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Use Graph Paper to Plan Your Kitchen Backsplash Design

Working out your design for a kitchen backsplash on graph paper will result in a beautiful kitchen backsplash. Having a detailed plan will make the work go more smoothly. It will also help you to make a budget for the project, because you’ll know exactly how large a surface the tiles must cover. If you’re working with a craftsman or a contractor, a detailed plan will communicate your ideas more clearly than words.
Planning a design for kitchen backsplash tiles is fun! Many people are intimidated by the fact that kitchen backsplash tiles are not easy to change once they are installed, so they settle for bland, boring installations. You can avoid this and take full advantage of the wonderful characteristics of tile by planning ahead.


You’ll need to create a detailed drawing of the kitchen backsplash area. Start with a rough sketch — from memory, if you like. Then, get out your tape measure and take accurate measurements. You want to be accurate to 1/8 inch, so take your time with this step. Write each measurement on the sketch as you make it. Be sure to mark the location and dimensions of existing elements, like outlets and windows. You’ll have to work around those unless you want to go to the extra trouble and expense of moving them.


Next, transfer that information to a scaled drawing on graph paper. Write in all the measurements, as well as letting them be represented as squares on the graph paper, so you won’t have to count squares every time you need a measurement.

Make multiple copies of the drawing, because you’ll want to experiment with several designs. In the early stages, you’ll want to use coloured pencils or markers to try out the overall concept. This is the moment to let your imagination run wild! It’s only paper and pencils, so you can try anything you like. These preliminary designs don’t have to be detailed — in fact, it’s probably better if they’re not. You’re trying out ideas here. You might be inspired by a beautiful tile that you’ve seen, so you’ll have to figure out the best way to use it in your own kitchen. Or you might have found a photo of a beautiful tiled kitchen backsplash, and you wonder if the design would work well in the space you have available. Try drawing or painting them on your scaled drawing and see if you like the results!


When you’ve made preliminary tile choices and are ready to plan the layout, working to a specified scale on graph paper will make it easier to see exactly how each tile contributes to the big picture. You may have to adapt the scale of your drawing to see how each tile fits. Designs with small tiles are easier to depict when rendered on a larger scale. This may seem like extra work, but it’s a really good thing to do. It’s a lot easier to change your mind on graph paper than on the wall!

November 8, 2017
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