The History & Evolution of Backsplashes

The area of material behind your sink– whether in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or wherever… You probably take it for granted! The truth is that backsplashes are a relatively new innovation in home design.


A backsplash is designed to prevent water, grease and other liquids from staining the wall behind a sink. Short, functional backsplashes were likely introduced when indoor plumbing became common in homes and businesses. This new convenience was soon adapted for other purposes such as decor and luxury.


As design evolved, some sinks were created with their own backsplashes– often called “farmhouse-style.” By the mid-1900s, bright and patterned tiles became the popular choice for a backsplash. In the 80s and 90s, style moved towards neutral colours like cream, beige and off-white.


Recent years have seen the popularization of elements like stone, metal, ceramic and glass. Designs range from simple mosaics inspired by midcentury subway stations to intricate patterns that combine different materials. When it comes to the future of backsplashes– the sky is the limit! Contemporary trends include diverse textures, faux-materials like wood and even a return to bold 1950s patterns.

If you have questions about adding or changing a backsplash, contact or visit us today! The experts here at Stoneworks will walk you through the numerous options in design and material available for any backsplash project.

KITCHEN ISLANDS: History & Evolution

kitchen-island-marbleA wide open kitchen with a central island area is a common sight in modern homes, but it was not always this way. Design evolved from classical, more temporary use to what is now widely considered a cornerstone of today’s kitchen. Keep reading for Stoneworks’ crash course in the history, evolution and status of the kitchen island.


Simple tables and freestanding surfaces have been used in kitchens recorded as far back as Victorian England. More contemporary, built-in islands that we know today did not get their start until the 1950s. In the mid-century housing boom, new materials and construction methods gave rise to more compact appliances and homes with more open floor plans. The accompanying designs gave birth to the kitchen island, but it did evolve over time.


Consumer kitchen technology became more efficient, sleek and multipurpose in the 80s and 90s. Islands benefited greatly and became even more popular in new homes, as well as renovations. Social norms also evolved– the kitchen was once meant to be hidden, but now it was a place to gather and enjoy life. The basics stayed consistent, but variations like wine coolers, raised stools and secondary sinks have since gone in and out of fashion.


The way family and homelife has changed over the eras, kitchen islands have proven to be a useful feature of modern living spaces. Open concepts are now more the rule rather than the exception– yet another reason why most developments and renos hinge around this particular area of kitchen design. Since an island excels in both family settings and social functions, they transcend any one type of homeowner.

As you can see, we have progressed a long way from the spare table the cook pulls out when you call for a feast. The utility of kitchen islands is undeniable, which is proven by the fact that they are more popular than ever. If you have questions about updating or putting in an island, consult with the kitchen surface pros here at Stoneworks today!


bathroom-backsplash-tileCustom backsplashes– the part of your kitchen wall behind the sink– have become extraordinarily popular in recent years. Ranging in material and style, both new builds and renovations tend to boast a bodacious backsplash that catches the eye. Whether to add style or value to your home, backsplashes are often good investments, but only if they remain in peak condition. Consult Stoneworks’ guide to backsplash maintenance below and be sure to contact our professional customer service team with any concerns.

Right Product for Right Material

Use the right cleaning product for the right material. The following are some common backsplash materials and their respective cleansers:

  • Glass: one part warm water, one part vinegar or a household glass cleaner;
  • Stone: one drop liquid soap per cup of water, applied with a soft cloth;
  • Marble: same mix as stone, but drying thoroughly is crucial;
  • Steel: same mix as glass, but do not use household cleaners– finish with a stainless steel polish for maximum shine;
  • Tile: one part hot water, one part vinegar– consult the next tip for cleaning grout.

Tile Backsplashes

For tile backsplashes, pay special attention to the grout. The lines between your tile are known as grout– due to their nature, they can become grimy and dirty if not properly cleaned. For best results, scrub your grout with a small brush and a water-baking soda paste. After this process, be sure to rinse completely with clean water and buff it dry to avoid water spots.

Seal It!

Invest in proper sealant and apply it correctly. Many natural surfaces such as granite or marble have specific sealants that need to be applied regularly. Other materials can also be sealed to prevent stains, reduce wear and mitigate dents or dings. Either way, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly or else consider investing in professional assistance.

Extending the life and lustre of your kitchen’s backsplash is in the interest of every property owner. Don’t lose the value added by letting it age poorly– what was once eye-catching could soon be an eyesore! Stoneworks carries a wide variety of materials, so you can rely on our team to answer any questions you may have.

How Can I Decrease the Cost of My Bathroom Renovation?

The average bathroom renovation cost is around $10,500. But don’t worry, if that number is way out of your budget Stoneworks has five tips to help you decrease the cost of your bathroom reno without compromising on style or quality. Read on to learn more!

1. Do Your Own Demo

Hiring a demo team for your bathroom, while convenient, is not the most economical option. DIY-ing the demo and the majority of the renovation will go a long way in helping to keep your costs down. A word to the wise – make sure you do your research and know what’s behind your walls before you take a sledgehammer to it. You don’t want to end up hitting a water pipe or live electrical wire. If you are unsure, it’s always best to consult an expert. 

2. Limit the Amount of Tile

When you factor in the cost of the tile, as well as any labor costs for installation, tiling can get expensive quickly. If you’re looking to keep costs low, save the tile for the floor and shower and stick to simply painting the walls. You’d be surprised at how big of a change a coat of paint can make!

3. Don’t Move Major Fixtures

One of the major costs in a bathroom reno is moving major fixtures, like the toilet or shower. Moving these will require you to hire a plumber, which will greatly increase your costs. The more you can keep the layout the same – the more you’ll save!

4. Save on Countertops

Many people will opt for a classic countertop option, such as granite or marble, in their bathroom because the investment is much lower than what you’d spend on, say, an entire kitchen. The good news is that there are more ways to save than just sheer size required. Chat with your stone provider about choosing a slab that contains imperfections. These slabs are less expensive, and most times the imperfection is able to be removed to make room for the sink basin!

5. Redo or Buy Used

Buying and replacing your tub, toilet and shower is a quick way to rack up your bill. Instead of purchasing all new fixtures, look at getting them re-done! Getting your tub covered or re-lined is a great way to get a fresh, new look without a big price tag. If you do need to purchase new fixtures, look at buying used! You can great quality items at a fraction of the cost.

Renovating Your Bathroom?

If your next bathroom renovation includes new countertops, floors or cabinets, contact the team at Stoneworks Granite & Quartz. Our knowledgeable staff are ready to answer any questions you might have.