Today Julia writes:

Dear Diva, I’ve found a great tile for my kitchen backsplash but I am having a hard time figuring out which direction it should go. It’s a glass and stone mosaic that is made up of 1″ x 2″ rectangles that don’t line up, so it looks like brickwork. I’m not sure whether I should run it horizontal or vertical. Which way is the right way?

Julia, how to choose a backsplash for your kitchen can definitely be a tricky question to answer. Especially when it comes to which direction the tile should run. But there are a couple of questions you can ask yourself that may help you decide which is best for your space:

First off, what style is your kitchen? If your style is more traditional you may want to consider keeping the tiles in the horizontal direction. Typically a horizontal brickwork pattern lends well to traditional designs.  If your kitchen is contemporary or modern, then a vertical design could add to that style as well. Depending on what you are looking at space wise, this could also add a little more depth to your room. In some instances, I’ve seen vertically run tile add a sense of whimsy or make a room look edgy.

Second, are there any spacial concerns? If you’re dealing with a unique sized space, you may want to consider orienting the tiles to make the best out of the space instead. For example, say you are tiling an entire wall and it’s long but not very tall. It would be best to install the tile in a vertical pattern, as it would help trick the eye into seeing a taller space then what is actually there. This trick is the same if your proportions are switched and you have a tall but not very long space. Tiling in the horizontal orientation will help the wall seem wider than it really is. Both of these tricks are just illusions that can help when dealing with the short comings of a space.

How To Choose A Backsplash For Your Kitchen

In the end, there really is no wrong direction to run the mosaic tile. I’m sure either way you decide it will look fabulous! If you still aren’t sure prop a couple of the mosaics against the wall in the direction you think you want and live with it like that for an afternoon or a couple of days.  If you still aren’t sure do the same thing with the tiles going in the other direction. If you can’t keep the tiles against the wall consider using masking tape or even those velcro like Command strips. Both options will make sure you don’t do any permanent damage to the wall or tile itself and they will give you a better idea of exactly how the tile would look in the long run!

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe(diva(at) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog

Written by Amanda Hartley