Aluminum vs. Copper Backsplash

Lead Image for Aluminum vs. Copper Backsplash

Add an aluminum or copper backsplash to your kitchen to complement both contemporary and country traditional decors. These metals come with specialized coatings that allow them to resist water, heat, and cooking oils, so they will retain their dazzling good looks for years. Learn more below about whether you should choose an aluminum or copper backsplash for your kitchen decor.

Aluminum Backsplash

This inexpensive metal is lightweight and flexible, so it is easy to install around any kitchen interior configuration. Aluminum comes in a wide range of finishes, including brushed, polished, anodized, or blackened. Choose the finish you prefer to complement a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, or a traditional country kitchen with white appliances. If you decide on a mosaic aluminum tile, you can choose an accent color for a small percentage of the mosaics that will showcase your kitchen wall color ideally.

Installing Aluminum Backsplash

You can make your backsplash out of 4-inch square or 6-inch square aluminum tiles. These can be grouted and fastened to the kitchen wall in the traditional way, or you can use removable, replaceable aluminum peel and stick adhesive tiles. The adhesive backs will stick reliably to any surface, whether painted drywall, wood, or existing ceramic tile. New technologies now make possible aluminum backsplashes in sheet rolls that attach to walls with durable adhesives. You can also have a favorite photo or painting digitally etched onto these aluminum sheets to create a mural effect in your kitchen.

Copper Backsplash

You can choose copper backsplash tiles in the classic deep orange copper tone. Copper tiles with an applied patina can simulate age to enhance a vintage-style kitchen, and Verde-finished copper will add freshness to a kitchen brimming with plant life. In a contemporary kitchen, choose two-toned copper tiles in a rectangular brick shape to add texture to the backsplash area. Highly polished copper tiles will reflect all the shades in a stone, marble, or granite countertop. Brushed copper reflects light in a more scattered way than polished copper. Copper is among the easiest materials to etch, so you can add decorative effects based on any design or drawing. You can also apply enamel highlights to copper tiles.

Installing Copper Backsplash

Like aluminum, copper is also available in sheet form to cover large areas. Rectangular brick tiles, square etched and polished tiles, and mosaic copper tiles, with different colors and finishes highlighted in each tile, are also available. Copper can be installed behind a sink and faucet in the kitchen with suitable waterproof coatings. Add a copper backsplash behind your cooktop to match your copper range hood.

Cost Comparison

Aluminum is one of the lowest-cost materials you can use for a backsplash. It can be anodized and coated for water and scratch resistance inexpensively. Due to its versatility and softer texture, a copper backsplash will cost significantly more than aluminum. It must also be finished with more expensive water-resistant lacquers for use behind a kitchen sink and faucet. Scratch-resistant coatings on copper must be applied in several coats to preserve the texture of an etched copper finish.