Who normally designs a tile backsplash: the homeowner, a kitchen or interior designer, or someone at a tile showroom?
Lori Carroll, Interior Designer: After interviewing the client, I personally come up with a tile design for each space. I may visit a tile showroom with the client or if I know their preferences, choose items myself to present later.
Lisa Elkins, Architect: It usually is a collaboration involving us, the client, and the [showroom] we are purchasing tile from. If we have an idea, and the showroom doesn't have the shape or style we were thinking of, they can usually recommend an alternative that will help achieve that look. A lot of times we have samples in our own library, so we know the parameters we have to work in before we even go to the tile showroom. But sometimes we see a space and think of something that would look great that we don't have samples of.
Anna Marie Fanelli, Showroom Owner: It is very important that a homeowner understands the capability of the tile showroom. Most high-end showrooms will be able to design a backsplash or offer design services without needing a kitchen or interior designer. If the showrooms have some interesting tile vignettes, rest assured that they can design.
Verdict: If you're not working with a designer, a tile showroom should be able to help you plan and execute a backsplash design.