Standard vs. Full Backsplash: Which is Right for Your Kitchen?

Standard vs. Full Backsplash: Which is Right for Your Kitchen?

Standard vs. Full-Height Backsplash. Tile or Stone?


A kitchen backsplash, which is situated on the wall between your countertops and cabinets, protects your wall from stains and spills that may occur in your kitchen. Many homeowners prefer to extend their existing countertop material (Granite, Marble, Quartz, etc.) up their wall to create a simple backsplash. In contrast, others cover their wall with as little or as much tile (or other durable material) that they want.

Before you begin searching through which backsplash materials and styles are available, it’s essential that you first decide whether a standard or a full backsplash is right for you and your kitchen design.


Selecting the Height of Your Kitchen Backsplash

On average, a standard backsplash is approximately 4 inches high, starting from your countertop. In many cases, a traditional backsplash is simply a small extension of your existing countertop material. On the other hand, a full backsplash covers the entire wall, starting from your countertops and going up to the bottom of your upper cabinetry.

Both the standard and full backsplash styles can be achieved with pretty much any material, so your decision will primarily stem from personal preference.


Pros of the Standard Kitchen Backsplash

This style is an excellent option for you if you’re completing a budget-conscious kitchen remodel, as the installation of the 4-inch backsplash requires fewer materials and less labor. Therefore, it can be a big money saver for you, especially if your chosen countertop is a lesser expensive material.

It’s important to note here that you shouldn’t be afraid to play around with your design. There is no right or wrong, so feel free to experiment with 6 inches, 8 inches, or any other measurement you wish.



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Pros of the Full Kitchen Backsplash

A full backsplash creates a gorgeous, more cohesive transition from your countertops to your upper cabinetry. Many homeowners play around with the backsplash design, adding in pops of color and different textures by utilizing unique tile options. This helps to provide a degree of depth and dimension to their overall kitchen design.

Separate from design, full backsplashes are also practical as they are a source of protection for your kitchen walls. If your kitchen is regularly used for cooking or entertaining, a full backsplash may be best for you – especially behind your stove and sink areas.

Whichever backsplash style or height you choose, our specialist team here at Explore is ready to help you design the best kitchen for your home and lifestyle.

Explore First. Explore recommends a full-height tile backsplash. A 4-inch backsplash is a dated look in the kitchen. Adding the extra tile to the backsplash area will be worth it. Put it into your kitchen remodel budget.


-Jason Kidwell


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Kitchen Island Dimensions – What’s The Best Size for Your Home?

Kitchen Island Dimensions – What’s The Best Size for Your Home?

MSI Surfaces, Sterling, VA, quartz countertops showroom

Kitchen Island Dimensions – What’s The Best Size for Your Home?

When it comes to transforming your Kitchen of Island, an island is one of the most popular additions to make. A kitchen island is not only highly functional but an aesthetically pleasing addition too. However, how do you know the best dimensions to choose?

Finding the right size kitchen island for your room is crucial. Too big, it will dominate your kitchen. Too small, and it will lose its functionality. It is also important to remember that not all kitchens will be able to accommodate an island.


What size should your kitchen island be?

There is no such thing as a standard kitchen island size. That means finding the right size for your home can be a challenge. This guide will help you find the right height, width, and depth for your home.


Kitchen Island Height

The most common height for a kitchen island is 36 inches. This will give you enough room to stand and prepare your food while cooking. This height will also give you a comfortable space to sit and eat food at. However, if you are primarily using your kitchen island for eating, then increasing the height to 42 inches is recommended.


Kitchen Island Width

The width of your kitchen counter will depend entirely on the size of your kitchen. It will also depend on the appliances you want to include. Most are typically at least three feet in width, but if you’re going to incorporate a sink or cooktop, then you should expand further.


Kitchen Island Depth

In terms of depth, a kitchen island should be at least two feet deep. Whatever the depth, you should ensure you have enough room to move around each side, giving yourself at least three feet of floor space.


Commonly asked questions on kitchen islands

Along with the sizes, some of the other most commonly asked questions about kitchen counters include:


Can kitchen islands be taller than my counters?

This is a very common question, and kitchen islands are often taller than counters. The additional height helps hide clutter and acts as a focal point for any room.


How do kitchen islands differ from a peninsula?

Kitchen islands and peninsulas are often confused as the same item, but they are different. An island is free-standing and can be used on all four sides. A peninsula will have one end attached to a counter or your wall.


What should be included on your kitchen island?

Your kitchen island can be a simple breakfast bar or the central hub of your kitchen. The right solution will depend entirely on how you use your kitchen. It is important, though, to remember to keep it a size that suits your room.


Should a kitchen island match the cabinets?

This is another very common question. While a matching kitchen island can be aesthetically pleasing, it does not need to match. Utilizing a different color can help to create an attractive contrast that draws the attention of visitors.


Looking to install a kitchen cabinet in your home?

Are you looking to install a kitchen cabinet in your home? Here at Explore Kitchens, we can help you discover your dream kitchen. We work across northern Virginia, providing kitchen counters in McLean, Fairfax County, Arlington County, and beyond.

Our highly experienced team can help you transform your kitchen through innovative solutions designed for your home. We know the importance the right kitchen island can play in your property, so get in touch today to find out how our kitchen renovations can help you.


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The post Kitchen Island Dimensions – What’s The Best Size for Your Home? appeared first on Explore Kitchens – Kitchen Remodeling in McLean, VA.

Explore Kitchens Offering Virtual Site Visits

Explore Kitchens Offering Virtual Site Visits

Explore Kitchens Offering Virtual Site Visits: We aren’t letting 2020 Slow Your Project Down

McLean kitchen remodel after photos January 2021

We aren’t letting 2020 Slow Your Project Down

You may have been wondering how you can continue your kitchen remodel amidst the pandemic. Good news! Explore Kitchens is now offering Virtual Site Visits.

We believe that home improvement projects shouldn’t be affected by pandemics. That is why our experts now will meet you–virtual face to virtual face. You will guide us through your home as we look at cabinets, countertops, tile, flooring, appliances, and lighting.

What in the world is a virtual site visit?

We want to keep everyone safe; that’s why we post signage for our team to wear masks, shoe booties, and gloves in all of our project sites. We even provide masks for our clients if we need to meet onsite. But when meeting onsite is not ideal, we offer a virtual site visit alternative!

A virtual site visit is a video-based call between you and Explore Kitchens. It is a way for us to meet you face to face and see your home to make your dream come true.

There are some things you need to know before we begin your virtual site visit.

How to make your virtual site visit a success

We will now take you through the pre-flight checklist on the things you need to make your call successful. Though they are nothing like the flight attendant safety demonstrations, your project is about to take off!

Technology you need

You will need a smartphone with a working camera. Please make sure you know the app store password and install the Zoom app before the virtual site visit. Links for the app are available here: Android / Apple

Suppose you would prefer to use a laptop with a built-in webcam, that works as well. Please make sure you have your laptop battery fully charged before the call, as we will be moving throughout the house to get a closer look at your project needs.

The final piece of technology that you need for our virtual site visit is a pad of paper and a pencil to take notes. This is my favorite piece of technology!

Make sure both you and your spouse are present on the call

We will be covering important project information and kitchen remodel design decisions over our virtual site visit. Husbands, that means if you don’t want to have that floral print wallpaper, you better be on the call. And wives, if you don’t want the full cedar paneling style, you best be there to help make the decisions.

Explore Kitchens is not endorsing any particular design, nor do we want to get into a debate on a virtual site visit call. We know that you share your home with others, and we want to make everyone’s dream kitchen come true.

rrive 5 minutes early to test your audio settings

We encourage all of our clients to connect to the Zoom call 5 minutes before the meeting. We hope you could use this time to test your audio settings with Zoom and make sure your camera, microphone, and speakers work correctly. It allows us more time to discuss your project needs during the call.

What to expect with your virtual site visit?

You may be nervous about your first virtual site visit, but there is nothing to be worried about with our team! We make sure all of our clients are taken care of and have the perfect questions to ask you to tease out the information we need to make your project successful.

Be prepared to answer important questions

Every project consists of six main elements: cabinets, tile, countertops, flooring, lighting, and appliances. We will ask critical questions surrounding each of these for your kitchen remodel virtual site visit.


Please be prepared to discuss the current feel of your kitchen cabinetry. How can it improve? What would make it speak more to your style?

Explore Kitchens will ask you about the style, wood type, and finish. We offer traditional, contemporary, modern, transitional, or french country styles, cherry, maple, oak, or laminate wood types, light, medium, dark, or white finishes.


Think about where you would like to see the tile; we will ask you to show us during your virtual site visit. Think about what color, pattern, size of tile that you would like installed.


One of the biggest questions for countertops is: are you looking for the marble alternative in quartz? We recommend this choice as it offers a stunning look without all of the maintenance upkeep of marble.

Be prepared to talk countertop edging. Be aware that Explore Kitchens recommends the eased edge or standard edge. The ogee edges tend to make kitchens look dated. We encourage you to go out to our supplier for countertops and use their Countertop Edge Visualizer Tool to get a feel for what you would like.

Finally, we will ask you if you want heavy veining, a subtle vein, or a feathered look with countertops. The two most popular colors that we sold last year were MSI Calacatta Vincenza and MSA Calacatta Miraggio.


Do some research into what kind of flooring you would like to have in your kitchen. The ones we recommend are:

LVPPorcelainReal marble

No matter what material you pick above, your flooring will look great!

Lighting and Appliances

This category is pretty simple. We need to know if you have pre-existing electrical in place; that way, we know if we need to bring our electrician in on the project.


Read More:

How to choose your kitchen cabinets with 3 easy decisions

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Blum cabinet door hinges







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Flexible Design in the Kitchen

Flexible Design in the Kitchen

Today’s kitchens are delivering more multi-tasking than ever, as islands and niches now act as places to do homework, bill-paying and game playing in addition to eating breakfast and entertaining. Function remains vital to the way a kitchen is designed, and as lifestyles change, so do the elements of the overall space.

In addition to multifunctionality, trends impacting kitchen design include advancing technology and wellness. Aesthetically, color is upping its presence in appliances, tile and countertops, so cabinets need to provide the right complement – whether that means a striking, bold selection or calm, neutral backdrop.

Key trends impacting the kitchen cabinet segment include:

–The selection of flexible and specialized storage features continues to expand as homeowners try to make use of every inch of space in the kitchen.

–Wood tones are making a comeback, with finishes ranging from pale, natural wood looks to rich, dark grayed browns.

–Texture continues to trend, with weathered woods and soft-touch options among the most popular.

–The interest in color is skyrocketing, with painted and powder-coated finishes now available in an almost endless selection.

–Among the most popular colors trending for cabinets are blues and greens with a hint of gray, as well as black and, of course, white.

–Creative storage for cabinets includes pullouts, peg systems, pull-downs and blind-corner options, while drawers feature dividers and elegant organization for utensils and other items.


The post Flexible Design in the Kitchen appeared first on Kitchen & Bath Design News.

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