There are two types of kitchen wall tiles. One is the customary backsplash. This goes straight against the wall above your countertop. This backsplash can be confined to the space of the wall along the portion of the countertop taken by your oven or stove. It may stretch sideways and upwards as you deem fit. The other type of kitchen wall tiles is a dado. This is not very different from the kind you may choose for your bathrooms or other areas. Dado is not a backsplash, not technically at least. A dado can be simply decorative. It may also serve as the backsplash. Dados are also utilitarian in most cases. They are not merely for aesthetic enhancements.
Backsplashes and dados demand different types of kitchen wall tiles.
You can use the material suitable for backsplashes also for your dados but you cannot do so the other way around. Kitchen wall tiles for backsplashes must be highly resistant to stains, dirt, dust and moisture. Backsplash should be extremely easy to clean. The process should be effortless. Also, the material should be light but durable, dense but not matte. The material should not be vulnerable to oils and some mild chemicals. They can be vulnerable to acids. You should not use any cleaning agent that is unsuitable for your backsplash. For all practical purposes, backsplashes should have a coating that makes the use of any detergent or cleaning agent unnecessary. However, when you have not cleaned the backsplash for a long time, you may have to use some abrasive agent to get rid of the grime build-up.
When you shop for kitchen wall tiles, you ought to focus on your needs.
The exact purpose and the plethora of attributes you expect the material to possess so life becomes simpler and easier for you. Many types of materials used in tiles are hard enough after treatment. They can also be moisture resistant. However, how they respond to heat and moisture as a collective threat is a different matter. Ceramic tiles for instance are treated to very high heat during their manufacturing and hence they will not be vulnerable to the heat in your kitchen. But their porosity may vary when you go from water or liquid to vapor or moisture. This is why backsplashes are usually treated to resist vapor or moisture. You need specially treated kitchen wall tiles. Do not just put up ordinary tiles that may otherwise be suitable for dados.