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  • Writer's pictureHerringbone & Brass

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas for Every Style

Are you thinking of a kitchen refresh or complete remodel? When designing their kitchens, most people think of beautiful kitchen cabinetry, a gorgeous kitchen island or dramatic range hood, or perhaps some stunning countertops, but the focal point in the kitchen can also be your backsplash. But with numerous options available, how do you choose the ideal tile for your kitchen backsplash?

Material selection that goes with your personal style

Unless your project is a kitchen refresh for an investment property, where a neutral kitchen with white cabinetry and subway tile might be the best choice, it is ok to impart your personal taste when choosing a kitchen backsplash material.

A neutral color palette is a safe way to go, but it is possible to create a tasteful and sophisticated look with with bold color tile, or darker colors. It's also important to consider whether your cooking space is connected to other rooms, such as a family room, as there might be design considerations to prevent the spaces from clashing with each other.

The tile or material you choose for your backsplash will have to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. Here are some of the most popular kitchen backsplash materials:

  • Glass tile: Glass backsplashes are sleek and modern, and they come in a variety of colors and finishes. They are easy to clean and maintain and are a popular backsplash option. However, glass tile can be fragile and can break if hit with a hard object.

  • Porcelain subway tiles: Porcelain subway tiles are a classic and versatile choice for kitchen backsplashes. They can be installed in a brick pattern or stacked on top of the one another in a vertical pattern. They are durable and easy to clean, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns.

  • Natural stone: Granite and marble are a popular choice for kitchen countertops, but they can also be used as a kitchen backplash to create a sleek and modern look. Similar to marble countertops, a marble backsplash can be expensive and requires regular sealing to protect it from stains.

  • Man-made slabs that imitate stone, such as Neolith or Silestone, are also a popular backsplash choice. These come in light and dark hues, and they copy the natural variation and veining of real stone. These products are a popular option for kitchens where the goal is to use the same material for the countertop and the backsplash. A dramatic look can be achieved by installing these slabs along the entire kitchen wall wherever there are cabinets.

  • Metal: Metal backsplashes, such as stainless steel and copper, are durable and easy to clean. They also add a modern and industrial touch to the kitchen. However, metal can show fingerprints and smudges.

  • Ceramic: Ceramic backsplashes are similar to porcelain subway tiles, but they are less durable and more prone to chipping and cracking. Colorful tile can be used for dynamic contrast, adding a surprising twist to the room.

  • Beadboard: Beadboard backsplashes are a classic and cottage-inspired choice. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but they are not as durable as other materials and can be difficult to clean.

  • Mirror: using a mirror as backplash can make all the difference in a small kitchen, helping the room appear larger.

kitchen backsplash
A sleek backsplash in one of our recent projects

Lifestyle Considerations When Selecting Your Backsplash

How you live will greatly impact your overall kitchen design. Along with the countertops, the kitchen backsplash is one of the features of the kitchen that needs constant cleaning, so if you cook a lot, you will want to choose a material that is easy to clean and will not stain. Glass, porcelain subway tiles, and natural stone like granite are all good choices for busy kitchens.

If you have children, you will want to choose a material that is durable and can withstand wear and tear. Metal, porcelain subway tiles, and natural stone are all good choices for families.

Your budget will also dictate the kind of backsplash you select. Some budget-friendly options are consider ceramic tiles or beadboard. However, we would not recommend using beadboard behind the range, as splatter and grease can make this area hard to clean.

Pattern Choices For Kitchen Backsplashes: Create the Style You Desire

Backsplash tiles can be plain, or they can create an eye-catching look with captivating patterns. Decide on the mood you're trying to create and utilize a tile pattern to depict that mood, whether it be a mosaic tile, tile with an art deco flair, or more contemporary subway glass tile or even mirrored tiles to bring depth to the space.

Here are some popular backsplash patterns :

  • Mosaic tiles: Mosaic tiles are a great way to add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your kitchen. They can be used to create a variety of patterns, from simple geometric designs to intricate works of art. They come in many different materials, from glass to porcelain to marble. Some people are drawn to the organic qualities of hand-cut mosaic tile, which creates a perfectly imperfect look.

  • Subway tiles: Subway tiles are a classic and versatile choice for kitchen remodels. They come in a variety of colors, patterns and materials. A subway tile backsplash can be arranged in a variety of ways to create different looks, from a classic brick pattern to horizontal or vertical designs.

  • Herringbone pattern: The herringbone pattern is a classic chevron design that can be used to create a variety of looks, from traditional to modern depending on the material you choose.

  • Penny rounds: Penny round tiles are small, circular tiles that can be used to create a variety of patterns, from simple geometric designs to intricate mosaics. These also are offered in many materials to choose from thus giving you many style options for your backsplash.

  • Moroccan tiles: Moroccan tiles are known for their bold colors and intricate patterns. They can be used to create a unique and eye-catching moroccan backsplash that makes a bold and stylish statement.

  • Mirrored tiles: Mirrored tiles can be used to add a touch of luxury and glamour to your kitchen backsplash. They can also help to reflect light and make a small space feel larger. These come in a variety of styles and shapes. The material can be classic mirror, or for a more dramatic look you can opt for antiqued mirrored tiles.

  • Geometric patterns: Geometric patterns are a popular choice for modern kitchens. They can be used to create a variety of looks, from simple and understated to bold and eye-catching. These kinds of tile provide an eye-catching backdrop on a wall with open shelves.

  • Floral patterns: Floral patterns can be used to add a touch of romance and femininity to your kitchen. This type of tile can be used to create a variety of looks, from delicate and understated to bold and dramatic.

  • Nature-inspired patterns: Nature-inspired patterns, such as wood grain and marble, can be used to create a warm and inviting kitchen. They can also be used to create a variety of looks, from rustic to modern.

herringbone backsplash
Herringbone pattern backsplash from one of our projects.

Kitchen Backsplash Colors: Create the Mood You Desire

The color of your kitchen backsplash can have a big impact on the mood of your kitchen. Lighter colors can create an airy and bright ambiance, while deeper hues can add drama and warmth.

Here are some popular kitchen backsplash colors and the moods they evoke:

Lighter colors:

  • White: White is a classic and versatile color for kitchen backsplashes. It can create a clean and modern look, or it can be paired with other colors to create a more eclectic look.

  • Light gray: Light gray is another popular color for kitchen backsplashes. It is neutral and can be paired with a variety of other colors. It can also create a sense of calm and sophistication.

  • Light blue: Light blue is a calming and relaxing color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a peaceful atmosphere.

  • Light green: Light green is a fresh and invigorating color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a cheerful and inviting atmosphere.

  • Light Luminescent tiles can achieve an ethereal look that will make the space appear larger due to the reflection of light in the space

Deeper hues:

  • Navy blue: Navy blue is a bold color while at the same time is sophisticated color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a dramatic focal point.

  • Black: A black backsplash is sleek and modern in color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a sophisticated and elegant look.

  • Dark green: Dark green is a rich and luxurious color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  • Dark brown: Dark brown is a rustic and inviting color. It is a great choice for kitchens where you want to create a cozy and comfortable environment.

mirrored backsplash
Antiqued mirror backsplash in our project's mini bar

Harmonizing Mixed Materials: Create a Kitchen Backsplash with Texture and Style

Don't shy away from combining diverse materials and textures in your kitchen backsplash. Using a marble mosaic with a sleek quartz countertop or mirrored tiles with a dramatic quartzite or marble countertop can create a harmonious yet textured appearance. Each texture complements the other, cohesively narrating a compelling story that truly breathes life into your kitchen space.

Choose materials that complement each other in terms of color and style. For example, you could pair a white marble mosaic with a black quartz countertop for a classic and elegant look. Or, you could pair mirrored tiles with a dark quartzite countertop for a more dramatic look.

Consider the texture of each material. You want to create a backsplash that is both visually appealing and functional. For example, if you are using a smooth quartz countertop, you could pair it with a textured marble mosaic to add interest. Or, if you are using a rough leather-like finish on a quartzite countertop, you could pair it with mirrored tiles to create a contrast in textures.

Use different tile patterns and layouts to create a unique look. For example, you could use a herringbone pattern for your marble mosaic and a subway tile layout for your mirrored tiles. Or, you could use a basketweave pattern for your marble mosaic and a penny round pattern for your mirrored tiles.

No matter what your style is, there is a backsplash design that is perfect for your kitchen. So get creative and have fun!

Some examples of tile that could be used in a backsplash.

Adding Visual Interest Behind The Range

The backsplash behind the range is the perfect location in your kitchen to make a statement. Depending on the choice of material and pattern, this backsplash can become the focal point of the kitchen.

For a more traditional look, patterned tiles (such as square tiles, or mosaic tile) can make the backsplash pop and add visual interest in an otherwise neutral kitchen. A more transitional style can be achieved by using subway tile or marble tile.

Depending on the kitchen cabinets (style or color), a white subway tile is sometimes the easiest backsplash to use, and an excellent way to tie everything together. For those who prefer a more contemporary kitchen, or a totally modern kitchen, a marble slab backsplash can take center stage by producing an eye-catching, seamless look.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you select a backsplash tile with so many options to choose from?

First look at your kitchen cabinetry and determine the style. Is it modern, contemporary, traditional or transitional? Is there open shelving? Is the island dramatic, and the focal point of the kitchen?

Consider the elements surrounding the room. The goal is for everything to come together harmoniously, and not compete with each other, or clash. An intricate moroccan tile backsplash will not be a good choice in an ultra-modern kitchen with a sleek marble slab as countertop, for example.

Where can I get kitchen backsplash ideas?

Pinterest is a great resource to get backsplash ideas. Kitchen remodel magazines are another great source of inspiration. Kitchen showrooms are our favorite choice when we work with clients. It is much easier to envision the scale and texture of the materials in a kitchen backsplash when you can see them and touch them.

What is a budget-friendly, yet stylish choice for kitchen backsplash tile?

There are many economical options for tiles but one classic is the white subway tile. It can be ceramic or porcelain and comes in a variety of sizes. It is a timeless look that has been used for over the years and never goes out of style.

You might consider splurging on something that creates drama and adds style to enhance the space and become the focal point of your kitchen. This will then become the conversation starter about the design of your kitchen.

Does the backsplash tile need to match the color of your kitchen cabinetry?

The color of your backsplash does not need to match your cabinets. If you want to contrast the two, choose a complementary color that works with your cabinetry color. For example, navy blue cabinets will pop when using a bright white tile backsplash and makes a bold statement.

Some people opt to use painted cabinets for their upper cabinets, while adding a contrast with stained wood for their island. In this case, the choice of backsplash can help bring together all the millwork and countertop components so the kitchen tells a coherent story.

You can choose to match the tile color if you want to create a more harmonious look and feel. An example of this could be a neutral gray cabinet and with a gray veined Carrera marble backsplash which creates a soft color palette leaving you the option to add bold accessories for pops of color. Any way you choose your kitchen backsplash will add visual interest to your kitchen.


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