Backsplash with Cherry Cabinets: Standout Tile Designs for Cherry Wood


Cherry wood cabinets can add a rich, warm beauty to any kitchen. With their reddish-brown tones and smooth finish, cherry cabinets make a statement. When paired with the right backsplash, they can really stand out.

The backsplash is one of the most visible parts of any kitchen. It protects the walls behind a cooktop or sink from splatter and spills. But it also provides an opportunity to infuse color, texture, and personality. With so many backsplash tile options available today, it can be tricky to settle on the perfect look.

The key is choosing a backsplash that complements, but doesn’t compete with, the beautiful cherry cabinetry. The backsplash should enhance the cabinets’ reddish-brown hues without clashing. Warm, earthy tones and natural materials are ideal pairings. Simple designs also keep the focus on the rich wood grain.

This article will explore some of the best backsplash tile ideas to truly make cherry cabinets pop. From subway tiles to stone mosaics, there are countless stunning, yet practical options. With the right backsplash tile, you can create a cohesive, eye-catching kitchen that celebrates the beauty of cherry wood.

Complementary Tile Materials for Cherry Cabinets

Choosing compatible materials is the first step to finding backsplash tiles that work with cherry cabinets. Carefully consider the color, texture, and style of the following materials when designing your kitchen:

Travertine Tile

Travertine is a natural stone that comes in warm beige, brown, rust, and ivory tones. Its subtle swirls and holes create interest while matching beautifully with cherry. For a traditional look, use travertine subway tiles. Or get creative with mosaic patterns. Travertine backsplashes complement the rich look of cherry wood.

Marble Tile

Elegant marble tile comes in a range of brown, beige, and cream shades ideal for pairing with cherry cabinets. Marble’s natural veining adds movement and dimension. Stacked marble tiles make a refined, neutral backsplash. Or use marble mosaic sheets to craft a geometric design. Keep in mind, marble is softer and requires more maintenance than other stones.

Granite Tile

For a durable, easy-care option, consider granite backsplash tiles. Granite comes in brown, beige, and rustic red options that pick up the tones of cherry beautifully. Polished or honed granite tiles create a timeless look. Mix in some mosaic tiles for added allure. Granite offers the elegance of stone without the maintenance.

Ceramic Tile

Glazed ceramic tiles provide endless options for backsplashes with cherry cabinets. Warm brown, terra cotta, or rustic red ceramic tiles nicely complement the wood. Intricate patterns and designs are also possible with ceramic, from Moroccan influences to Arts & Crafts motifs. Use cherry-toned ceramic subway tiles or mosaic sheets to design a trendy yet classic backsplash.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile maintains its color better than natural stone and is very durable. Matte brown, beige, tan, and brick-hued porcelain tiles pair wonderfully with cherry cabinets. The matte finish helps maintain the visual interest of the wood grain. Stacked porcelain subway tiles make a clean-lined backsplash. Mixing porcelain mosaic sheets creates captivating patterns.

Styles of Backsplashes for Cherry Cabinets

Beyond the material, the overall style of the backsplash tile shapes the look of your kitchen. Consider these popular backsplash designs to enhance your cherry cabinetry:

Subway Tile

Simple subway tiles are one of the most versatile options for cherry cabinets. Their rectangular shape installed in stacked lines creates a clean, classic backsplash. Subway tiles come in neutral shades like white, ivory, taupe, and beige that subtly coordinate with cherry’s warm hues. A brown subway tile backsplash provides beautiful contrast to rich wood cabinetry.

Brick Tile

Running bond brick tile patterns also integrate effortlessly with cherry cabinets. Brick tiles come in earthy reds, browns, tans, and whites that complement the wood beautifully. Offset the bricks for interest. Mini brick tiles make for particularly charming backsplashes. Use cherry-toned grout to really tie the brick tiles to the cabinets.

Mosaic Tile

Small mosaic tiles offer endless possibilities for backsplash designs with cherry cabinets. Create intricate patterns or geometric shapes using mosaic sheets. Warm metallic mosaics like copper and bronze accent the wood tones nicely. For a more eclectic look, use multi-colored mosaic tiles in terra cotta, rust, tan, and brown. The small scale of the mosaic tiles pairs perfectly with cherry cabinetry.

Stone Slices

For a natural style, use slices of real stone as a backsplash with cherry cabinets. Sections of travertine, marble, slate, or granite can create a backsplash with rich texture and earthy beauty. Mix various stones for more interest. Combine stone slice patches with subway tile or small mosaics. The organic quality of the stone slices contrasts beautifully with the smooth cherry cabinetry.

Wood Planks

Bring the look of cherry cabinets into the backsplash with wood plank tile. Horizontal planks of timber, driftwood, or bamboo complement the wood cabinetry, creating a cohesive style. Using “wooden brick” style planks in similar reddish-brown stains as the cabinets looks especially attractive. The warm, natural beauty of wood backsplashes enhances the richness of the cherry cabinetry.

Backsplash Ideas for Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

Now that we’ve covered materials and styles, here are some standout kitchen backsplash design ideas to truly make cherry cabinets pop:

Beige Subway Tile

A beige subway tile backsplash is a foolproof pairing with cherry cabinets. The light neutral color allows the beauty of the wood to take center stage. Stack the 3×6 or 4×8 beige subway tiles in a classic brick pattern. Use a brown or cherry-toned grout for contrast. This clean, understated backsplash warms up the rich cherry tones.

Cream Marble Hexagon Mosaic

For a touch of elegance, install a mosaic backsplash using cream or white marble hexagon tiles. The petite hexagons create intriguing geometric shapes on the wall, complementing the straight lines of the cabinetry. The cream marble ties in the warm wood hues while the mosaic pattern makes a luxurious statement.

Rustic Wood Plank Tile

Rustic wood-look plank tiles make a bold, natural pairing with cherry cabinets. Use 6-inch planks in varying earthy stains like walnut, acacia, or hickory. The modern “reclaimed” look of the wood tile backsplash plays up the traditional beauty of the cherry cabinetry. Mixing plank directions adds intriguing contrast.

Brick Pattern Terra Cotta Tile

Warm up a cherry cabinet kitchen with terra cotta tile in an offset brick pattern. The brick reds, oranges, and browns bring out the vibrancy of the wood grain. Use a combination of matte and glossy tiles for interest. Mini tiles keep the scale intimate. Terra cotta’s natural looks feels simultaneously historical and fresh.

Mixed Stone Mosaic

For an organic look, craft a mosaic backsplash using an artful mix of natural stone. Combine stone slices, chips, and tiles in travertine, granite, marble, and slate. The varying colors, textures, and shapes of the stone mosaics complement the smooth reddish tones of the cherry cabinets beautifully. Finish the edges with cherry-stained wood trim.

White Subway Tile with Penciled Brown Grout

Put a novel spin on classic white subway tiles by using dark “penciled” grout lines. The thin brown grout lines add a tailored look while drawing out the warmth of the cherry cabinetry. Extra wide grout lines will make more of an impact. The contrast creates a eye-catching geometric pattern.

Tan and Cream Travertine Subway Tile

Using a combination of tiles in complementary hues can create a cohesive, dynamic backsplash. Try pairing cream and tan travertine subway tiles in a stacked pattern behind cherry cabinets. The swirls and veining in the stone pair gorgeously with the wood grain. Use a brown grout for a harmonious look. The varied travertine tiles give light and depth.

Basketweave Moroccan Tile

Moroccan-pattern ceramic tiles in warm brown, beige, and terracotta make an exotic backsplash for cherry cabinets. Use diamond, octagon, zigzag, or basketweave designs. Tiling the pattern on the diagonal creates exciting lines throughout the kitchen. The eclectic Moroccan look feels intriguing yet natural with rich wood cabinetry.

Brown Glass Subway Tile

Sleek glass subway tiles offer a contemporary twist on traditional cherry cabinets. Use dark brown and chocolate-colored glass tile for a sophisticated look. The deep brown plays up the reddish tones in the wood. Glass tile provides depth without the maintenance of stone. Combine with stainless steel for an industrial edge.

Design Tips for Backsplashes with Cherry Cabinets

To get the most pleasing, cohesive look with your cherry cabinet kitchen, keep these design tips in mind:

  • Select backsplash materials and colors that complement, rather than compete with, the rich reddish-brown wood tones. Light neutrals like cream and beige are safe bets.
  • Warm natural stones like travertine, marble and granite make elegant backsplash pairings and highlight the smooth wood grain.
  • Simple, clean-lined backsplash tile designs like subway and brick patterns help maintain the focus on the beautiful cherry cabinetry.
  • Mosaic tiles add visual interest and contrast nicely with the uniform wood cabinet fronts.
  • Grout color makes a difference! Use a brown, cherry, or wooden-toned grout to seamlessly tie the tiles to the cabinets.
  • Consider using cherry-stained wood planks or reclaimed boards to carry the cabinets into the backsplash.
  • Don’t be afraid to combine materials, colors and shapes in mosaic patterns or eclectic mixes for a dynamic cultured vibe.
  • Use tiles or accents in rich tertiary colors that pick up on the undertones of cherry, like sage, olive, rust and deep orange.
  • Natural surface materials like travertine and honed granite help downplay the sheen of polished cherry for a more rustic look.

Answering Common Questions About Backsplashes for Cherry Cabinets

Many questions come up when designing a backsplash for a cherry cabinet kitchen. Here are answers to some of the key questions:

What color backsplash goes best with cherry cabinets?

Some of the most complementary backsplash colors for cherry cabinets are cream, beige, white, tan, light brown, terra cotta, slate, natural stone colors, and wood tones. Staying in a similar color palette as the cabinets creates harmony.

Should I match or contrast my backsplash with cherry cabinets?

It’s generally best to complement and blend with the cherry wood rather than matching it exactly or creating high contrast. Go for tiles in harmonious tones like beige rather than matching the reddish color. Simple subway tiles in ivory are classic.

Do you need to seal a tile backsplash?

It’s not mandatory, but sealing porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone tiles can help prevent staining and increase water resistance. Use a penetrating sealant made for tile rather than a topical coating. Re-seal ever 1-2 years. Don’t seal glass tiles.

Should backsplash tile match countertops with cherry cabinets?

The backsplash tile does not necessarily have to match the countertops, especially with rich cabinetry like cherry wood. Often choosing a coordinating neutral tile color while using a countertop that picks up the wood tones looks more cohesive.

What kind of backsplash is easiest to install?

Subway tiles and mosaics are among the easiest backsplash tile options to install, especially for DIYers. Brick patterns take a bit more precision. Large format tiles like wide planks require skilled installation. Mosaic sheets are very beginner-friendly.

Is a tile or glass backsplash better?

It depends on your style. Glass tile is sleek and modern. Porcelain and ceramic tile offer endless options. Stone adds texture. There are pros and cons regarding durability, pricing, and ease of installation. Evaluate your kitchen needs and preferences when deciding on materials.


The backsplash presents a creative opportunity to enhance the natural beauty of cherry wood cabinets. With the right tile, you can create a warm, welcoming kitchen space that feels cohesive and flows beautifully. Play with shape, color, and pattern to complement the rich, reddish-brown hues.

Keep the cherry cabinetry as the star with materials and designs that support rather than compete. Nature-inspired stones, bricks, and woods make ideal pairings. Simple subway tiles also allow the eye to focus on the gorgeous wood grain. Use tiles sparingly for accents and interest.

With proper planning, you can design a backsplash that truly celebrates the elegance of cherry cabinets. Use the suggestions in this guide to find your perfect match. Then stand back and admire the gorgeous kitchen you’ve created as you enjoy all of the compliments from guests.