Large Tile Backsplash Create Sleek Look with Larger Tiles


Installing a backsplash in your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Recently, large format tiles have become increasingly popular for backsplash applications. Using larger tiles on your backsplash can create a sleek, modern aesthetic.

Larger tiles have less grout lines, allowing you to achieve a seamless look. The minimal grout lines also make large tile backsplashes easier to clean and maintain. If you’re looking to make a design statement in your kitchen, consider using oversized tiles for your backsplash.

Benefits of Using Large Tiles for Backsplash

There are several advantages to using large format tiles for your kitchen backsplash:

Fewer Grout Lines

One of the biggest benefits of large tiles is that they have fewer grout lines since there are fewer tiles needed to cover the same surface area. The large tile requires less grout overall, creating a smoother, cleaner look. The minimal grout also enhances the sleek, contemporary style that large format tiles can provide.

Easier Maintenance

Due to the decreased amount of grout, large tile backsplashes are easier to keep clean. Grout tends to get dirty and stained over time. With fewer grout lines, there are fewer areas that can get grimy. Large tiles also don’t require as much effort to scrub or re-grout down the road.

Greater Visual Impact

Larger tiles make more of a design statement. They immediately catch the eye and stand out. Bigger tiles highlight and accentuate the beauty of natural stone, marble, or other tile materials. Large format tiles can command attention, creating an eye-catching focal point in your kitchen.

Seamless Look

With fewer grout lines and fewer tiles needed overall, large tiles can achieve a more seamless, continuous look. The large tiles blend together for a smooth, uniform appearance. The result is a sleek, contemporary style that flows beautifully throughout the backsplash area.

Modern Aesthetic

Large format tiles align with current design trends favoring a streamlined, minimalist look. The pared-down style of large tiles complements many modern or industrial kitchen designs. If you want your new backsplash to look fresh and current, large tiles are a great choice.

Popular Options for Large Format Backsplash Tiles

There are many great options when selecting large format tiles for your backsplash:


Porcelain tile is a popular choice for contemporary kitchen backsplashes. Available in very large sizes like 12″x24″ or even 16″x32″, porcelain provides a seamless look. Porcelain is dense, making it very durable and water-resistant. It comes in a range of colors and realistic stone or wood looks.


For a high-end, luxurious backsplash, large format marble tiles are stunning. Marble offers natural beauty with distinctive veining in the stone. Extra-large marble tiles can make a dramatic statement in your kitchen. Be aware that marble is porous and requires sealing.


Quartzite is an extremely strong natural stone that makes an excellent large tile material. With attractive earthy tones and variation, it brings interesting texture. Quartzite needs sealing but is very durable. Large format quartzite tiles bring contemporary style.


Glass tile can inject colorful, sleek style into a backsplash. Available in large mosaics or sizable individual tiles, glass adds radiant sheen. It’s easy to wipe clean. Illuminated glass tile becomes translucent for special effect.


For an ultra-modern, industrial look, large format metal tiles in stainless steel, copper, or other metals are bold. Commercial-style metal tiles work well in lofts or contemporary kitchens. They have a sleek, reflective surface.

Design Considerations for Large Tile Backsplashes

When planning a large tile backsplash, keep these design tips in mind:

Select Appropriate Tile Size

Carefully measure your backsplash area and choose an appropriately-scaled large tile. Oversized tiles can look awkward if the area is too small. Standard large format sizes include 12″x24″, 16″x16″, 18″x18″, or 24″x24″.

Pay Attention to Tile Edges and Patterns

Look for tiles with straight, clean edges that will flow cleanly together. Tiles with an irregular handmade look can seem disjointed. Grid, stack, or brick patterns work better than offset layouts.

Use Bottom Border or Accent Tile

Running a border tile along the bottom of the backsplash can finish it off nicely. This allows you to use a different color, material, or texture to enhance the large tiles.

Consider Gloss Level

Matte or honed large tiles will resist showing water spots and smudges. Glossy tiles have higher light reflectance. Consider your style preference and kitchen activities when choosing shine level.

Factor in Grout Color

With large tiles, grout color choice is important as there are fewer grout lines. Matching the grout to the tile creates an unbroken expanse. Contrasting grout can frame each tile for a grid-like visual effect.

Illuminate with Task Lighting

Properly lighting a large tile backsplash showcases the details. Use under-cabinet LED strip lights or pendant lights over a decorative focal point area of the backsplash.

Large Tile Backsplash Installation Tips

To achieve the best results with a large tile backsplash, keep these installation recommendations in mind:

  • Carefully follow all manufacturer instructions for proper subfloor preparation and tile setting materials.
  • Use a high quality tile adhesive designed for large format tile. These provide a stronger bond and more flexibility to avoid grout cracking.
  • Make sure the tile is fully embedded in the adhesive with no gaps or voids through consistent pressure and beat-in techniques.
  • Use tile leveling spacers during installation to ensure an even finish with straight grout lines.
  • Follow directions not to spread more adhesive than can be tiled within the working time frame.
  • Allow proper curing time as indicated before grouting or sealing tiles. Do not disturb or walk on tiles during this period.
  • Use unsanded grout for tile joints 1/8 inch or less to avoid scratching the tile surface.
  • Apply grout sealer after installation for easier cleaning and stain resistance.

Following good workmanship practices will help your large format tile backsplash look fantastic and perform well for years. Take your time and follow all directions closely.

FAQs About Large Tile Backsplashes

What size tile is best for a backsplash?

For a contemporary look, 12″x24″ or 16″x16″ tiles are recommended. Mosaic sheets in 12″x12″ sections are also popular. Make sure to balance the scale of the tile with your wall size.

How thick should backsplash tiles be?

Standard backsplash tile thickness is 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. Large format tiles should be at least 3/8” thick to provide needed rigidity over their span. Check manufacturer specs.

What type of tile is best for the kitchen backsplash?

Porcelain and ceramic are most common, but natural stone and glass are also used. Choose tiles with a waterproof, stain-resistant glaze. Avoid highly porous tiles like terracotta in splash zones.

Should you seal tile before or after grouting?

It’s best to apply grout sealer to finished grout joints after installation. This coats the grout surface to protect it from stains. Apply any penetrating tile sealers before grouting so they soak in.

How do you cut large tiles without chipping?

Use a wet saw with a diamond tile blade. Mark cuts carefully and make multiple shallow passes through the tile instead of one deep cut. This helps avoid edge chipping.

How do you lay large format tiles to look seamless?

Straight edges, grid layouts, proper thinset coverage, leveling spacers, and perfectly straight grout lines all contribute to a seamless look. Take your time during installation.

Achieve a Sleek Modern Look with Large Tile Backsplashes

Installing a backsplash with large format tiles is an excellent way to give your kitchen an updated, contemporary look. Oversized tiles make a stylish impact with their sleek, minimalist aesthetic created by fewer grout lines. Large tiles establish a focal point, add design interest, and flow seamlessly throughout the backsplash area when properly installed.

With many material and color choices available, it’s easy to find beautiful, durable large tiles to fit your personal taste. A bold, elegant large tile backsplash can modernize your cooking space and give it an eye-catching edge.