makes it susceptible to staining if water or oil touches or splashes onto the surface. However, you can reduce the chances of staining by sealing the stone, which creates a barrier that makes the material less porous. When choosing a sealant, consider the type of stone. Sedimentary rocks like limestone and sandstone will require a different kind of sealant than metamorphic rocks like slate. You may also consider frequently re-sealing areas like behind the stove or behind the sink that get splashed more often.