Installing tiled kitchen backsplashes can be expensive, especially with inflation going up and labor availability going down. And for those considering the DIY route, keep in mind that as a professional handyman who's done all kind of messy jobs.... I still hate cutting tile.
So when it came to finishing out our kitchen, I asked my wife to find a solution that didn't involve a tile saw. We knew we'd only need a small amount, since our sink is in front of a window and we just needed to cover the part behind the stove.
One possibility would be to simply use a nice color of backsplash paint, and we considered that. Other possibilities would include beadboard or wood, but I'm not a fan of the look.
After some research, she came across a really nice option from a company called Fasade.
It looks like stainless steel, doesn't it?
Here's another version in copper:
And a more modern look:
These are actually thermoplastic panels with a sheet of metal foil over the top, plus a protective barrier to make it easy to clean. In other words, they're basically PVC, so they're much less expensive than real metal.
As of now, you can request as many samples as you want, just for the cost of shipping. I recommend getting them in several options and styles. We originally thought we'd want to use the copper, but since we already had a lot going on color-wise, we went with a more restrained bronze color that matched the cabinets.
Super Easy Install
Installing the Fasade panels went so fast that we didn't pause for pictures. Here's how it turned out. I truly think it took more time for my wife to rearrange the china on our shelves, than it took to us put in the backsplash.
You're supposed to use industrial-strength double-sided tape, or adhesive caulk, but it was snowy outside and I didn't want to run to the hardware store.... so I used a hot glue gun. Just a few dabs at each corner and away we went.
The shelves and brackets also helped keep the panels adhered to the wall. If you're a renter and you want an even lighter touch, you could even try upholstery nails or decorative brads. It's fairly easy to nail through these.
And cutting the panels was a breeze - we used our kitchen scissors for most of the work, with an Exacto blade to cut the hole for the outlet. Way easier than using a tile saw!
It's been a few months since we did the install, and the backsplash is going strong.
Thermoplastic isn't as heat-resistant as real metal, so I wouldn't use this directly behind a flat-top range. Our range has a panel behind it that holds the stove knobs and serves as a protective barrier, so the heat from our cooking doesn't cause any problems at all.
And if you have a toaster oven, don't let anyone push the toaster up close to the wall. But ours sits in the corner, just a few inches from the backsplash, and I haven't seen any heat damage despite my nightly peanut-butter-and-toast ritual.
I also saw some reviews saying it's hard to install outlets on the wall since the backsplash has raised elements. However, my outlet covers went on just fine. I suppose if it's a concern, you could use some longer screws.
You do see a gap there if you look up close, but you could touch this up with matching caulk if it bothered you:
(It doesn't bother me. I don't even notice it.)
I also think the "metal" look is very realistic on our backsplash, and it fooled our friends and neighbors as well. It also looked great on most of the samples, but there were one or two in finishes that didn't completely convince me. So you'll definitely want to order some samples ahead of time.
Overall, this is a fantastic material with a lot of possibilities beyond backsplashes. Here's another image from Fasade showing a mudroom cubby with some nice farmhouse charm:
Unless you have mobility issues, you could definitely DIY this project.
However, if you'd like us to DIFY (do it for you) give us a call and we'll lend you a hand.
I really love my job, and I think the best part of it is getting to meet so many incredible locals, whether they've been here all their lives or just moved into town. (We seem to be getting a lot of people moving down here from Chicago lately.)
And now that we've set up our separate brand as professional picture hangers near Asheville, we also get to "meet" a lot of wonderful art collections.
Last week we worked with a delightful couple who had a large collection including some great pieces from local painters, like this one of guinea hens by the artist known as Cornbread.
On the right is another piece made by an autistic child at a special-needs school. He says it's his experience of the sky at night. It's really bold in person!
The couple was downsizing to a smaller space, which is why they called us in to hang their collection. (It can feel overwhelming to place and hang a lot of pictures when you're just moving in!)
This colorful still life is by a Puerto Rican artist and definitely brings a tropical vibe. It's the first thing you see when you walk into the home, and it really sets the tone.
One of the challenges of relocating a collection is finding a home for the larger pieces. The couple was actually planning to sell this large Masai textile, even though they loved it, because they couldn't find a wall for it.
Fortunately our in-house Asheville art consultant (my wife Faith, who is a trained artist) spotted the perfect place for this piece. Look how well it coordinates with the chair! And the little red bits were really set off by the red pillow on the bed.
We also mounted a Kingfisher sculpture for them, with a little help from their kitty.
This is just a small sample of their collection. I really enjoy seeing how other people choose and live with art.
This pair of pieces was particularly nice. The one on the right is a set of etchings of the ancient cave paintings at Lascaux. We found the perfect spot for it on this wall in their dining room. I like how they chose to mount it on transparent glass, so the wall color shows through.
Hanging big pictures like this can be trickier than it sounds, especially if they're mounted using D-rings as this one was. Fortunately we have a system for putting each picture hanger at just the right height.
And after we hung 93 pieces, the house suddenly feels like a home!
If you'd like some help hanging your favorite artwork, take a look at our new sister brand, Asheville Art Installers:
We offer a white-glove installation service to ensure that each piece is safely and beautifully mounted... so you can relax and let us do the work.
Well, it's been a year, but I'm back to blogging! What can I say but the old refrain, "I've been busy." And one of the things that's kept me most busy has been interior painting in Asheville.
This year we're starting to see a little more color sneaking in. I know Maximalism has been a big trend in Architectural Digest for quite awhile, and it's finally starting to come to our mountain town.
I've already blogged about picking paint colors and how to paint with bold colors, but there's one painter's secret I haven't mentioned, which is how to choose the best version of the most dangerous color: Yellow.
The trick with yellow is that it basically comes in two varieties. The "safest" yellow to pick for your walls is a warm version that skews toward orange, like we see in Harewood House.
Here's a lovely little villa in a similar color.
The trouble seems to come in when people accidentally choose a yellow that skews toward green. Here's an example of what I mean.
This will show up differently depending on your computer monitor, but at regular settings you'll see a more acidic color. This "acid yellow" is the one that people generally regret using, even if it's toned down.
It can be harder to tell the difference on a color chip, so I recommend getting a small jar of your proposed color and painting it on a piece of poster board so you can test it out on different walls and in different light.
If you don't like the "egg yolk" yellow, another possibility would be to choose a grayed-down version. My wife actually chose a pistachio greenish-yellow for our home, and it looks great.
However, it's got a lot of gray (and a lot of white) in it, so that in some lights you can't even see the color.
But don't let me scare you away from bright colors! Especially because we're here to help make sure that your interior painting is done right the first time.
Over the years we've gotten to know some of the best interior designers near Asheville, and one thing we've learned from them is that it can be tough to find someone to do the little jobs that bring a beautiful room together.
That's why I'm thrilled to announce a new service from The Handyman Plan, LLC: we're now available for checklists of small tasks like:
Since we have a half-day minimum, we recommend bundling several small projects together in order to get the best value.
This means that our service is best suited for interior designers, and for homeowners who have just moved to Asheville and have lots of little projects to do.
It's also a great choice for anyone with a complex art installation project, like this heavy screen which we hung on custom brackets to avoid attaching hangers to the art.
We can also assist with special items like musical instruments or large mirrors.
And don't forget about our interior painting service - we can repaint one room or an entire home to whatever color you specify... like this downtown office which we brightened up with a fresh coat of Winter White.
So if you're looking for a professional art hanging service that will install your cherished paintings or mirrors securely, please get in touch.
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