Backsplash windows are a popular design element in both contemporary and traditional kitchen projects.

. Here are some backsplash-window design tips from the architects and designers whose work is featured in the slide show: Decide whether you will run the glass to the countertop. John Rogers, principal with Rogers & Labarthe Architects, in Houston, says you should first decide if the window will meet the countertop. “If so, consider the detail of how the countertop material and windows will come together,” he says. The detail might be easier to construct if there is a backsplash that comes up to the window.


Backsplash Windows

Narrow backsplash windows bring natural light to the kitchen while maintaining privacy.

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Be aware of the thicknesses of all materials, and think through how they will match up. Architect Alison Rainey of Merzproject, in Phoenix, suggests working backward, so your rough-in is set to accommodate the final finished materials.

Measure carefully. “You have to measure exactly so the window does not run below the countertop edge or over the cabinetry,” says remodeler Iris Harrell of Harrell Remodeling, in Mountain View, Calif. Rainey recommends that the space be completed before the cabinetmaker comes to take measurements. Harrell agrees that measuring after the drywall installation is the safest option, but the long lead time on cabinetry would require waiting too long, so she says that more experienced contractors are able to measure early in the process.

Be prepared to make adjustments in the field. Architect Phil Rossington of Rossington Architecture, in San Francisco, suggests going over the detail with the contractor so he knows exactly what you want.

Be aware that the type of window you select will affect the look of the room. Because “fixed windows do not have hardware, and all the glass in a single plane,” Rogers points out that fixed windows have a clean look that is better suited to contemporary designs. Consider installing operating windows if the room is more traditional or does not have other openings to provide cross ventilation.

Find a place for electrical receptacles. Rogers says that if the window runs down to the countertop, place receptacles on an intersecting wall or on the underside of the cabinets. If you are including a countertop ledge, you can place receptacles in the ledge.