Kitchen backsplash ideas – 15 looks and design advice

The kitchen backsplash is often an overlooked design element that can make a huge visual impact in your kitchen. Choosing the right backsplash tile and design allows you to add personality, color, and interest to your kitchen decor. With so many backsplash tile options to choose from like glass, marble, metal or ceramic tile, the possibilities are endless!

This article will explore 15 stunning kitchen backsplash ideas to inspire your next remodel. We’ll look at popular backsplash tile materials, patterns, colors and designs. We’ll also cover how to choose a backsplash for your kitchen design aesthetic. Let’s dive in to these kitchen backsplash ideas and tips!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash Design

The backsplash serves both form and function in the kitchen. Beyond just protecting your walls from splashes and stains, the backsplash makes a major decor statement. Here are some factors to keep in mind when selecting kitchen backsplash tile:

Kitchen Color Scheme and Style

Match your backsplash color and style to your overall kitchen design. Is your kitchen decor modern and sleek or rustic and homey? Choose a backsplash that complements the look. For modern kitchens, glass or metal tile offers a reflective, streamlined look. Rustic kitchens look beautiful with natural stone like travertine or marble.

Consider your kitchen’s color palette too. Bold backsplash tile pops against neutral cabinets and walls. Choose a muted mosaic tile if your kitchen already features lots of color.

Durability and Maintenance

The backsplash endures a lot of wear and tear behind the sink and stove. Select durable, water-resistant tile that stands up to messes, heat and daily use. Ceramic, porcelain or glass tile are very durable and come in endless style options.

Natural stone like granite or marble looks amazing, but requires sealing to prevent stains. Check that metal or stainless steel tile features a protective finish to repel water and fingerprints.

Low-maintenance tile will stay looking fresh longer. Glossy tile resists grime better than matte. Large tile is easier to keep clean than grout lines between small tiles.

Budget for Your Backsplash Project

Tile material, size, pattern and labor will affect the total backsplash cost. Budget $10-40 per square foot for most tile, but premium materials like marble or custom mosaic patterns can be much higher.

Factor in potential plumbing or electrical work needed if changing the stove or sink location. Your tile pro can guide you to affordable tile options to suit your budget.

Kitchen Size and Layout

Size and layout impact the look that works best. Small kitchens can feel crowded with oversized tile or busy patterns. Opt for smaller mosaic tiles to make the space feel larger.

In spacious kitchens, larger tiles like 12×24 inch subway tile help the design feel cohesive. Giant patterned tile can overwhelm a tiny kitchen.

Focus bold patterns or colors around the cooking zone if your kitchen is open to other rooms. Busy backsplashes look best contained to the work area.

15 Beautiful Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Now let’s look at 15 inspiring kitchen backsplash designs:

1. Stacked White Subway Tile

Nothing says classic and clean like white subway tile. The rectangular tiles stack neatly in offset rows for a streamlined look. Subway tile provides timeless versatility that suits any kitchen style from modern to traditional.

Use shiny polished or matte subway tile depending on your style. Run the tile from counter to cabinets in a full backsplash or in a simpler, eye-catching herringbone pattern.

Minimal grout lines give this backsplash a seamless look. Choose bright white grout that matches the tile or soft gray grout for contrast. Subway tile backsplashes work with any cabinetry color and material from white to espresso to black.

White stacked subway tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

2. Modern Geometric Cement Tile

For a contemporary kitchen, think outside the box with funky shapes and asymmetric patterns. Geometric tile backsplashes provide visual interest with dimension and angles.

Cement tile allows for bold color combinations in glossy or matte finishes. Use restraint with busy cement tile – stick to decorating just the backsplash zone rather than all walls.

Offset cement tiles randomly for a modern patchwork feel. Try combining contrasting colors like navy blue diamonds, intricate black outlines and deep green grout.

Modern blue and green geometric cement tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

3. Sophisticated Marble Tile

Marble naturally exudes elegance with its veining, swirls and organic pattern. Use marble backsplash tile to create a high-end, ultra-luxe look in your kitchen.

Stick to larger marble tile like 12×24 inch for the most impact. Install it in the popular brick-lay pattern or an intricate herringbone design. Choose a marble mosaic for the backsplash and continue it up the wall behind your stove in a full high-end backsplash.

Soapstone is another natural material option similar to marble with gorgeous grayish blue and green veining. Be sure to seal marble or soapstone before and after installation to prevent staining.

Elegant kitchen with white and gray marble backsplash tile

Credit: Home Stratosphere

4. Uplifting Lemon Yellow Kitchen Backsplash

Citrus kitchen backsplash colors energize and uplift any cook space. The sunny hue plays well off whites and greys for a fresh complement. Use glossy ceramic or handmade subway tile for cheery appeal.

Accent yellow with white grout or outline tiles in dark grey metal for contrast. Limit the buttery yellow backsplash tile behind the range and sink to keep it fresh. Pair with painted or stained lemon cabinetry for added punch.

Yellow ceramic subway tile kitchen backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

5. Sophisticated Steel Metal Tiles

Industrial metal tiles lend an ultra-modern vibe, like you’re cooking in a sleek restaurant kitchen. Stainless steel, copper, brass and nickel all make unique choices. Mix metal finishes for visual interest.

Metal backsplashes work beautifully behind pro-style ranges. Or give your kitchen a focal point over the stove with a textured metal hood extending to the ceiling.

Combine metal mosaic tiles with natural stone for natural warmth. Run metal tile vertically behind the sink or horizontally along the countertop. Metallic shine reflects light beautifully in dark, windowless kitchens.

Modern stainless steel tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

6. Rustic Farmhouse Brick Backsplash

Give your kitchen a cozy, antique feel with a brick backsplash. Real reclaimed brick delivers old-world character and texture. Faux brick tile replicates the look at a lower cost.

Mix brick colors and arrange irregularly for a authentic vibe. Brick naturally works in rustic, farmhouse or old world kitchens. Pair with butcher block counters and cabinetry for a homey country kitchen.

Set larger 8×8 inch bricks vertically like a wall. Or lay longer bricks horizontally along the counter in a ledge or stacked pattern. Finish the brick backsplash with dark grout to emphasize the rugged style.

Rustic farmhouse kitchen brick backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

7. Bold Black and White Geometric

For dramatic flair, think bold black and white. Graphic patterns like zigzags, chevrons, or overlapping circles give your backsplash tile design pop.

Use high contrast white and black tiles to create visual interest behind the stove. Go for high shine and glossy tile for reflective depth.

Achieve a retro diner feel with a checkerboard tile pattern. Use graphic black and white tile sparingly to keep the look striking but not overwhelming.

Black and white backsplash tile

Credit: Home Stratosphere

8. Natural Stone Travertine Tile

For an earthy feel, try a natural stone backsplash in travertine. Travertine comes in a range of warm earth tones from ivory to walnut with pretty rust-colored veining. The stone has a textured, holes-filled surface for organic appeal.

Use travertine tile or slabs with a chiseled edge detail. Cut travertine in wide planks for a wood-like look. Mix sizes like 4×12 and 6×12 for interest. Use small mosaic tile sparingly as an accent.

Sealing is a must to protect porous travertine from stains and etching. Travertine looks perfectly at home in Tuscan, Mediterranean and rustic kitchen designs.

Travertine tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

9. Classic White Shaker Tile

For traditional kitchens, white shaker tile delivers timeless appeal. The white tile features slightly beveled edges for dimension. Use it on the backsplash or expand tile to cover the whole wall behind cabinets.

To highlight the shaker design, avoid busy decorative trim or borders. Opt for polished 3×6 or 4×12 inch sizes. Shaker tile allows your pretty vintage finds like farmer’s sinks or brass fixtures to shine.

Pair classic white shaker tile with antique brass hardware for a timeless, All-American kitchen. Use white grout to match or go bold with black grout lines.

White shaker tile kitchen backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

10. Retro Pastel Patchwork Tile

Does your kitchen crave color? Pastels like mint, peach, sage and sky blue make a nostalgic 1950’s statement. Use a combination of glossy and matte tiles in soft hues.

Mix and match tile shapes for artsy appeal – try circles, squares, scalloped edges and zigzag patterns. Install in an offset brick pattern, or turn tiles every which way for retro fun.

Keep the rest of the kitchen muted to let the backsplash be the star. Use a pastel glass pendant light and vintage barstools to tie the look together.

Mint green retro backsplash tile

Credit: Home Stratosphere

11. Sophisticated Blue and White Patterned Portuguese Tile

Vintage Portuguese tiles with hand-painted illustrations feature vivid color and charming narratives. Blue and white is the most recognizable, depicting everything from seascapes to flowers.

Though pricier than ceramic or porcelain tile, Portuguese tile packs tons of style impact. Use it sparingly on the backsplash or behind the range. Opt for traditional motifs that suit your kitchen’s old world vibe.

The tiles are generally small in scale – install them in a patchwork pattern interspersed with plain tiles. Don’t overdo ornate trim, which competes with the tiles’ artwork.

Vintage style blue and white Portuguese tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

12. Natural Stone Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tile sets small stone pieces in mesmerizing patterns. Materials like travertine, marble or pebbles make mosaics with natural beauty. Stone mosaic sheets make installation simple.

Use mosaics sparingly on a backsplash focal area, saving money over large stone slabs. Opt for mosaic in a neutral color palette to let the stone textures shine.

Stone mosaics come in every shape imaginable – diamonds, circles, flowers, sunbursts. Choose a coordinated mosaic border trim to finish edges.

Pebble stone mosaic backsplash tile

Credit: Home Stratosphere

13. Whimsical Moroccan Fish Scale Tile

Make a stylish splash with a Moroccan fish scale tile backsplash. The interlocking tiles are glossy and iridescent, creating a dynamic seascape. Use shades of ocean blue, seafoam green or midnight blue.

For variation, intersperse fish scale clusters with solid glossy tiles in contrasting tones. Metallic gold, silver or copper tile accents tie the look together brilliantly.

Limit fish scale tile to a contained backsplash, as the pattern gets busy. Use rectangular listello border trim to frame irregular fish scale edges neatly.

Blue Moroccan fish scale tile backsplash

Credit: Home Stratosphere

14. Natural Stone Ledge

For a luxurious backsplash, think big with full stone slabs. Marble, granite, travertine and soapstone make stunning backsplash ledges. Use large-scale stone at least 1 1/4” thick for substantial visual weight.

A stone ledge doubles as countertop extending along a wall, with no border between. The look is clean, seamless and organic. Opt for polished stone to reflect light beautifully. Use water-resistant stone like granite near cooking zones.

Combine coordinating stones for interest – try travertine ledge with marble mosaic inlay. Leave enough clearance so stove ventilation doesn’t splatter.

White marble stone slab backsplash ledge

Credit: Home Stratosphere

15. Natural Wood Plank Backsplash

Warm up your kitchen with rich wood tones. Use real wood sliced into long planks or faux wood-look porcelain planks. Combine wide and narrow boards for dimension.

Wood backsplashes complement rustic, farmhouse, cottage or craftsman kitchen designs. Work with reclaimed barnwood or knotty pine to continue the homey vibe.

Use wood sparingly on the backsplash only so it doesn’t overwhelm the kitchen. Properly seal to prevent water damage and warping behind the sink.

Wood plank kitchen backsplash - horizontal orientation

Credit: Home Stratosphere

Design Tips for the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash

Now that we’ve explored various backsplash tile materials and designs, here are some extra design tips for achieving backsplash success:

  • Only decorate the backsplash area itself – don’t overwhelm the entire kitchen with bold tile.
  • Choose tile that is water-resistant and easy to clean.
  • Pair tile shapes and sizes in complementary combinations for interest.
  • Use trim, mosaics or other accents sparingly. Don’t distract from the main tile.
  • Grout color impacts the look – consider white, grey or black grout.
  • Don’t crowd a small kitchen with oversized tile or busy patterns.
  • Install backsplash tile from counter to ceiling for a sleek custom