Patterned Tile Backsplash Striking Patterns & Vibrant Colors

A patterned tile backsplash can add visual interest and vibrancy to any kitchen. With the wide range of colors, textures, shapes and designs available, backsplashes are an easy way to showcase your personal style. Whether you prefer traditional motifs, bold geometrics, or eclectic patterns, there is a look for every taste.

Benefits of Choosing a Patterned Tile Backsplash

Choosing a patterned tile backsplash offers many advantages over plain tile or other backsplash materials.

  • Visual Interest: From Moroccan influences to modern interpretations, patterned backsplashes create movement and flair. The interlocking shapes and repeating motifs add drama and elegance.
  • Complements the Decor: The colors and designs available in patterned tiles allow you to seamlessly match or complement your existing decor. Warm coppery tones, cool grays, punchy primaries – patterns provide limitless possibilities.
  • Durability: High-fired ceramic or porcelain tile is extremely durable, resistant to moisture, heat, stains and scratches. A properly installed backsplash will last for decades with minimal maintenance required.
  • Easy to Clean: The non-porous glazed surface of ceramic and porcelain tile repels grime, grease and food splatters. Simply wiping with a damp cloth keeps your backsplash sparkling.
  • Design Options: Mix and match colors, shapes and designs for a customized look. Use different patterns in each section of the backsplash to create distinct zones. Accent with decorative tile like handpainted murals.
  • Creativity and Self-Expression: Make a statement with funky retro patterns or cascading Moroccan zellige. Reflect your tastes and personality through this artistic canvas.

With the right tile choice, your new backsplash will be a stunning focal point, elevating the style of your kitchen. Keep reading to explore the limitless pattern possibilities for your space.

Types of Patterned Tile Styles

From traditional motifs to modern geometrics, patterned backsplash tile comes in a diverse range of styles. Consider the overall look you want to achieve and how the patterns will complement your cabinetry and countertops.


Inspired by centuries-old architecture in Morocco, encaustic cement tile features intricate patterns handed down through generations of artisans. Typical motifs include floral designs, starbursts and geometric shapes in vibrant hues. The tiles have a slightly imperfect, handmade appearance that exudes rustic charm.


Mediterranean-style patterns include handpainted tiles depicting picturesque scenes, along with Spanish and Italian motifs like scrolling vines, flowers and roosters. The rich colors evoke sunny landscapes and romantic Old World ambiance. Enhance the look with tile accents like borders and medallions.


For modern style, bold geometric patterns create dramatic impact. Diamonds, hexagons, chevrons, zigzags and stripes make a confident statement. Use tone-on-tone hues or make the colors pop with contrast. Geometric tile can be found in many sizes for interesting effects.


Subway tile gets its name from early 20th century public transportation stations where these rectangular tiles graced walls and archways. Their simple stacked pattern brings vintage appeal to kitchen backsplashes. Use white for a crisp look or go bold with saturated colors.

Traditional and Eclectic Motifs

In addition to popular patterned tile styles, diverse eclectic motifs are available. Choose blue and white Chinoiserie scenes reminiscent of fine porcelain for a touch of nostalgia. Select vibrant Talavera-style tiles with hand-painted flowers and animals. Or pick tin-glazed decorative tiles featuring everything from birds to butterflies.

Selecting Your Patterned Tile

With so many beautiful pattern possibilities to pick from, deciding on your new backsplash tile can be exciting yet challenging. Follow these tips for choosing the perfect patterned tile for your kitchen:


Select colors that coordinate well with your cabinetry, countertops, flooring and decor. neutral hues like white, beige or gray act as a backdrop, allowing you to easily switch accent colors later. Bold colors make a dramatic style statement. Keep in mind light vs. dark colors affect the feeling of space.


Look for a pattern scale proportionate to your backsplash area – smaller backsplashes suit smaller scale patterns with fewer grout lines. Make a large range hood or cooktop area cohesive with larger tiles and bolder designs. Tiling a whole wall allows you to use multiple coordinating patterns.


Common patterned tile shapes include subway, square, hexagon and arabesque. Shape also affects the look – subway tiles have a vintage vibe, hexagon and diamond patterns feel modern. Combine shapes for interest. Accent squares with arabesque and hex tiles, for example.


Ceramic and porcelain tile are the most common and durable materials used. Softer, more porous natural materials require extra sealing but provide unique visual texture. Seek out artisan tiles for handcrafted appeal.


When combining patterns, stick with a cohesive color scheme and coordinate the scale of different motifs. Limit patterns to three or less. Include plain tiles to give the eye a resting place. An accent strip, medallion or border ties the look together.

Where to Use Patterned Tile in Your Kitchen

Creatively using patterned tile transforms your backsplash into a work of art. Here are inspiring ideas for where to use tile patterns throughout your kitchen:

Full Wall Backsplash

Tiling the entire wall behind a sink or stove allows you to combine multiple coordinating tile patterns for dramatic effect. Start with a bold print near the countertop transitioning to less busy patterns moving up.

Focal Area

Use intricate mosaic tiles or handpainted motifs as an accent in a cooktop surround or behind a professional stove to create visual interest. This focal backsplash balances more neutral full wall tile.

Backsplash Niche

Recess a section of the backsplash for open shelving or to display decorative items. Line the niche with eye-catching patterned tile that complements the rest of the backsplash.

Borders and Banding

Define backsplash sections or transition to the countertop using borders and banding strips like a row of mosaics, tile with decorative trim or a geometric design.

Backsplash Peninsula

Make a skinny backsplash peninsula into functional art. Outline in decorative listello tiles or ceramic rope molding and fill with Moroccan zellige tiles, metallic mosaics or handpainted accents.

Under Upper Cabinets

Add tiles between upper cabinets for another opportunity to inject color, texture and patterns. Install a prep sink framed in patterned tile matching the main backsplash.

Countertop Extension

Extend tiled full backsplashes all the way to the edge of countertop eating bars or islands for integrated design. Use this space for bolder patterns or intricate details.

Kitchen Sink Window

Dress up an otherwise plain kitchen window above the sink by adding patterned tile trim and sill. Connect the window tiles to the backsplash design.

Backsplash Return

Carry tile from the backsplash onto side walls or partitions between kitchen zones to make spaces visually flow together.

Creative Pattern Combination Ideas

One of the joys of designing with patterned tile is combining motifs to create an artful custom look. Here are inspiring pattern pairing ideas to spark your backsplash creativity:

Mix Geometric Shapes

Combine complementary shapes like offset zigzags and diamond tiles or intersecting grids for modern flair. Include mosaic tiles and rectangular subway tile for variety.

Moroccan Accents

Start with a full wall geometric or floral pattern then float Moroccan hexagon zellige tiles in empty sections for bursts of color.

Contrasting Colors

Allow bolder colors like red, turquoise or cobalt to pop by pairing them with neutral cream subway tiles or white hex tile.

Coordinating Patterns

Unify varying motifs like floral, paisley and damask by repeating accent colors throughout the patterns. Tie together with complementary grout.

Handpainted Tiles

Make a bold focal point by integrating vibrant handpainted tiles into surrounding non-figurative patterns like chevrons.

Modern Meets Vintage

Juxtapose sleek horizontal stripes or diagonal modern patterns with classic subway tiles for an eclectic blend of old and new.

Random Variety

Create lively collage-style texture by combining an assortment of mismatched decorative tiles with different images, trim and vary their orientation.

Tonal Gradation

Gradually transition from light to dark within a single pattern, like a reverse gingham check. Or blend tonal color shades from one pattern into the next.

DIY Patterned Tile Backsplash Tips

Installing a patterned tile backsplash is an achievable DIY weekend project for any experience level. Follow these tips for properly laying tile patterns yourself:

Measure Twice

Precise measurement is crucial with patterned tiles to align layout and design continuity. Some adjustment may be needed to center patterns.

Plan Tile Location

Map out your entire tile layout ahead of time so you know which tiles go where. Arrange tiles on the floor first. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Mix Tile Boxes

To evenly distribute any tile color variations, mix tiles between boxes as you install. Set a few aside for later replacement if needed.

Level Starting Line

Use a level to mark a perfectly straight line to start full sheets of tile. Check edges align across sheets. Cut border tiles to fit.

Proper Adhesive

Use appropriate backsplash adhesive for the tile material. Fully cover the wall area to be tiled. Apply additional adhesive to tile backs.

Consistent Grout Lines

Use tile spacers for even grout line thickness. Remove spacers before grouting once tiles have set. Clean excess grout immediately.

Sealing and Grouting

Allow tile mortar to fully cure first. Apply grout release if needed. Seal grout once fully dried. Use coloring agents in grout as desired.

Cut Border Tiles

Very carefully measure and cut border tiles to fit edges and around outlets, etc using a wet saw. Finish edges for consistency.

Choosing Backsplash Colors to Complete the Look

Once you have selected the perfect patterned tile style and motifs for your kitchen backsplash, an important finishing decision remains – choosing a color palette. Follow these helpful strategies for picking timeless, creative backsplash colors.

Match Cabinets

Choose one or more colors from your existing cabinetry to complement. For example, bring in a navy accent color for an antique white kitchen. Introducing new colors makes the backsplash a focal point.

Contrast Countertops

Use color to differentiate the backsplash surface from countertops. Light marble counters could pair with bold teal subway tile. Rich wood countertops may suit cream tiles.

Complement Flooring

Hardwood flooring establishes a palette – select backsplash hues that coordinate. Mosaic glass tile embedded in creamy tile reflects light wood floors.

Integrate Appliances

Incorporate appliance colors in the backsplash scheme. Reddish terra cotta or orangey-red tiles make stainless steel pop. Soft blues or greens complement vintage appliances.

Neutral Foundation

Beige, white, gray and black backsplashes act as a backdrop for changing accent shades that can be swapped out through decorative tile, window treatments, accessories etc.

Personal Style

Express your tastes through color. Like green? Go for muted sage or punchy lime tiles. Love pink? Try rosy-hued floral patterns or bold stripes.

Timeless Picks

Classic white backsplash tile suits any style. Navy, light gray and soft brown have timeless, yet trendy, appeal.

Remember the power of color – it has the ability to transform the entire feeling of a space. Choose backsplash hues you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Patterned Tile Backsplash Maintenance

One of the advantages of ceramic and porcelain tile is that it requires very little maintenance compared to other backsplash materials. Follow these tips to keep your patterned tile backsplash looking like new:

Grout Sealing

Applying grout sealer protects grout from stains and discoloration. Reapply periodically and when replacing grout. Use a grout pen to touch up color.

Gentle Cleaning

Use only warm water and mild pH-neutral dish soap to clean tile. Avoid harsh chemicals and scouring compounds that can eat away grout and etch glazes.

Check for Cracks or Damage

Inspect tile edges near the countertop for any cracks or damage from heavy pots or fallen objects. Re-adhere loose tiles to prevent moisture issues.


Over time, caulk between the backsplash and countertop or along the edges may shrink and deteriorate. Re-caulk gaps to restrict moisture and debris buildup.

Limit Moisture Exposure

Promptly wipe up spills and splatters on backsplash surfaces and keep grout lines debris-free. Limit exposure to steam from cooking to prevent loosening of grout.

Re-sealing Natural Tile

For porous backsplash tile materials like travertine, reapply sealing treatments per the manufacturer’s schedule to prevent staining or discoloration.

Sheen Renewal

Use polishing agents formulated for glazed ceramic or porcelain tile intermittently as needed to restore the glossy sheen if it appears dull or etched.

With periodic maintenance and care, a patterned tile backsplash will provide endless beauty and easy-clean functionality for many years. Enjoy this personalized, artistic focal point that expresses your unique style.

Patterned Tile Backsplash FAQ

Still have some questions about choosing and installing the perfect patterned tile backsplash? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What about the cost of patterned tile vs. plain tile?

  • Patterned tile does typically cost more per square foot than plain tiles. However, the visual impact is worth the slightly higher investment. More intricate designer tile or handmade artisan tile increases cost but adds distinctive high-end appeal.

What patterned tile materials are best?

  • Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are most recommended for backsplashes since they are very durable, moisture-resistant and easy to clean. Natural stone tiles require more sealing but provide added visual texture.

How difficult is it to install patterned tile?

  • Intricate patterned tiles do require more time and attention to detail to install, but with proper planning the project can be managed by an experienced DIYer. Many designs include installation tips. Hire a pro for complex designs.

Should I choose matte or glossy tile?

  • This depends on the overall look you want. Matte tiles softly diffuse light and hide flaws. Glossy tile has higher light reflection, brightening the space. Combining finishes adds dimension. Sealing matte tiles helps long-term durability and stain resistance.

How do I cut patterned tiles?

  • Cutting intricate tiles takes precision. A wet saw with a diamond blade allows careful, accurate cuts. Break tiles cleanly against a rod for hand-cutting. Always wear safety goggles for tile cutting.

How much tile should I order?

  • Order 10-15% extra tile than measurements show to allow for breakage, cuts and future repairs. For special designer tiles, ordering extra is highly recommended if they are not kept in continual stock.


The limitless variety of colors, shapes, materials and patterns available in backsplash tile allows you to make a unique design statement with this highly visible kitchen feature. A tile backsplash provides function through durable, easy-to-clean surfaces – elevating it into a work of art through creative pattern combinations transforms the space.

With thoughtful selection, proper installation and routine care, your new patterned tile backsplash will be a personal focal point you can enjoy for decades. Let this artistic canvas reflect your vision of style to see your kitchen in a whole new light.