Where do I begin to look for backsplash tile?

View comments

As popular as the rebirth of clean, linear subway tile is in today’s kitchens, it doesn’t begin to explore the depth of tile styles available to you. Think of your backsplash as a work of art, a statement and a focal point of your kitchen that can be created with materials that go beyond your wildest imagination. Exceptional tile designers have reshaped the world of tile, as well as how and even where it’s used.

Nancy Epstein, founder, chief designer and CEO of Artistic Tile, purveyors of the most unusual stone tile designs, has spent over two decades sourcing unique materials from around the world and cutting them into patterns that had never before been possible. “Travel and technology made the American market change. Stone became available at a thickness that allowed for wall use, and design options blew up,” says Nancy.

Using water jet equipment that can make the most intricate cuts, she’s able to turn mother-of-pearl, marble and glass into mosaic images of chrysanthemums, circles, ribbons and more. Her advice about making a bold choice for your home instead of playing it safe? “You're not fixing your house for resale, you're doing it for yourself. Buy what you love, not what some buyer ten years down the line will love. Your home is where your family memories are made, so you need to love it,” says Nancy.

Artistic Tile's "Danse Lucido" from the Vetromarmi collection is the show stopper in the kitchen, above, designed by Rebecca Robeson of Robeson Design, shown paired with Opera Glass. The dramatic application of calacatta gold marble in "Sinuous" from Artistic Tile's Musee Collection adds subtle elegance to the industrial cooktop, right.

Get a taste of Nancy’s designs online, at one of Artistic Tile’s eight showrooms (primarily in the northeast) or through more than 160 dealers around the world.

If you’re looking for a designer who will bring your vision to life in one-inch tile (and its variations), get to know glass mosaic artist Susan Jablon. Susan not only creates custom glass tile, but her site also offers an online tool that lets you get creative yourself at http://www.susanjablon.com/designer/mosaic-designer.html. She launched her internet company a decade ago and today offers florals as well as geometric patterns in a eye-catching array of colors. As one of her special design services, she will create a tile pattern just for you in shades to complement all the colors in your countertop.

Remember that with much of your backsplash being at eye level, it draws the eye. Make it fun, make it interesting and, above all, make it a reflection of you.