Kitchens and bathrooms are notoriously sloppy spots in the house. The sink, tub or food prep areas are frequently sources of staining, dirt, grime and splatters. How do you plan for this type of potential damage? Find out what is a backsplash, how this home feature can help you and what’s the best way to care for it.
What is a backsplash? A backsplash is a useful feature in your home. Areas like the kitchen and bath are prone to becoming dirty through daily use and over-splash. Most homes will already have backsplashes connected to countertops and behind bathroom vanities and sinks. If your home is lacking this feature, it is a good idea to select and install a backsplash. The investment will keep your home looking and functioning well. Additionally, backsplashes offer a design opportunity that can introduce attractive tiling, mosaics, bead board and more.
How backsplashes help. Backsplashes in the kitchen are incredibly useful. A backsplash that’s well placed and high enough can protect the wall behind the sink from water damage, mildew and paint, or other wall finish wear and tear. Backsplashes behind the stove keep bubbling tomato sauce and grease from the frying pan off your walls, eliminating the potential for stains. Scrubbing stains from a painted wall can really do a number on the paint job and after a few incidents can actually cause the wall underneath to show through as the paint is worn off. Backsplashes in the bathroom help keep the walls surrounding the sink area free of toothpaste and water splatter.
How to care for your backsplash. Backsplashes are there for a reason—to get dirty. Because of this function, backsplashes must be attractive, easy to clean and sturdy enough to resist staining and hold up to frequent cleanings, according to the Washingtonian. Common backsplash materials are plastic laminate, tile, bead board, mirrors and stainless steel. Caring for a backsplash depends upon the material. Non-porous surfaces like tile can be wiped with a damp rag. If the dirt is stubborn, a glass cleaner can help get the job done. Wood or other bead board material is probably finished with varnish or paint. In these cases, use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning tips, but mild soap and a damp cloth is usually fine for cleanup. Avoid abrasive cleansers, bleaches, and steel wool or other abrasive cloths. Always use the least harsh and most effective cleaning method. It is best to wipe up right away, as leaving splatters can cause staining and trouble in cleaning.
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